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The Outpost- Jake Tapper-PTSD

November 27, 2012

I was watching a morning news program and saw a segment with Jake Tapper who is the author of the new book clled “The Outpost”.  I have not read the book yet but several of the things they said caught my ear.  I will eventually get to the book and may review it at a later date.

This book is about a real incident that occured in Afghanistan and was about one of the worst days in the on-going Afghan War where 8 US troops were killed and the incident was filled with heroism and will probably result in medals and awards being given.

The outpost in question was Outpost Keating and it’s location was a the foot of three mountains.  Anyone who saw the movie with Sean Connery and Michael Caine called “The Man Who Would Be King” will see the exact location.  Anyone who knows anything about war tactics knows that we always choose a high ground location .  This terrible location in question had been selected because there weren’t enough helicopters available for establishing and resupplying the camp because of our other war in Iraq.  This the outpost had to have road access and this was the only choice.  Once it was established, the outpost location decision was never reexamined for its wisdom of choice.

Many troops who had served at this had post complained about it to their superiors but nothing was ever done.  Civilians, of course, know nothing about the sometime incompetence of war leadership.  The military personnel who suffer are mostly the low level troops who must carry out their assignments, no questions asked.  How many deaths and dismemberments have occurred over the years because some high level officer or decision maker used poor planning, poor decision making or poor judgement while the results of their ill conceived plans flow down to the troops.

Anyway, second guessing is easy and I will not go any farther on this soap box.  The point that I do want to make is the fact that Mr. Tapper indicated that the reason that he wrote the book was because he visited the troops and talked with them about this incident and they all wanted their story told.  There are actual letters included from parents and wives and children of the victimized troops who were also insistant on telling this story.

But the point is more than the book, though I’m sure it is compelling.  The point is that many people have similar stories that they are carrying around inside them with no outlet for them to be aired.  Telling these stories is cathartic.  I’ve said many times in these blogs,” The best disinfectant is the light of day”.  It can be difficult to tell someone in person and get the reaction that you hope to get.  Revealing oneself can be embarassing, painful, and self-serving perhaps but it can also start the PTSD healing process.  Not everyone survives the war and returns home to tell their tale but wives and loved ones can relate their own stories.  This includes stories of significance and also personal ones. This site is still free to post and can be used as often as one chooses.