Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Big Smear

I've been warning about this since I started this blog. The Left will try to do to us what they did to the Vietnam Generation - make us out to be damaged goods worthy of only pity.

They will smear us and try to marginalize us.

Don't let them. Don't support The Dry Land. The fact the USO is supporting this makes me want to throw up.

82 comments:

Outlaw 13 said...

The problem I have with films like this, and obviously I haven't seen it, so I guess I should say films that are about what this preview hints at is that Hollywood seems all too willing to "Honor" my sacrifice by making a motion picture that lets everyone know how Soldiers are damaged in war (not just physically but mentally as well), but they can never bring themselves to make a film about heroic acts that have occurred, about the good things that have been done.

It's not that people don't come back with problems because they do, but it certainly isn't everyone and all the problems aren't severe and we all aren't dysfunctional.

I would agree with you, based on what I saw in the preview I have no desire to see that movie.

I would recommend that if it is showing near you check out Restrepo, it's the documentary companion to the book "War".  From all accounts and the trailer it looks to be very good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DjqR6OucBc

MR T's Haircut said...

You know, my father served on USS Forrestal when she caught fire in 1967.  He lost many friends.  He was decorated for bravery that day as a young 3rd Class and received the Navy Commendation (you had to really meet a threshold back then) for pulling pilots out of A-4's.

I asked him one day about what he thought of the "homeless" vet crowd, the crazy deranged Veitnam Vet with "flashbacks"... he looked at me, took a drink of his beer and said... "Pussies"...

PCSSEPA said...

A movie that would show a successful, well adjusted veteran just doesn't fit the storyline that the left wants people to see.  It is just more propoganda from the Hate America First crowd.  Some folks do have problems, but the majority come back and blend back in to society. This is just a continuation of the storyline that they started with Vietnam.  I suspect that most of those holding the signs claiming to be homeless veterans have never done a day in their life -  it is just a hook to garner sympathy.

Salty Gator said...

my grandfathers (all four of them) fought in world war II with the UDT, Patton, Marines, and Free French Commandos, respectively.  Their children went on to fight in Vietnam in the Air Cav, Air Force Counter Intel, Army Counter Intel, Army Medic.
They never suffered from any flashbacks.  But I won't judge those who say they do.  I never saw combat during my time with the Navy.  I've been shot at, a few times, but never in combat (irony, I know).  While we nail this movie to the wall, let's do our brother veterans a favor and not slam them.  Remember:  LEAVE NO MAN OR WOMAN BEHIND.  THAT is our CODE.

butch said...

I am not a victim.

I am a professional, and I volunteered to go.

They can take their pity and cram it up their collective @55.

DeltaBravo said...

Oh, lord amighty... they get to slam guns and drinkin' and Southerners and all kinds of fun stuff.   Stick 'em in a trailer in the movie.  (Short-hand for somethin' else....)

Yes, Hollywood loves its veterans.

How come they can't make a movie about a veteran moving to the north, and say... setting up a kiosk in Times Square and going to work every day and being dependable, alert and vigilant enough to stop a terror attack or something?  Naw.... will never happen.  Hollywood would say stuff like that never happens in real life.

Kristen said...

Anoither movie about a crazed veteran.  What a surprise.  Funny thing is, out here in the real world it's actually a definite plus to be able to put the word "veteran" on your resume.  I guess employers don't see many movies.

Hopefully this will land in the same trash heap that houses the rest of the failed Hollywood attempts to smear our troops.

BostonMaggie said...

Concur on Restrepo.  I saw it Thursday night and it is a brutal and honest picture.

BostonMaggie said...

Good post....not exactly what I told you to tell Pat...but close enough.  LOL! 

Kristen said...

Mr T:  Wow.  I've seen footage of similar things, with crewmen running to pull pilots out of burning aircraft, and I've always marveled at their courage.  I admire your father enormously.

By the way, I think a lot of the homeless who claim to be vets are lying about it.

MR T's Haircut said...

you go boy!

MR T's Haircut said...

now that would be the feel good movie of the year... cant do that... come on!

MR T's Haircut said...

Gator, please dont cast aspersions on my comment.  Either a person is a victim or they are not.   That simple to me.

Salty Gator said...

T:  You and I see eye to eye on many things, and I respect your viewpoints tremendously.  However, mental health is not always  cut and dry.  While I agree with you that there is a victim mentality that is pervasive in our culture (see diversity thursday), other circumstances such as traumatic brain injury, preexisting mental illness (or genetic propensity towards it) can exacerbate a stressful situation into evolving into something worse.  I won't bore you with more.  the point is, this is not something that we should just ignore, no matter how tasteless a movie or how rampant the liberal left uses circumstances like this to degrade war efforts and or the soldiers who fight.

Anonymous said...

Ironic, isn't it, when a "feel good" movie, in this touchy, feeling, it's all about self-esteem and felling good about yourself (even when you a freaking LOSER) time we live in, that real "feel good" movies are rare.  "The Blind Side" was one of those rare ones, to mention one that has come out lately.

