Misconduct or PTSD? The Impacts of Not Treating Soldiers After War

Source: Department of Veteran Affairs

Source: Department of Veteran Affairs

Iraq war vet who murdered park ranger before freezing to death in snow was stationed at U.S. Army’s most troubled base (Jan 2012)

Soldier wrote Facebook suicide note before Springs crash (Jan 2012)

Experts: Vets’ PTSD, violence a growing problem (Jan 2012)

US Military Suicides Continue to Climb, Reaching Record in 2012 (Jan 2013)

Suicidal Man Shot by Police was Veteran with PTSD (Jan 2013)

Charts: Suicide, PTSD and the Psychological Toll on America’s Vets (Jan 2013)

PTSD is an epidemic for military vets and their families (Jan 2013)

PTSD-Related Suicide Hits Close to Home (Jan 2013)

Afghan massacre: Sgt Bales case echoes loudly for ex-soldiers on hotline for vets (Jan 2013)

PTSD suicide more deadly to American Soldiers than combat! (Jan 2013)

To be continued…


12 steps PTSD

This is what I think about PTSD ~Jennifer Norris

PTSD sucks. No doubt about it. I can go from doing fine to wanting to die in a New York minute. Do I act on it? No, but I definitely want to escape the pain every once in awhile. Some days I cannot wait to go to bed just so I can take a break from ‘managing’ the symptoms. Both my husband and I have PTSD and we work pretty well together to provide assistance to each other when we are having our bad days.

I have noticed that the more real I am about the PTSD, the more people are connecting with me and feeling less alone. I am not going to hide the fact that I struggle with a debilitating condition known as compounded PTSD. And, I fight as hard as I do for our active duty and veterans so that they don’t have to live like this.

Read more here.

Senator Collins speaks in support of efforts to address military sexual assault


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins spoke on the Senate floor today in strong support of legislation coming before the Senate that would address the crisis of sexual assault in the military.

“Since 2004, I have been sounding the alarm over the military’s ineffective response to the growing crisis of sexual assault in the military, including the need to ensure appropriate punishment for the perpetrators, to provide adequate care for the survivors of such reprehensible crimes, and to change the culture across the military so that sexual assault is unthinkable,” said Senator Collins, who first raised this issue during an Armed Services Committee hearing ten years ago.

In her remarks on the Senate floor, she singled out for praise the courage of two Mainers who have come forward to tell their stories.

“I also want to acknowledge the courage and conviction of Jennifer Norris and Ruth Moore – two Mainers who were sexually assaulted while serving and have made it their mission to change the broken system that does not put victims first. Through their advocacy, they have helped to shine a light on this crisis and deserve our gratitude.”

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?



What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.

PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers.

PTSD was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.

FMI, please click here.

Norris speaks to American Legion about K9s For Warriors

Onyx NorrisJennifer Norris of Bethel, Maine, along with her assistance dog Onyx, paid a visit to the American Legion Tryon Post 250 and shared stories of her heartfelt, lifesaving relationship with Onyx with members of the post. Post member Ambrose Mills, along with fellow members, remembered Onyx as a puppy from the local Service Animal Project (SAP).  The group had bid the puppy farewell for her trip to the program’s training camp in Florida.

Norris said Onyx was not considered an attack dog but more a barrier to danger.

For years, Norris attended military sexual trauma therapy while all the time looking over her shoulders to prevent a chance meeting with her perpetrator. Norris said that fear and anxiety traveled with her everywhere she went, not knowing who was in back of her watching her every move. “I broke out in sweats just walking down the street, had headaches and was hyper-vigilant. I couldn’t cry, couldn’t sleep and I hated social interaction,” said Norris.

Read more here.

Workplace Bullies: The Attention Seeker

The Attention Seeker is emotionally immature and seeks above all else to be the center of attention. They will keep managers on-side by flattery and sycophantic prostrations. With new employees they will likely come across as extra nice and especially helpful. However, this is a ruse to get you into their web. If you do not prove yourself to be one of their adoring fans they will quickly turn vicious.

Their lives are a drama and they will relate every event to something (often bad) that has happened to them or they are going through to gain sympathy in order to manipulate and control. They are easily offended and will claim that they are the “real” victims if they are called on any of their behavior.

They are generally miserable, easily provoked and expecting of deferential treatment while being demanding of others. If you are just starting a new job you will want to identify this workplace bully and be sure to not share any personal information with them (when they are being sweet and friendly) that they will use against you later.


Workplace Bullies: The Guru

Unlike the Wannabe, the Guru does actually exhibit real competence and may even be considered an expert in their field. The main problems stem from their inablility to deal with others emotionally. They compensate for their emotional immaturity with their intellect. Many of them are very intelligent but emotionally distant.

They may feel that they are superior to others and don’t consider how their decisions will affect other people. They are know-it-alls who don’t recognize the possibilty that they are wrong. Related to this is that they don’t accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

Their cold, analytical approach extends into their environment and they may be unusually neat and orderly. They will generally hold to conservative views but not feel constrained by laws, mores or regulations (those are for others, not them).

This workplace bully lives in their own emotionally barren world where they view themselves as intellectually superior. That is why they are genuinely shocked if ever accused of workplace bullying.



US Army SealRecords agency to ignore Madigan Army Medical Center diagnoses

An Army agency that sets final medical records for disabled soldiers has been ordered to disregard reports from Madigan Army Medical Center doctors under scrutiny last year for their handling of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The new order by an assistant secretary of the Army is meant to clear the way for up to 21 former Madigan patients to receive benefits for mental health conditions. It comes nearly two years after the Army suspended the hospital’s forensic psychiatry team over concerns that its doctors were reversing PTSD diagnoses.

Those former soldiers were among some 400 Madigan patients who were called back to the hospital last year and re-evaluated by Army psychologists. Of that group, 158 left the process with PTSD diagnoses that should have entitled them to better disability benefits.

Some, however, could not persuade the Army to correct their official records. They were blocked by the Army Board for Correction of Military Records, which in some cases upheld the original diagnoses from Madigan’s forensic psychiatrists denying patients benefits for PTSD.


USMCWarrior without a war faces challenges at home

CAMP LEJEUNE N.C. — Mike Compton is one of America’s elite warriors, except he no longer has a war.  “It feels great,” he says, “almost like a drug you don’t want to give up.”

“Home for me was Afghanistan in the middle of a firefight,” says the 29-year-old married father of two, echoing sentiments of other special “operators” who achieved a hard-earned place at the tip of America’s fighting spear.

With American combat over in Iraq and U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan next year, surveys show a war-weary public eager for 12 years of fighting to go away.

Read more here


Vietnam Veterans of AmericaWe Bleed Too: Tony Bush, PTSD and the Discharge Status of Vietnam Veterans

The Oglala Lakota of the Pine Ridge Reservation, one of six recognized Lakota reservations, has, as a nation, been one of the more historically powerful avatars of the Native American experience in the United States, both in terms of the long-term struggle for cultural survival, and because of a warrior tradition that remains deeply ingrained in the tribe’s culture.

Despite the U.S. government having traditionally subjugated, marginalized, and even committed genocide against the Lakota, members of the Oglala nation have served in every branch of the service both before and since the Snyder Act (1924) and the Nationality Act of 1940 made Native Americans legal U.S. Citizens.

However, members of the Lakota who have served in the U.S. armed forces have been veterans of not just one kind of conflict, but two.

Read more here