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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:50 am 
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Van I know you too have worn the uniform so you'll understand what I'm about to say. I suspect that all other members of the forum who have served may also agree. Military service is a bond that all that have served share. Your not responsible for the lives of your co workers if your working at Walmart, MacDonald Corp or the medical clinic down the street. You wear the uniform you've got everyone's back! It's a 24 7 job and the bonds last a lifetime. No one else gets it if they haven't been thru the wringer.

We have got really good at war. Techno war. Equipment training and resources we got it all today. We even get the injured into surgery in no time flat. As a result we have more amputees leaving service and attempting to make a living for the rest of their life.

We also have is a huge highly trained well supplied army searching for an enemy. The enemy no longer wears a uniform and says here I am.

Instead the enemy look like every other citizen in the new land. The troops are charged with helping the locals and then a bomb explodes. A baby in a basket, a bicycle, an old man , someones grandmother, a bump in the road, they all explode and kill your friends. This is a new type of war, these troops are under threat 24/7 for their entire deployment.

Then they come home, and they are still looking for the weapon the IED. We take a drive in the country side and admire the view. These folks returning from war look for bombs on the roadside, vehicles on the side of the road or stopped in intersections are all a potential ambush. They cannot stop threat assessment to stop searching is to die. They can not debrief from the war zone. Imagine what the mall, school or grocery store does to them.

So how do you explain this to a shrink who never left school until he became a shrink. How do you tell someone who doesn't have a clue what a threat is. Doctor have you ever stuffed your friend's body parts into a bag? Every cry with him as he died? Ever wake up in the morning thinking what the hell is that stink? Your hands reek because they still covered in the died blood and fecal matter from your friends body you held last night, emotionally drained you just rolled into the sack and called it a day. The next morning you discovered he's still all over you but he's already been flown out of theater. You get live that night again, and realize you got 5 more months of this schit to live thru. You go wash up and report for duty. Why even talk to a civy they won't get it.

Soldiers have to debrief with soldiers, civilian doctors don't even know what the hell your saying. Healing begins with the only ones you trust. More on this later.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:32 pm 
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Hi Laird,

What you write is somberly captivating and it induces a learning process at a subliminal level that all readers will benefit.

Then we have the clucking turkeys...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObCUbHGe6Qg

Enjoy.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:56 pm 
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Van Canna wrote:
Then we have the clucking turkeys...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObCUbHGe6Qg

That is one seriously horny hen. Wish the women I was around in my younger days knew how to communicate like that. Then again... maybe it's a blessing, as I got through my youth relatively cootie free.

But I digress. :-D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:11 pm 
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For folks who don't understand what's being talked about here, I highly recommend you read this book. It's now a classic, and a must read for every martial artist by shodan level.

Image

Grossman echoes much of what's been written here.

The only thing I might add is that he offers solutions. He spends a considerable amount of time explaining how and why everything that could have been done wrong in Vietnam was done wrong. From those lessons he explains what could be done differently in the future. Suggestions are the following:

  • Troops who train together should be deployed together.
    ...
  • There should be safe zones near combat areas where troops can spend time decompressing
    ...
  • There needs to be debriefing periods (with medical personnel and other troops) before being sent home. The long march home (with fellow troops) or the long boat ride home needs a new spin.
    ...
  • Limit the time in battle before being taken off the line. After 45 days, bad schit starts to happen - even and especially to those who had the best operant conditioning training. You can only bypass our internal psychological wiring for so long before the brain rebels.

It's also worth mentioning that some very serious psychological consequences come from the trauma of explosions. We're now seeing some very bad psychological outcomes from football players who have been hit too many times. See the following article.

... Concussions Exact Toll on Football Players Long After They Retire

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:26 pm 
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To those discussing their health issues... Thanks for sharing.

As a health services researcher with ... "definite" opinions on health care systems, I'm tempted to make a few disparaging comments about U.S. and Canadian health care systems. But I'll be good. For now... :angel:

I understand your autoimmune issues, Laird. I have a sister down here who is on The Lupus Foundation, and I'm quite familiar with the many manifestations of our immune systems misbehaving. My dissertation (on heart-rate variability) was tangentially related. We're all working on it. There have been some new (albeit expensive) Rx interventions that have been game changers for many. Much still needs to be done.

5D as well... I know what you're going through with your eye issues. Long story... I have a former UVa Uechi student who grew up and became an optometrist. She's quite good at finding these issues, and we've talked a lot about the special "handicaps" that athletes have who demand so much from their eyesight. Another time...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:49 pm 
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Van Canna wrote:
Hi Laird,

What you write is somberly captivating and it induces a learning process at a subliminal level that all readers will benefit.

