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The VVA Veteran Reviews Prelude

Prelude was recently reviewed by David Wilson, a reviewer from the site “Books in Review II.” Wilson's review eloquently chronicles his reaction to the novel alongside his own experience in Vietnam. "I highly recommend this novel, both as a good read and as a glimpse into the lives of...

SD Sawyer

Iraq/Afghanistan/American Soldiers/ . . . and PTSD

“You’re going to see more and more of this over the next 10 years,” stated Shad Meshar, Founder of the National Veterans Foundation who’s worked with Vietnam veterans since 1970.  Meshar was referring to two recent cases of Iraq veterans who returned home and murdered innocent people.

“There’s a percentage that come back, depending on how much trauma and how much killing they’re involved in, they’re going to act out.”  For years, close family members and friends have noticed that the soldier who goes off to war is not the one who returns home.*

With all the research, all we have learned about PTSD since the early 1980′s, I can’t understand why, as a nation, we aren’t doing better treating today’s all volunteer military when they return from war zones. News stories tell us of their problems with substance and alcohol abuse, starting and maintaining relationships and problems with employment.  Psychological difficulties, such as over reacting in unexpected, violent ways—  plague far too many of these men and women.  The CNN article, Experts: Vets’ PTSD, violence a growing problem, describes PTSD symptoms very similar to what the character Tom Barrington and his Vietnam veterans friends experience in my novel Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening, back in 1969.

Now that so many American troops will soon be returning home from their deployments, it will be interesting to see what agencies and resources will be available to help them and their families readjust.  Unlike Vietnam era soldiers, ones returning today do not come home to riots in the streets, burning flags, or being spat upon.  Unlike the Vietnam Era soldiers, ones returning today, in many cases, have been deployed multiple times.  Different deployments, different circumstances, same results— PTSD.  Will we be there for our soldiers and their families this time?  Will we even know what to do?

*Click here to read the complete article.

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