Monday, July 02, 2012

This is not the July 4th you are looking for

It is a hobby now, in a fashion. Since the start of this blog we've touched on the topic - and in the run up to the 4th, the media plays their part.

You can almost see the editor pursing his lips and nodding his head, "The hoi polloi are getting all their tacky red-white-&-blue stuff ready, singing that sappy Greenwood song, and celebrating all this neo-colonial, militaristic claptrap; good Gaia I can't stand this time of the year. Wait ... I've managed to avoid putting any context on July 4th in this publication, but you know some fat tea-bagger will complain. Context? They want context? I'll give them context."
This Fourth of July, many combat veterans like Sabin will try to stay far away from fireworks displays. Fireworks take them back to combat, when the sounds of explosions meant sudden death and injury, not colorful rockets lighting up the sky on a peaceful, happy holiday.

“I get nervous and anxious and then I start thinking about mortars. And then the explosions — you start reliving it,” said Sabin, who is being treated for post-traumatic stress at the Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Milwaukee. “I start sweating, I get anxious and then hypervigilant. Then the next thing, I’ve got to go. Even if I’m looking at them, I still have problems.”

Psychiatrists at VA hospitals in Milwaukee and Madison know the Fourth of July holiday is difficult for veterans, so they begin talking to their patients several weeks in advance to come up with plans to handle fireworks. Some veterans check themselves in to the VA to avoid them, and some increase their work hours to make sure they’re busy at night when fireworks are shot off. Others hunker down in their homes, avoiding crowds or family gatherings where someone might ignite a bottle rocket or M-80. Some self-medicate to get themselves through the stress, or go off into the woods and camp to get away from civilization.

“It can be a really challenging and difficult holiday,” said Eileen Ahearn, a psychiatrist and medical director of mental health at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison.

“Parades, big celebrations, even a hero’s welcome can be difficult for veterans with PTSD. While we’re thinking we’re doing a good thing, it can be difficult for the veterans,” Ahearn said.
You know what makes things difficult for most veterans? The fact it seems that all we hear about from the press is PTSD. Not the PTSD we know, but the same theme that was used by the left to smear the Vietnam veterans.

For the record - you know what really gets me - a car backfiring. That and the sound of running water and the smell of something electrical burning. Good news is that new cars, it appears, almost never backfire - so each year that gets less and less of an issue.

You know what isn't getting less and less? The attitude of the left who wants the veteran either to be marginalized as damaged goods - or brought slowly in to the welfare and entitlement mentality.

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