Then we have the clucking turkeys...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObCUbHGe6Qg

Enjoy.
Never know when you'll encounter a clucking hen. Thanks!

I've another buddy who is going thru PTSD. Has been for about 10 years. He just started his 2nd divorce since getting home. He gets life together and then it just starts to disintegrate again. I've got to get a hold of him I know hes in a dark place right now. When I first met him he went thru 5 jobs in a year. He was upset one day and told me, I don't know what the F is wrong with me I've been fired from my last five jobs and I'm looking again.

I talked him into applying for a job with a road maintenance firm. They hired him and he's been at it for 2 years. Looks like a good fit for him at the moment. Although this guy has problems at times he also focuses most of his free time helping other vets. He's developed some of the national programs that assist veterans adjust after getting back home.

One day he commented on something and referenced landing in a hot LZ. I gave him a puzzled look and he said it's like this dude, it's friggin intense. You get the word your flying in to help out another company that is pinned down. You gear up and next thing you know your in the bird flying up some valley your getting briefed on the in way. Everyone's eyes are glued to the windows. There are tracer rounds flying all over the place. Its a fluid situation you don't know where the friendly guys are. Everyone's hearts are pounding were all jacked up,you can almost smell adrenaline...all you know for sure is the Taliban saw you coming in there will be incoming fire when you go out those doors. You try to stay alive long enough to get the lay of the land so you can do your job. That's a hot LZ.

Talk to a shrink and tell him you lost your schit landing at an airport because you flashed back to a hot LZ and he is not going to get it. He won't understand what your going thru or see the triggers.

So my buddy developed a program for vets who are starting to experience memories, feelings that are causing problems in their lives. Guys that just find it difficult to function in a non military environment. The program allows them to debrief. They also build a support network.

Basically vets that are having problems are referred to go on ten day courses with other vets. They are lead by a couple of facilitators and they do things they enjoy doing in the outdoors. Mountain climbing, ski trekking, long distance wilderness travel, canoe trips etc. This allows the participants to get away from it for a while and enjoy some solitude. It also forces them to bond together as a team as they must work together to accomplish the task. This is very familiar territory for a soldier. It also gives them a chance to sit around the camp fire and chat. To BS about their service and to discuss the problems they may be having.

One benefit of the experience is the participants realize that recreational activities help reduce stress. The big benefit is however having the chance to talk to other soldiers who are experiencing the same things you are.

These guys have gone from having their brothers around them 24 7 to in some cases having no one around them who has experienced military service. They feel isolated and have no one to talk with that they feel comfortable talking too. They also learn that they can help each other deal with troubles. They don't have to book an appointment and wait to weeks to talk to a civilian, they can call a buddy and ask for help. Many vets keep in touch after the process, they also tend to keep in touch with those they served with. They begin to network in an attempt to help each other deal with the PTSD. The program doesn't replace trained medical personnel it supplements it.

The results are encouraging.

I'm no expert on stress induced illness, but I do know many people who are suffering from PTSD are facing a long road to recovery. Disappointing that for many years the condition was flat out denied. Well we can't hide the bodies anymore. if we know someone going thru this lend them an ear when they need one. Call them now and then just to see how things are going. It can make a difference.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:01 pm 
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Thank you Laird, for posting this.

Surely this is going to be of help to some lost soul out there.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:27 am 
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Van Canna wrote:
Thank you Laird, for posting this.

Surely this is going to be of help to some lost soul out there.


I hope so Van. Talked to my buddy tonight hes doing okay.

Some guys go thru hell and it never slows them down, others stumble for a while.

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/st ... 14806.html


Grossman's work is a step towards understanding. Don't think we will ever really be able to predict who is at risk and who isn't. This has been with us forever, we just acknowledge it now. Violence is a horrible thing. We can escape it unmarked and still carry the emotional damage. I remember years ago talking about having to live with what we have done to others. It was dismissed. But it's a double edged sword.

Definitely worth a discussion with your students. Sorry to go off on such a tangent Bill. Just something I need to deal with in print. Thanks for allowing me to go off on a wee rant.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:24 pm 
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I think there are other factors as well to consider. When Britain went to war over the falkland islands and even the first Gulf war there was total public support for the army and for the war. When Iraq was invaded there was no support for the war whatsoever. Nobody believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction or ties to al qaeda and this was in fact the case. The politicians lied. When it came to invading Syria the politicians knew fulll well that the people in the UK would not support them or beleive the same old lies and that they could lose their positions if they pushed it so they did n't.
Now I believe that it is very important for the army to believe that they are fighting a just war and it makes it even more difficult for them to fight a war knowing that they don't have the full support of the people of their country. Most people feel sorry for the troops that they are put in this position and angry at the politicians for doing this. We have huge cuts in the army, soldiers are being denied benefits they are entitled to.which illegal immigrants are given freely.and people like Tony blair are reaping millions from their buddies like jamie dimon of J.P.Morgan and promoting wars that they cowards that they are will never have to fight.,
People are aware now, we all have the internet, if you look you can find out all about the debt based,fractional reserve banking system, how QE and ZIRP are there to stop the criminal banks failing and not to help ordinary people........and soldiers know this, they are ordinary people and it puts a huge added burden upon them.colaterral damage means murder.it might look like a computer game when a drone wipes out a pakistani wedding party but it isn't and why is this done? to help the wealthy political psychopaths like blair ,bush and now obama


