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Sandy Hook-PTSD

December 18, 2012

Isn’t it sad to hear these tragic things over and over again?  We cringe at the thought of all these children being killed by one lone gunman.  This happening every day in big cities and small, kids killing kids. The common denominator is guns.   They say that if you are ever mugged and your choice for the mugger is an adult or a teenager, take the adult since teenagers are more vicious and  uncaring.

Is it any wonder that the military chooses kids to do their bidding.  They feel invincible and whatever order is given it is followed without question.  I felt that when I was in the service.  I went to Officer Candidate School.  I was a college graduate and was selected out of basic training to go to Fort Benning Georgia to do the training.  Most all the other trainees were college graduates too but there were some young kids there too.

We were only a few years older but you could tell the difference between us.  The younger guys were much more gung-ho.  They didn’t seem to grasp the idea that we were going to go over to Vietnam to potentially sacrifice our lives to someone’s cause.   To them it was like a game of Cowboys and Indians.  They were playing War which we all probably played as children.

There were 40,000 dead in Vietnam and this is only our side.  Then there were the seriously wounded which took another horrible toll.  We tend to think of only our dead and wounded but what about the total number of casualties?  These poor people had their homes bombed and burned, their crops trampled on and their families killed and wounded just like ours.

Tragedy is tragedy and we have to figure how to lessen the opportunities that people have to kill each other.  I know it will be impossible to completely eliminate this outcome but the perfect should not come in the way of some progress.  I’ve heard some people say that “If everyone had a gun then these mass killings would stop.”  Really?  Can you imagine the innocent by-stander killed by people firing in a theater in a panic situation?  I was trained to fire a weapon and I would not have a weapon in my home. In fact, statistics show that there is actually a greater chance that you will be killed in your home if you have a gun than if you don’t.

PTSD follows tragedy like a hungry dog.  It will visit the homes of the victims long after the actual tragedy.  It will take additional victims and cause them pain and suffering like the bullets from the guns.  We face this issue outside of War too.  There will have been approximately 2,000,000 United States boys and girls, men and women who will have served in the latest Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  It is estimated that 20%-30% will suffer from PTSD.  You can do the math, that’s 400,000 to 600,000 potential victims with PTSD .  These people will be facing the same everyday troubles that we all face but with an additional burden.  Life is tough but they have an additional stressor that they will be dealing with that could create problems for others.  Explosive anger is one of the symptoms of PTSD.  We need to seek out those with problems and support them by encouraging their seeking answers to their PTSD problems. 

We cannot afford to be taken lightly. Do your part and reach out and try and make a difference.