Informative Article: PTSS

9 Nov

Most of my recent posts have dealt with the navigational aspects of the CNN site, and the innovative and unique features that I have found while browsing (and I’m sure that I haven’t even scratched the surface exploring such tools—I learned this when I discovered the “Election Ticker” when dealing with last week’s coverage.) But for this post, I want to focus on some content on the site that really struck me—an article entitled “Dealing With the Unseen Scars of War.”


The article began chronicling the experiences of CNN correspondent Alex Quade, who recently returned from an 18-month stint in Iraq and Afghanistan. Quade dealt with various soldiers experiencing mental anguish while fighting abraod. Quade’s accounts of these soldiers’ experiences are heartbreaking, as he discusses men who suffered panic attacks and pondered suicide. But the core of Quade’s article is about the insufficient treatment that these men received.


The core of the article argues that war veterans need better treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Quade advocates for 5, 10 and 20-year treatment programs as well as therapy for the veterans family.


I found this point to be extremely interesting and necessary: how can officials expect such trauma to fade in short-period of time? Although I have little experience interacting with war veterans, I do have a friend who was stationed in Iraq for 3 months and still deals with the impact of his experiences. I think Quade’s demand for more intensive treatment should be taken seriously and should be acted upon quickly and with great care.


Quade also demands extensive solider education programs surrounding the issue of PTSS, as the current introduction programs are standard 2-week courses. Re-integration tutorials are also imperative, Quade argues.


Yet the point of Quade’s that most closely resonated with me was that these aren’t just programs that should be granted to former soliders, but that they are owed to them. He quotes admitted chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen at the Defense Forum on Capitol Hill:


“These are America’s citizens, the best I’ve ever seen in the military, who are going out and doing our country’s bidding without question. And they are sacrificing, and we owe them a response to this that is equal to their needs.”

I took great interest in all of the points that Quade made because I have long been interested in the psychological effects of war and war reporting. I found his suggestions to be incredibly informed and intelligent, and I hope that they are taken seriously by the Department of Defense, as well as families and loved ones of those suffering from PTSS.

 

I applaud Quade’s article for delving further into a topic that really should be on everyone’s radar.

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