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:29 pm 
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Feur wrote:
Sorry to go off on such a tangent Bill. Just something I need to deal with in print. Thanks for allowing me to go off on a wee rant.

Not at all, Laird. We're all singing from the same hymnal here. You are putting flesh on the bones of this discussion.

And I am seeing a really good side of you that I haven't seen before.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:43 pm 
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jorvik wrote:
I think there are other factors as well to consider.

***

That was a bit of a classic Ray rant, but you did make an important point. Grossman discusses this as well.

World War II had its home support, and parades for all the returning soldiers. Vietnam had soldiers coming home alone to airports where protesters might be waiting to call them baby killers. We were quick to get veterans of WW II back into the workforce. Many (not all) Vietnam vets were left to flounder on their own. Guess which war had more casualties from suicide than by enemy fire. It was in fact Vietnam where "battle fatigue" was retired and the expression Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was created.

Personal anecdote... I was a long-haired freak who missed being sent to Vietnam (I had a draft number of 19) by one year. I was also a bit of an intellectual freak. Due to my performance in a special program, a local college offered me admission after my junior year of high school. That same college also welcomed many returning Vietnam Vets who now were being educated on the GI bill. Funny thing... both the Vets and I were social outcasts in the community. I was the freakish kid who blew the academic curves and couldn't get the hot women to look at him (because I looked about 12-ish). The Vets too were invisible to this community. So we naturally bonded. The Vets appreciated that I could help them with their classes (which I gladly did) and I learned about life from them. I developed many fast friends from those experiences.

There are many ways to help a Vet. Be a friend. Listen. Give them a job tip. Understand when they don't behave right. And did I mention that you should listen? You will be a richer person for it - if only for that internal itch which you will scratch.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:47 am 
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America learned from the Vietnam war. Military always review and re-orientate in the next conflict as required. GW made a serious effort to support the troops and encourage Americans to support the troops whether the supported the war or not. Soldiers didn't come home to citizens spitting in their face after Iraq and Afghanistan deployments. Bush was very sucessful in changing how returning vetrans were treated in these conflicts. Canada followed suit, weather we supported the war or not, we supported our soldiers.

Did it help?


Looking at the suicide rates after the conflicts, I'd say it may have helped the civilians feel better, but it had zero effect on the mental tole our soldiers shoulder.

http://mcplpaulfranklin.blogspot.ca/

We still continue to lose more military personnel by their own hand than in conflict. Support for soldiers has to last longer than a parade or the receipt of a pension check. Some may only serve 3 years, but they may need our support long after the conflict ends. Sacrifice is not just bodies in fields, time away from loved ones, or limbs left behind. Sacrifice is also damaged minds. The price of war does not end when the conflict ends.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:13 am 
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Quote:
Soldiers didn't come home to citizens spitting in their face after Iraq and Afghanistan deployments.


Funny thing...what made those people who did the spitting feel comfortable doing so without fear of having their faces smashed in?

What would any of us do if some $%^& spit in our face?

Where I come from it is akin to committing suicide...the 'spitter' won't have long to live.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:58 pm 
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Well Van IMHO the world is made up of different tribes, and the tribes are ones that we choose to belong to, sometimes it is cool to be part of one tribe sometimes it isn't..the military is a tribe and so is the anti military and it was which tribe had the most support.like dogs really , sometimes a big strong dog will back down because of the ascendency of a dog tribe which are weaker but it doesn't want to disturb the status quo of dogland.and the same with people.and you can have weaker people who belong to a stronger tribe dictating to people who are stronger but belong to a weaker tribe.democracy I guess :lol: .....and then you have the outliers , the folks who have no identity to the tribe, they mesh with it, use it, identify with it but are never part of it.they manipulate and control it and tell the dogs to fight.......and there are other outliers who say "No" I'll choose to fight my enemies.the ones who try to control me the ones who see the game and are not party to it.very few in number sadly


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:58 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_-TBirrPiQ

The people who spit on others are 'pigs' to begin with...take a look at the demeanor of that pig/woman doing the spitting.

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