Maybe the only "feel good" that's allowed is when movie makers can feel good about trashing the good parts of society, be it people or concepts.

surfcaster said...

Or how about a deserved veteran of Vietnam that dies trying to save signifacant lives on 9/11? Doesn't even need to be fictional. You'll see it on the History Channel, but almost the sunset of a decade later and no Hollywood movie. A great American and he wasn't even born here, an immigrant, you'd think Hollywood would go for that, right?

AW1 Tim said...

Yeah... certain folks seem unable to grasp the concept of "all volunteer force".

USAF Mike said...

Horseshit.  Mental health issues are real...as someone who's had personal issues with it, believe me, they're real.  Not "oh my gawd, I had the worst day EVER today I better go talk to my high priced therapist about it" issues, more like "well, there's a loaded gun...I should probably use it on myself" issues. 

So yeah, don't tell me it's about either being a victim or not.  It might appear that way to someone with a logical outlook, but the thing about mental issues is that they screw with the way your brain works...when you're in the throes of that it's impossible to objectively look at your situation, as much as you try to.  (Believe me, I tried.)

The movie itself...I'm reserving judgment until it actually comes out.  Based on reading their blog, who they've talked to, and what other people who've seen the whole movie have said about it (positive reactions from multiple service members and vets), I'm positively optimistic that it'll do a fair job of showing what it's like to suffer from a heavy case of PTSD.  The problem will come when others (not the makers of the movie) twist that into generalizing the experience for all vets...which is a fool's errand, because each experience is unique.

However, it's a catch-22 because the only way to prevent those people from making that generalization is to never make a movie that features PTSD ever, and that's doing a disservice by not educating the population about the challenges that PTSD causes.  Honestly, those type of people are going to make that generalization regardless, so you might as well make the movie and open some eyes.

Therapist1 said...

<span>"So yeah, don't tell me it's about either being a victim or not.  It might appear that way to someone with a logical outlook, but the thing about mental issues is that they screw with the way your brain works...when you're in the throes of that it's impossible to objectively look at your situation, as much as you try to.  (Believe me, I tried.)"</span>

There have been a fair share of war films about the courage and honor.  We do need to see some that deal with the possible aftermath.  This is not to portray them as "victims," it is to portray these honorable people for who they are; human beings with families, some of whom DO  come home with problems.  If we don't legitimize these issues the service men and women DO  fade into the obscurity of being the "crazy vet."  PTSD IS REAL and it DOES TAKE LIVES AND RUIN MARRIAGES please look to the Rand Study on suicide in the military.  We need to remember those that are hurt and work to heal them, not steal their honor by thinking of them as pussies.

MR T's Haircut said...

Mike,

I am relating my father personal experience.  Don't call it "horseshit".  He chose not to be a victim.  My Uncle was also there that day they were both buddies and one was an AT flight deck trouble shooter and the other was an AE trouble shooter.. they saw plenty of hell that day .. and they came out well.  You can cry all you want, but like Patton said, "you can pick yourself up by the bootstraps and go on or cry a miserable river... "

virgil xenophon said...

The problem is NOT that PSTD isn't real, nor that movies sensitive to the individual and societal problems it engenders shouldn't be made--that is a straw man argument. "What we have here" (h/t Strother Martin) is the attempt by the Hollywood left to once again "communicate" to the American general public with the subtly inferred msg that American soldiers/veterans are dupes/damaged goods under the guise of "nuanced" documentary-like analysis purporting to be on the side of the poor devils even as they are softly mocked by memes about class and education via use of artistic stereo-typical devices like house trailers and southern/rural accents. Lets get serious. We all know what's going on here with movies such as this. "Honoring" the veterans indeed...

BTW, a hearty second to what butch said!

MR T's Haircut said...

My Fathers comment is his alone and based on his personal experience that he shared with me.   I am relaying what he thinks having been in the stink.  I agree with him..  He is not "stealing anyones honor", he left shipmates on the overhead and in the spaces and flight deck.   You can dissapprove of his philosphy all you care, but at the end of the day he went on served 30 years of fantastic service without ever once thinking as a victim and his example has served me well.

Byron said...

Actually, he was already portrayed in a movie..."We Were Soldiers...Once and Young".

DeltaBravo said...

I think the objection to Hollywood's treatment is that Hollywood has an agenda that is toxic to the truth.  Yes, there are people who suffer from what they encounter.  But since The Deer Hunter and Coming Home and all those movies, Hollywood has attacked the politics behind the war by attacking the veterans and portraying them as crazed or broken or damaged.  It wasn't as much an attempt to explore the process of dealing with life and rebuilding as it was an attempt to indict the leaders who "did this to them."  Or indict the process of war itself, which actually has never been a very nice process at all and has always left death and destruction in its wake and as such should always be the "king's last option." 

