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Latent casualties of war

  1. Dec 10, 2012 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    We just lost a family member to the war. He didn't die in Iraq but the war killed him just as surely as if he had. He wasn't someone I was close with as I normally only saw him on holidays. But we did spend many holidays together romping around in the livingroom ever since he was just a little tike - for a good part of the last twenty-four years.

    I believe that he served five tours in Iraq. He went back on the last tour in place of a friend who had a wife and kids. During his last tour he saw and was involved in some really bad stuff and he was never the same again [it involved a lot of body parts from small children]. Upon his return, he started drinking, smoking, and his life spun out of control. Complications from health issues set in and last week they took his life.

    Tsu and I are fine but there are other family members who are not doing so well. I feel so badly for them.
     
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  3. Dec 10, 2012 #2

    turbo

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    This is not rare. I have a hard time dealing with some deployed nieces and nephews. They seem to grow a "shell" when they come back. It's hard to relate to young adults that used to hug me on the living room couch while we watched cheesy VCR tapes.
     
  4. Dec 10, 2012 #3

    jedishrfu

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    I'm sorry to hear that. He must have been tortured by the inhumanity of what he saw and now this. While there's not much you can do, being with your family can help a lot.

    In the long-term, there may be non-profits that handle grief counseling such as the Christi Center in Austin Texas which specializes in that.

    Sometimes journaling helps too.
     
  5. Dec 10, 2012 #4
    Freedom isn't free and it seems you have paid more than most. I'm sorry for your loss.
     
  6. Dec 10, 2012 #5

    Drakkith

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    It isn't, and I can only hope that the Iraqi people are better off now than they were.

    Sorry for your loss Ivan! I went to Airman Leadership School with a girl who had 3 tours to Iraq under her belt, lost her fiancee there in one of them, and was about to deploy back to it as soon as we were done in the school.
     
  7. Dec 10, 2012 #6

    lisab

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    So sorry to hear it :frown:.
     
  8. Dec 10, 2012 #7

    Borg

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    My condolences as well Ivan.
     
  9. Dec 10, 2012 #8

    Dr Transport

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    Sorry to hear of your loss.....
     
  10. Dec 11, 2012 #9

    MarneMath

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    I'm sorry to hear that. As a veteran of both wars, I say, these wars need to end. In Iraq, I had hope for the people. In Afghanistan, I realized we were hopeless.
     
  11. Dec 11, 2012 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    I appreciate the kind words. Very sad. He was a noble, brave young man who was beaten by what he saw and experienced. The last time I talked with him, which was Christmas last year, he seemed to be doing okay, but not so.
     
  12. Dec 11, 2012 #11

    arildno

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    I am sad for your family's loss.
    He is, perhaps, a good example that the greatest danger in failure of readjusting to civilian life is the danger of self-destruction (with attendant grief for the family), rather than the danger of the extremely few who turn their frustrations outward, rather than inward.
     
  13. Dec 15, 2012 #12

    BobG

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    Experiencing things such as PTSD after a tour of duty in a war zone is normal.

    Denying that one is experiencing PTSD and denying that one needs help is also very, very normal for military members.

    Having a "mental" disorder for any reason is disturbing - it makes one feel weak. Feeling weak is incompatible with the self image one needs to be a warrior in a war zone.

    Having a "mental" disorder that requires treatment is at least perceived as something that could affect one's security clearances, which are also a common requirement in the military.

    Having a "mental" disorder that requires treatment surely isn't going to look very good on a civilian job resume (or a job application that asks about on-going medical conditions).

    The military may try to reduce the stigma and encourage its members to be forthcoming about their problems so they can receive help, such as having generals go public with their own problems:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VsVA5p7heQ

    Or by trying to re-image the problems: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/military/july-dec11/stress_11-04.html [Broken]

    But it's still a real challenge to keep military members from hiding any issues they have, which makes it a real challenge to provide help to those that need it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  14. Dec 26, 2012 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    We had a great gathering yesterday; in total twenty-eight people. It was sort of a mix of a wake and Christmas dinner with no gift exchange, but spirits were high and everyone had a wonderful time. And everyone made it including two who had to come from New York.

    I worry most about his mother. She seemed to be doing well but is emotionally frail and has had a very rough time herself for some years now.

    Most of the kids now have their own kids. Hard to imagine, but the oldest of those original kids is now 33!
     
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