Thursday, September 8, 2011


As a child of the 60's I am no stranger to the devastation of war.  Our boyfriends, our sons, our men came home different, never to be the same again.  They suffered; many, many became addicted to substances; many could never work again.  This suffering extended to the family, friends, and community.  These costs of war seem to be repeating and increasing recently.

And now, we have once again sent our young men into questionable wars!  To quote several veterans, "It stinks over there!"  

Do you realize what kind of havoc we are creating for our next generation?  Wars maim relationships; they tear families apart.  They incur both physical and mental health problems.

Can we blame our men and women?  Absolutely NOT.  We sent them over so young, unprepared and unknowing--naive about the horror they were to experience.  Did their families know any better?  Most, probably not.  If they did, I guess many wouldn't encourage their children to "learn to become leaders" and swallow the other propaganda in the Armed Forces recruitment commercials.

I am a child of a veteran of WWII.  At a very young age, I had the sense of understanding the effect war has on people, on men who fight and kill.  It is sick; it makes people sick; the sickness extends to their families and spreads like rivers of blood into society.

My father was raised by a father who survived WWI and a prison camp.  We can only imagine the pain and the dysfunction that is handed down from generation to generation.  If you believe in the Bible, it is handed down "unto the 3rd and 4th generations."  Maybe there is some wisdom in that.

You don't see these images very often on mainstream news!

But now, you who are living these wars, and waiting for your loved ones to return to you, and experiencing the damage done from the tragedy and sickness of war; can you understand?  Do you realize how wars are weakening this country, instead of strengthening it?  Use caution when swallowing what the government is feeding you.

Here is an article that I thought was insightful and touches on realities of life and war.  I hope you benefit by it. 

(You don't see these images on corporate TV very often, eh?)
By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 1, 2011
A new study details the challenges service members may face when returning home from an extended deployment.

According to the researchers, depressive symptoms and relationship troubles are both risks for returning service members.

In the study, Leanne Knobloch, Ph.D., suggested ways for preserving healthy relationships – with many of the ideas helpful for any individual, not just returning vets.

Returning service members are at a greater risk of both depressive symptoms and relationship distress, and research shows the two often go together, Knobloch said. That’s not a good thing, since someone suffering from depressive symptoms “really needs the support of their romantic partner.”
Returning Vets at Risk for Depression, Relationship Stress
Two consistent themes were found among vets reentering stateside life. The first was relationship uncertainty, and the second was the awareness that conflict will arise as the partner or spouse interferes with the vet’s establishment of a new routine or everyday life.

The authors believe that service members should recognize relationship uncertainty and should address the issues, rather than avoid them, and they believed vets should work to resolve issues that will inevitably develop.

In the study, these situations linked depressive symptoms and relationship distress, Knobloch said. “These may be pathways through which people’s depressive symptoms make them dissatisfied or unhappy with their relationships.”
They may help explain why depressive symptoms and relationship distress are connected, she said, “and the why is important because it suggests how to attack the problem, how to break the link.”
 Knobloch emphasized that having questions or uncertainty about a relationship is not unusual for those with depressive symptoms. “People with depressive symptoms have a tendency to question everything in their lives,” she said.

Feelings of interference from a partner are also not unusual, she said, given that each person has grown accustomed to doing things on their own during the deployment.

The study’s conclusions fit with a model of relational turbulence that Knobloch and others have created to understand transitions in relationships.

The authors found that distress in the relationship was no more or less likely for couples who had been through multiple deployments versus those who had been through just one.
 “Military couples often say that every deployment is different,” Knobloch said.

They did find, however, that distress was more likely among those in the latter part of their six months after return, which fits with research by others.

“Our findings are important because returning service members and their partners sometime think that the transition home is going to be a honeymoon period where everything is just romance and roses,” Knobloch said. “They can be disillusioned if they run into obstacles.”

They might be better prepared for the potential upheaval, however, “if they recognize that it’s a normal part of the process, that many couples go through it and it doesn’t mean your relationship is not good,” she said.

Depression is a really hard thing, and if people can separate their relationship problems from the depression itself, then they’re a step ahead,” Knobloch said.

If you are suffering and having symptoms about what you saw and did in the war, this level of psychology probably does not go deep enough into your issues. The article skims over the realities, the horrible after effects of war.  

You can get help in healing and dealing with your issues by seeing a good therapist.  Ask for one specializing in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


Sodium Boy said...

My father, uncles and most of their friends experienced so much wretchedness in WWII. They tried to protect 'the kids' by not telling us about their ordeals; but when uncles or veteran friends came to visit they became less stoic and shared war stories, and we kids overheard some of the horrible, gut-wrenching things they lived through. They went through their parenting years bottling up this awful stuff; and because so many of them also suffered through the Great Depression when they were young, I think they were envious of us for ‘having it so easy’.

My family on both mom’s and Dad’s side were of pure German descent, and although he spent most of his tour of duty in the South Pacific, I sensed in my dad a grudging ambivalence about the allied destruction of Germany and Europe.

When the Viet Nam war was on, he didn’t want me to ‘join up’. We were religious and I became a conscientious objector, and after hearing war stories from my elders and returning Viet Nam vets my own age, I didn’t want to go either. I still feel some guilt about not having been in ‘the service’. My dad was a severe and angry person, but even aside from his religious convictions he didn’t want me to die or be maimed in Southeast Asia. In my opinion he was becoming more sophisticated about war and its futility and profound destructiveness.

Now I'm a dad — certainly not a perfect dad — but in spite of my shortcomings, I'm grateful and relieved that I can give my son a father who has not been to war. One of my nephews died in Iraq, and it created such agony, that I ardently hope my son never wants or has to go to war. Even without war, life has so many challenges and difficulties. I can’t comprehend how parents who loose children in war go on, and if my son were ever to die in war, I can’t imagine how I would live on.

PSACHNO said...

Beautifully expressed. And a very thoughtful expression of ambivalence going to war against those of your nationality (just to make things MORE difficult about going to war!) I'm sure many soldiers in WWI & II of recent ethnic descent also experienced this kind of cognitive dissonance.

It seems clear to me that, in most cases, wars are fought because of power-mongers and politics. So, in essence, one could say soldiers are fighting politics and government, not other people.

I'm sure it is difficult to feel that way when you've killed and experienced so much carnage, though. How can it not become intensely personally impacting?

The saying goes, "We fight for our brothers who fight along side us." Create a bond with other soldiers and you can get them to fight to protect, not only themselves but their buddies. It is a noble motivation.

However, wouldn't it be great if we saw through the utter trash and lies that governments and certain powers feed us through their propaganda and corporate-controlled media?

I think history has proven that you have no reason to feel guilty for not going to Vietnam! You were one of the lucky ones. If we all just refused to play into their game, we would be taking their evil power away. Every time we believe their lies and respond, we our power away to them!

Thanks for your contribution to this post.