No one is specifically denigrating those whose mental reserves or background leave them incapable of processing the trauma of what they experience.  I can even see MTH's dad's point about a small minority of vets who seemed to make a career (even if unintentionally) out of being damaged, homeless and needy and thus giving all vets a bad name.  (Harsh?  Maybe.  But I don't recall my parents talking about WWII vets or Korean War vets standing under overpasses with cardboard signs proclaiming their veterans' status and asking for money.  Maybe it was about their war experience, or maybe if they had worked at a tuna cannery they'd still have washed out in life.     But Hollywood isn't happy with looking at that and maybe in a film suggesting ways of healing or focusing on ways to rebuild relationships and ways family should behave or not behave.  That might be helpful.    (cont.)

DeltaBravo said...

continued...
Fact is, though, Hollywood and the kooks in it have a legacy of being part of the mindset that called vets "babykillers" and spit on troops coming home.  So the motives of most there will forever be in question when they approach this subject.  THAT is why movies like this are a dime a dozen.  Just one more "crazy vet turning over tables in front of his poor wife" type scenarios. 
I would suggest that Hollywood IS stealing their honor by portraying them as victims and employing subtle propaganda that might make people less willing to hire a vet, date a vet or marry a vet.  The pile of movies trashing vets is much higher than the few that deal with them with honor.  And instead of showing someone with PTSD and then making a movie that deals with therapy, recovery and a better future, these movies imply that war has created an army of incurable shell-shocked zombies that could snap at any moment.  I would suggest Hollywood would have done the vets of this country a bigger favor if they HAD shoved the issue under the rug and ignored it, rather than what they did do. We'll never know.  But the propagandists took hold of that image and used it to portray Vietnam vets in general.  A huge disservice!) 

DeltaBravo said...

And if someone RESPONSIBLE really wanted to deal with PTSD honestly and helpfully, this book might be a good start.   Really the most honest book about the subject.  As Therapist says, it is a real issue.  Our guys are going over there and looking Evil itself in the face on a level most people (other than maybe police or EMTs, clergy or such people do) and once you do, it changes you.  Some levels of evil the mind just can't wrap itself around.  (Think how you felt on 9-11 trying to grasp what you were watching.  Are you really the same person now as you were on 9-10?  Didn't that forever change your view of what people are capable of and how evil people can be, if you didn't know before that?  Imagine dealing with that months on end.  It makes my own brain want to shut down just thinking of it.)  Our personnel on the battlefield have to process that and find a way to compartmentalize it so it doesn't take over their lives.   We're sending teenagers into that environment, or people barely out of their teens.  Some won't make it back.   Their stories need to be told in a way that can benefit and instruct.  I suggest Hollywood will never be the place that can happen.  Maybe independent producers and cable and other new media can, but this new movie proves Hollywood will never "get it."  As such they are worse than useless.

USAF Mike said...

That's fine, but he's wrong.  His approach may have worked well for him, but for at least 90% of the guys who are dealing with mental health issues it's dead wrong.  The fact that he was able to choose to not be a victim indicates to me that the trauma wasn't the same as someone who is suffering from PTSD...not saying what he went through wasn't hell (I'm sure it was...Sailors To the End showed that pretty well) but that the way it impacted him wasn't the same as a similar trauma impacted someone who is now suffering from PTSD.

I'm sure that sounds like a bunch of nampy pampy panty waisted shrink talk, but it's the truth.  The smack across the face/"PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!!!" might work fine in the short term, as you manage to scare the individual into performing, but in the long term it's the absolute worst...making someone suffering from PTSD feel worthless because you think they are "choosing" to be a "victim" is a terrible act and one that, yes, does steal their honor.  You are telling them that they are acting the way they are not because of the trauma they went through, but because they are weak as an individual and that their service is therefore less honorable than a "stronger" individual who managed to survive mentally unscathed.

USAF Mike said...

"<span>It wasn't as much an attempt to explore the process of dealing with life and rebuilding as it was an attempt to indict the leaders who "did this to them."  Or indict the process of war itself, which actually has never been a very nice process at all and has always left death and destruction in its wake and as such should always be the "king's last option.""</span>

My understanding of this film (based on the comments of pretty much everyone who has actually seen it, and not just the trailer...to include many service members and vets) is that it's going to be a lot closer to The Best Years of Our Lives than The Deer Hunter.

Incidentally, here's what someone at the time had to say about The Best Years of Our Lives...that the Academy Award winning movie which is now celebrated as one of the best films about the experience of veterans following a war and that has been honored by being selected for preservation in the Library of Congress was "a horse-drawn truckload of liberal schmaltz."

Just some food for thought...

DeltaBravo said...

