Friday, April 8, 2016

PTSD runs deep among many veterans

Many of the US veterans are suffering from PTSD and need treatment to cure them. Some psychologists treating them are also developing their own mental problems listening to these returning soldiers. As we know from the war scenes of brutality, many soldiers, esp. during the Bush II era, had committed horrific war crimes, which are very disturbing to those soldiers, keeping them awake at night; sometimes they are on drugs to forget their war crimes; sometimes they become very violent. Even the psychologists who are supposed to cure them are not immune from such mental disorders.

Thousands of returning soldiers are having serious difficulty coping with the PTSD problem. A fraction of them are sometimes killing others, and then committing suicide.

Today, a shooting at a US Air Force base in Texas has left at least two people dead. Officials have told US media that an airman shot his commander in an apparent murder-suicide.

Police responded to reports of a shooting at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland around 09:00 local time (15:00 BST), a spokesman said. Two bodies were found in a room at the base, and authorities believe the gunman is one of the dead. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office said they continued to search the buildings after finding the people who were killed. "There are no indications that this was a terrorist attack," an Air Force statement said.

Joint Base San-Antonio Lackland is the military's largest joint base, where airmen do basic training.

Such cases of shootings by military personnel, suffering from the PTSD, are not new, and do happen sporadically.

In August of 2014, a soldier, holding the rank of Sgt. First Class, barricaded herself inside an office on a Virginia Army base before shooting herself in the head, committing suicide. Maj Gen Stephen Lyons said the soldier was talking to negotiators before firing a small gun that was not her service weapon. "This situation could've been worse," he told reporters during a press conference, adding no-one else was hurt. The soldier was deployed in Iraq in 2007.

In April of 2014, Ivan Lopez, 34, a soldier shot dead three colleagues and injured 16 others at the US Army's Fort Hood base in Texas before killing himself, the military says. The soldier drove to two buildings on the base and opened fire before he was stopped by military police, in an incident that lasted between 15 and 20 minutes. Facing death, he then shot himself in the head with a .45-calibre semi-automatic pistol.

The gunman had served in Iraq and had mental health problems, officials said.

You may recall that a gun rampage at the same base in 2009 left 13 soldiers dead and 32 wounded. There a military psychologist, Major Nidal was sentenced to death for that attack. His crime was dubbed as an act of terrorism, but not that of Lopez.

In September 2013, Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old former US Navy reservist, killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.

What's the difference between Major Nidal's crime with that of these other soldiers who went with the same intent of killing their fellow men in uniform? From the previous medical records it was crystal clear that Nidal was suffering from PTSD himself and was having difficulty to perform his duty properly. But he was not treated for his psychological problem.

As I see it, the difference is in religion of the perpetrator. If the same act committed by Major Nidal were replicated by a Christian soldier there won't be any labeling, but if a Muslim soldier, suffering from PTSD, were to do what Lopez had done it would be called terrorism!

No comments:

Post a Comment