Can I step in and say you're both right?  I think there is more than one type of trauma and different experiences affect people differently.  MTH, your dad and uncle and the horror they saw as their shipmates burned to death is on par with the horror encountered by EMTs, firemen, police, first responders... it is seared in the mind.  It is true trauma.  It is the stuff most civilians never encountered until maybe 9-11.   But there is another type of trauma that maybe changes the brain differently.  The guys that are out in that violent war environment for months on end.  The ones that came back with the "thousand yard stare" and "shell shock" and what we now call PTSD.  I would suggest that it wasn't a flash-frame of horror of one day, but maybe the brain marinates in stress chemicals and rewires itself accordingly in a way that makes it very difficult for them to extricate themselves without outside help.  They can't just "snap out of it" even though they want to.  The more we have learned about the brain in the last 40 years, the better we can help those who deal with trauma.   Maybe it's comparing apples and oranges with what other vets saw.  But those with their own agenda used those with PTSD for their own ends without helping them and did nobody any favors.  But they did succeed in pitting veterans against each other.  Which is sad.

DeltaBravo said...

Funny... I was thinking of TBYOOL myself.  That movie is good.  But Hollywood and the USA back then was also a lot more conservative place than it is now.  Nowadays that movie wouldn't even get made. 

USAF Mike said...

"<span>Maybe independent producers and cable and other new media can, but this new movie proves Hollywood will never "get it."  As such they are worse than useless."</span>

...except "Hollywood" isn't doing the movie.  It was made by a guy who has a grand total of one other film to his name...hell, the guy who put together Taking Chance was as much a part (maybe more so) of "Hollywood" than this guy.  Which, since I mentioned it, this film is pretty much taking the same path as Taking Chance did...limited screenings, appearance at Sundance, etc.  So to call it a "Hollywood" film, as if it's some big budget George Clooney funded Robert Redford directed studio piece isn't really accurate.

USAF Mike said...

"<span>But Hollywood and the USA back then was also a lot more conservative place than it is now."</span>

Remember though, like I said above, apparently at least one critic at the time thought that The Best Years of Our Lives was "too liberal."  Like I said, food for thought...

chockblock said...

Why did Fort Bliss allow this film to be shot at WBAMC?

Don't they know that the filmmakers HATE the military?

The plot speaks for itself.

A documentary would have been better.

surfcaster said...

True. My point being what could be a script that perhaps Hollywood should come up with (should they treat it with respect) doesn't even need to be made up. All of the elements for a compelling story exist, AND is factful AND could have good meaning, message, and respect. Not likely we'll see something like that, but just more of the typical trash that we get.

DeltaBravo said...

Hey, Guest Troll, you missed our discussion at the time as to why that bill wasn't such a favor and why the "right wing" voted against it.  They did not oppose military benefits.  Go educate yourself. 

Byron said...

Where ya been, Guest? You all rested up from that last butt whipping you got?

Anonymous said...

Delta, so.... Is that like Palin not quitting being Governor when she quit?  They didn't vote against benefits by voting against benefits?  Brilliant!

DeltaBravo said...

For one, the Republican bill allowed benefits to be transferred to spouses and children.  The Democrat bill was attached to defense spending bills that were hotly contested in the Senate, and there were issues on the funding and on the amount of time the military members had to serve before they were eligible. 

For starters.

Andrewdb said...

DB - Workman did a book talk on that at the Pritzker Military Library in Chicago - thier website has the recording.  It is excellant.  With a Navy Cross he has the credability to address his PTSD.

BostonMaggie said...

It wouldn't be the 4th if we didn't roast a troll or two!

MR T's Haircut said...

Mike,

you are an idiot.  Plain and simple.. like your comment.  Idiot.

MR T's Haircut said...

hey Mike, one more thing, when you have walked in that Man's shoes, maybe I will listen to your comment.  But who the F(@(@ are you to say my father is wrong?   Would like to meet you and kick your ass.  just sayin

MR T's Haircut said...

pussy

xformed said...

But back then, we had no idea that brave man would do something even larger than life in the middle of a civilian population.  ONe incredible man.  That's a story that should have been done with all the big names, and the top end support and effects...

C-dore 14 said...

Byron, Yeah...but you have to know about him ahead of time to catch the reference.  I agree with surfcaster that a movie telling his whole story would be an excellent idea.

USAF Mike said...

You can talk about his singular experience all you want, but he's still wrong when it comes to what is best for the majority of those suffering from PTSD.  The slap across the face/"quit bitching" approach may have worked best for him, but the science (and my personal experience with mental health issues) backs me up when I say that his approach is dead wrong when it comes to the majority of those who are dealing with both PTSD specifically and mental health issues in particular.  Belabor the point all you want, but the science isn't going to change, as much as you (and Patton) might want it to.  Thankfully we've (even if you and your father haven't) moved past that point in our understanding of mental health related issues.

You can label me a "victim" for being unable to just snap out of my depression spiral (as much as I wanted to), but that doesn't make it true.

Byron said...

I completely agree. And the movie should tie in with Rick's experiences in Vietnam. When you look up the definition of "true hero", you should see Rick Rescorlas face.

MR T's Haircut said...

Mike,

everything is a disorder.. I call it pussification.  you figure it out at your next meeting on the couch with your mental health advisor... me,, I am gonna drink a cold beer and agree with my old man..

DeltaBravo said...

Mike, don't ever tell someone their beloved father was "wrong" and then when you see you've stepped on toes keep belaboring the point.  What are you going to do next?  Tell him his mom wore army boots? 

For his dad, that was HIS reality.  Respect it.   If it worked for him, then good.  Everyone brings their own unique coping devices to any situation.   As much damage can be done by people following those who encounter trauma around trying to convince them they are broken when they don't feel broken as can be done by denying care to those who don't adjust as well.  Each person has to find their own way.  You are personalizing this way too much. 

FOD said...

Grim at Blackfive a few years ago put up what I think is one of the classic posts on PTSD.  Both MTH and Mike might even agree with what he's written.

It's worth a read http://www.blackfive.net/main/2007/11/on-ptsd-or-more.html

FOD said...

Of course from the clip we know that all veterans go back to the trailers they came from.    Had to be a trailer in the middle of dirt.  Couldn't have been the suburbs, a city block, or a farm.  Nobody like that ("with options in life") would join the military...

F*ck Hollywood.

FOD said...

<span>Of course from the clip we know that all veterans go back to the trailers they came from.    Had to be a trailer in the middle of dirt.  Couldn't have been the suburbs, a city block, or a farm.  Nobody like that ("with options in life" ) would join the military...</span>
<span></span>
<span>F*ck Hollywood.</span>

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Wounded is wounded. The point is to treat your wounded with respect, and to provide them
with the best of care for as long as they need it.

The vile denigration of veterans as damaged goods, and the contempt shown for them after Vietnam as the result of the treasonous propaganda from the left ("Platoon", for example, and "Hawaii 5-0"'s stock kill crazy Viet Nam vet villain), makes the psychic wounds worse.

Honoring Vets helps heal.

So we should, with out fail, honor them.

Therapist1 said...

I agree GBW. I just think we should not formulate an opinion until the movie is available.  I did not see anything that over the top especially for someone suffering from PTSD.  He came home and was happy to be there.  After a few weeks he settles in but is still "switched on" and has difficullty sleeping, intrusive memories etc.  He then gets drunk and tries to kill himself.  No one around him understands what he is going through so he finds his comrade and they act like fools for a while......  From my perspective, what happens from there will be where this movie is judged.

Andrewdb said...

My grandfather served many years in the Naval Reserve. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, he went active duty the year before Pearl Harbor. By the time he was sent back to the US he had seven stars on his Asia-Pacific medal and had been at some pretty rough places - although, like many combat vets, to hear him tell it WWII was just lots of funny anecdotes - more like a MASH episode, really (yeah, right). He died in 2003 at the age of 99. At his funeral my cousin told about the time a plane flew low over the house (in the early 1950's) - Grandpa dove under the dinning room table. Grandma, bless her, just said "oh, he's been that way ever since the war". I pulled his VA file after he died, and the notes when he got back home show severe and textbook PTSD (although we didn't call it that in those days).

Yet he went on to have a full and productive life and career for another 50+ years, with no mental health treatment that I know of.

One thing he did when he got back was join every lodge, VFW, etc. group he could find. He also became very active in church. As one of the Navy chaplains around here points out, today we call it "group therapy;" back then it was called the American Legion meeting, although it often involved drinking (Grandpa was a teetotaler) and that can lead to other problems.

I know I am preaching to the choir - PTSD is real, but it isn't always permanent.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span>USAF Mike,  
 
Once again, you have managed to aggravate deeply with your out of tune remarks and oh-so-strong opinions on something you have little experience in.   
 
In a combat zone, you see things, smell things, do things, hear things that will stay with you the rest of your life.  They come back at odd times, triggered by unexpected trips of sensory recall.  The fear, anger, desperation, all the mix of emotion and heightened alert flow back all at once.  
 
"Help" aimed at trying to expel those memories and images has become far too prevalent a notion.  Medications are bullsh*t.  "Encounter groups" where combat vets are encouraged to "open up" to a gathering of strangers and dwell on such things do far more harm than good.  And yes, the underlying theme of current efforts is that of victimhood, and it is an easy one for a young service member to fall into, particularly in our increasingly victim-rich society.  
 
PTSD, which is a misleading and inaccurate term used for a whole gamut of post-combat reactions, is not something that is very well understood, and is used by many who already loathe the military to relegate veterans to the position of "damaged goods".  
 
My Father had nightmares from his time in the South Pacific (New Guinea, New Britain, and the Admiralties) every night for 60+ years.  He spoke very little of those things, even to my Mother.  It was only after her passing and my return from Iraq that he began to speak at all of those times.  And even then he alluded, knowing that I knew what he meant.   
 
Like hundreds of thousands of others, he learned to live with what he had been through during the war, and to understand the context of all of it.  He lived a magnificent and productive life, because he believed everything he had was bonus time.   
 
The most effective therapy was that based on inner strength and persistence, not in "giving in", "opening up", and emoting among the collective of strangers.  That is why combat veterans often prefer the companionship of other combat vets.  All of the things that are known can remain unspoken, yet understood.  As opposed to constantly verbalizing to people who can never understand.</span>

Byron said...

On this, our nations birthday, we should all celebrate the hard-fought freedoms our forefathers fought to attain and keep. Among those rights is the one to act like an ass, which Airforce Mike uses on a regular basis.

Happy Fourth of July, Mike!

USAF Mike said...

Nope, it portrays someone suffering from PTSD as something other than a stoic strong willed non-"pussy."  It must automatically be bad.

/sarcasm.

Like I've said before, the movie in its entirety has been screened for countless service members and combat vets, pretty much all of whom have had nothing but good things to say about it.  Let's hold off on the condemnation until the movie is actually out and we can make a judgment from something other than a 2:30 trailer.

USAF Mike said...

I agree 100% with that.  You know why?  It doesn't try to generalize people suffering from PTSD or any other mental health issue as pussies who should just man up and get over themselves...each situation is unique because each individual is unique and must be addressed as such.  Making sweeping generalizations like anyone who has these issues is a pussy or everyone who has the issues must join a focus group and get on meds is going to do much more harm than good because you're going to either stigmatize individuals from seeking help (in the first case) or take someone whose issues weren't that deep and make them worse through victimization (in the second case.) 

But I reiterate my earlier stance that simply sweeping the issue away by labeling them all "pussies" is fundamentally wrong as a general method of treatment.

USAF Mike said...

So labeling anyone and everyone suffering from PTSD or any other mental health issue as a pussy is completely normal and acceptable, but pointing out that that view isn't really correct (when generalized to the population as a whole) is being an ass?

Ah, I get it now!  Thanks.  For the record, I never said MTH's father was wrong about himself...I don't know his situation, so to pass judgment on that would be a fool's errand.  What he did worked well for him, and that's great.  I simply said that he was wrong when talking about the population as a whole, because, well, he was.  That's really my entire point, that each individual and situation is unique and must be addressed as such and that blanket labeling as "pussies" or "victims" is ineffectual at best and harmful at worst.

Oh, and medications are bullshit?  Try again.  The only reason I'm alive today is because I spent 5 months on an antidepressant...without that I would've put a gun to my head a long time ago.  Medications are most definitely not a long term treatment, but they do buy time and help your brain rewire when used in concert with other forms of treatment.  This is of course provided that they are the *right* medication, which is a very important point.  Medications aren't for everyone, and no one who doesn't want them should be required to take them, but for those that do they can be a vital part of treatment and shouldn't be dismissed as "bullshit."

But yes, by all means, contradict the available science on the issue with your personal opinion.  I'll just keep on being an ass with my science and facts.

USAF Mike said...

No longer on the couch with the shrink because I got help over a period of about 6 months and am now good to go...whereas if I had followed your father's advice and not sought help/just manned up I'd still be a wreck and probably would've blown my head off a while ago.

But yeah, I'm a pussy for getting help instead of committing suicide.  Yup, sounds about right to me.  I hope no one under you is suffering from a mental health issue, because the word "stigmatization" comes to mind.

What your father did was right for him...I'm not going to contradict that because I don't know him or his situation, which is my point.  Each situation is unique, and blanket statements, whether calling everyone who is suffering a "pussy" or for making everyone who is suffering go on meds, are always going to harmful, and always going to be wrong.  Sorry.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

USAF Mike,

When medications are spoken of as "the way we will have to deal with (his/her) PTSD", then medications are bulls*t.  They may control behavior than needs controlling in the VERY short term.  Period.  They are no more appropriate than experiments in DIH done some decades ago that had very detrimental long-term effects on the subjects. 

The VA and the medical community at large is still in the dark about most of the subject they wax so authoritative about.  Often they don't know and won't acknowledge the difference between survival behaviors (ducking at the sound of a car backfiring, or in many cases here, checking the sides of roads, tops of buildings, etc.), emotional reactions to trigger stimuli, or true "flashbacks" where someone is unsure or unaware of location and situation.  They lump it all into PTSD, and that is entirely incorrect.  I don't care WHO tries to tell me otherwise. 

I guest lectured to the VAQS annual meeting a couple of years ago, spoke for about an hour and then had a general discussion/Q&A period scheduled for 20 minutes.  The session took three hours.  The misconceptions from trained professionals, and some of the attitudes openly expressing returning servicemen and women as "victims" has been indicative of those elsewhere in the medical community. 

I actually had a number of people tell me that battle fatigue and shellshock were synonymous.  Until I explained that battle fatigue was psychological in nature, and shellshock was a physical manifestation of enduring a great number of large concussions much like a boxer taking repeated punches to the head.  In the years following that discussion, much more is being understood by medical authorities about closed-head brain injuries, that are not necessarily caused by being struck by shrapnel or debris of the explosion, but by the shock wave itself. 

These were things that were well known in the late 1940s to the late 1970s, but those in the VA and other places who dealt with those effects retired long ago, and until 2002 there were virtually no cases of such injuries/wounds with which to keep awareness among the medical community.

MR T's Haircut said...

I smell an Attention whore...

USAF Mike said...

<span>Did you happen to hear the NPR piece on TBI a few weeks ago?  Here's the story I first heard: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127542820 and here's a summation of all the reports and some other follow up stuff: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127402851.  It was pretty well done, did a good job of laying out what you were talking about, with PTSD/battle fatigue being psychological in nature while TBI/shell shock is physical, but will often manifest itself in symptoms typically considered to be psychological.  A lot of the problems that the soldiers suffering from TBI had with (not) receiving treatment centered around being misdiagnosed with PTSD, being pushed into a PTSD treatment (often involving meds), it not working, and everyone subsequently accusing them of faking it and needing to man up and get over themselves (i.e., quit being "pussies".)  Food for thought...  
 
Re: meds, unless we're talking about some serious misdiagnosis or overmedication, they don't "control" or "change" behavior...you don't turn into a doped up zombie or suddenly think everything is funny or any of the other stereotypes.  All they do is modify the physical pathways in your brain concerning certain emotions by fixing the chemical imbalance...they provide physical/chemical assistance to whatever other mental/psychological course of treatment is being pursued.  When they aren't used as one part in a whole course of treatment, they're useless at best and harmful at worst.  And obviously they have no place treating someone whose injury is physical rather than mental (TBI).  But to summarily dismiss them for any and all personnel is removing a very valuable tool from your toolbox.</span>

USAF Mike said...

Should add, medications should be an option, not mandatory.  So yes, when <span>medications are spoken of as "the way we will have to deal with (his/her) PTSD," (emphasis added) then they are bullshit.  However, presenting them as one possible option (depending on the situation obviously) in a whole host of treatment options isn't bullshit at all.  And like I've said before, labeling them with the overarching title of "anti-depressants" isn't really accurate, because there is now a whole host of drugs out there that have many different therapeutic effects and are intended for treatment of a variety of conditions...what works best for one condition will not work best for another.  That's why having a psychiatrist who knows his stuff is key when getting a prescription. </span>

Also, using medications in the VERY short term isn't really a viable option, since antidepressant-type medications usually take at least 6-8 weeks to start taking effect...giving someone a month's prescription and calling it good isn't going to accomplish anything.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

AC,

Oh, cut the crap.  The debate is about the nature of that "help" and how perpetuating victimhood is more than counterproductive. 

Yes, the veterans themselves.  Occasionally, we don't live in trailers, don't get drunk and discharge firearms, beat our wives, turn to drugs or crime or anything.

Some of us even have the unmitigated audacity to read thoroughly and think deeply on the subject, and (gasp!) disagree with prevailing opinion.  Amazingly enough, we are still able to do this despite our own experiences and the scorn of more "educated" experts.

DeltaBravo said...

Exactly!  It's not about being a "victim."  And the same press that tries to tell these men they're "broken" is the same one that loves to hammer away at the wars themselves and tell those same vets that all their loss and suffering was in vain.  I once saw a video where Marcus Luttrell gave a talk and he said his doctor was trying to tell him he had PTSD (and if anyone had a right, PO Luttrell did).  He said he was fine till he turned on the tv and listened to the naysayers there. 

Probably more damaging than what our military experiences is to come home and see it totally negated by those who claim to "hate the war" but "love the troops."

Alpha Check said...

Nice chatting with a veteran in a respectful manner.  I appreciate your comments.  If you're busy thinking deeply, perhaps you should avoid knee jerk phrases like "cut the crap."  There are real problems that need to be dealt with.  Statements like: "<span>Occasionally, we don't live in trailers, don't get drunk and discharge firearms, beat our wives, turn to drugs or crime or anything. " don't help anything.  We're all well aware that there are many veterans that don't have issues re-integrating with society, we're also aware of the many examples where some counseling could have prevented a catastrophic event.  If you'd stop telling people to "cut the crap," perhaps those young soldiers would seek the care they need.</span>

MR T's Haircut said...

AC, get some nuts...  you and Mike need to harden up.. Yalu River 1950's come to mind. 

MR T's Haircut said...

Mike, you take exception to the term "pussies"... strongly.. you have mentioned that term in almost every post.. grab your big boy panties and pull them up snug. 

CDR Salamander said...

Do you realize how insultingly patronizing you sound?  Adults do not like being treated as children.

You should read B.G. Burkett's "Stolen Valor" with a focus on PTSD.  Then you might understand why YOU are causing some of the vets here stress.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

AC,

You know good and well that my statements about not living in a trailer park, etc., were a commentary on the Hollywood portrayal of US servicemen.  If you don't, perhaps some deep thinking on your part is in order. 

Perhaps the young soldiers hearing that their problems aren't unique and that having some trouble with the aftereffects of combat is perfectly natural, and hearing those things from other veterans and not psychologists who treat them as if they are unfortunates will be the help they need. 

Perhaps giving into the psychobabble victim mantra is indeed crap.

Alpha Check said...

Vets here now claim to be stressed by two online postings, and you just want them to toughen up.  OK.  Sounds like they're a little sensitive, and easily lash out with comments like "cut the crap."  Hmm.  It's tough when veterans themselves demonstrate the characteristics they say aren't appropriate.  I'm not saying you have PTSD because of a web posting, but it sounds like a disproportionate response to a comment.

Alpha Check said...

URR, "Cut the crap."  Bottom line: There are people that need help.  You're adding to the stigma of mental health care in the military.

CDR Salamander said...

AC - have you ever actually been in the military .... because you are having a very hard time understanding any of the "nuance" in comments here.  .... or you intentionally acting this way because you find it fun to act like a troll.

Either way - you should think more and emote less.

MR T's Haircut said...

I dont want my leadership to have a victim mentality, I want them to, well, LEAD... Victim bullshit and everyone gets a medal is a bunch of Hooie... period.

MR T's Haircut said...

AC,

ask the Chinese when they come to your town how they were so effective.. They will say in Mandarin, cause you so easily crybaby!  You make easy to take your land.. now go to your hut you must make factory tommorrow....

UltimaRatioRegis said...

AC,

Strength is a virtue.  If you don't believe there is any difference between weak and strong I want you nowhere near me or any of my Marines when the shooting starts.  The bottom line is that we must have strength of character and personality to fight and win our wars. 

The portrayal you see in the movie clip, and the attitudes I have found in several places regarding military veterans returning from combat (and a disturbingly large number who never saw or heard ROUND ONE being fired but somehow managed to get PTSD) is CRAP.

I want my Marines to be treated like they deserve, not like some poor simp too stupid to have avoided service or some victim of terrible misfortune to have deployed overseas.

MR T's Haircut said...

here here.....

Andrewdb said...

URR - your father's experience sounds very similar to my grandfather's.  Seeing the handwriting on the wall, he went active duty the year before Pearl Harbor and returned from the Pacific with 7 stars on his Asia-Pacific campaign ribbon.  My grandmother let slip once that he still had nightmares (this would have been in the late 1980s).  After he died (in 2003, at the age of 99) I pulled his VA file as part of a genealogy project.  The write up from when he returned in 1945 was severe PTSD (in today's terminology).  Yet he managed to live a very productive and full life for some 50+ years after WWII.

One of the chaplains around here points out that one difference was that in the past returning vets joined the Lodge or the VFW or the American Legion, and then spent years doing what today we call "group work" with their freinds and peers.

sh60bpope said...

Regardless... it isn't about who or how "wounded" our vets come home - be it PTSD, bad dreams, moments of anger, confusion, doubt, fear, or helplessness...  It's about the portrayal; one movie begets two, begets three, becomes an icon and a generation of 100 million that live the war thru the "reality" of those movies that have ABSOLUTELY ZERO idea what happened.  Truth be told, everyone comes home changed from war, period - there are no pussies - just DIFFERENT men and women.  Truth be told, there are those that have worse experiences, and those that are'nt so bad, but you'll never know the difference because everyone reacts differently, and deals with their memory in their own way.  A battle buddy gets you close, but not all the way.. he may have been right next to you, and still think something completely different went down. 

What is harmful about movies like this is that they may reach a very few, but pollute an awful lot in believing a lie - that we are all the same; that we all see every kinetic action thru the exact same lens, that the man standing next to you has the same recollection of the same moment, and yes, that we all walk away damaged to the core.

I don't care about the politics.  I'm just tired of being told I'm broken; tired of being asked stupid questions, and tired of people making assumptions.  Ask me where I've been, and what I've seen - I'll tell you it's nothing compared to my brothers.  And I'll tell you it's nothing compared to theirs, and I'll gladly tell you specifics.. without waving a gun, without getting angry, and mostly likely without getting arrested or trying to off myself.  I'll also tell you that it isn't my right to judge them, or their actions.  Before, during, or after.  Like I said... we sign to serve, and live with the aftermath, only because we know that someone had to.. who else is going to do it?

Humans, people - same genus, but all individual.  Founded more than a few countries on that principal. 
MHO

San Diego Sailor said...

What is objectionable about this movie is that its sole purpose appears to be forwarding a political agenda using a group that is not accurately portrayed and that probably does not care to have itself used for such political purposes.  They could not stop the war from starting, so now they will show what the war hath wrought. Very disingenuous and deceptive, and follows a long  line of very similar Hollywood scripts since Viet Nam.  Why not have a movie about the families of Iraqis whose relatives were thrown off bridges with their hands handcuffed behind their back or Kurds whose families were gassed by the chemical agents Saddam "never had."  But that won't sell in suburbia or anyplace that is not Oceanside, California or Fayetteville, NC and even there they don't need to see the movie because they have lived it and understand that the rest of the country knows virtually nothing about where they have been.  Even movies like "The Hurt Locker" attempt to show soldiers as reckless and unbalanced.  Hollywood is garbage in nearly anything they do.  Even the favor they would argue they are doing in making veterans with problems visible is a backhanded slap.