Quotes from the above link and story, including update on the Madigan Army Base PTSD evaluations.
“After his brain injury in 2010 Bales did not think ( per the article) he was being sent back into a war zone, he actually had already started training to be a Recruiter. And then in December they sent him to Afghanistan. It is unclear in this article why or who made this decision. My Question is did he receive his Medical Treatment and care at Madigan ? Is he one of the ones who suffered PTSD and did not receive proper diagnosis and care ? In the news reports it is said that he saw a friends leg blown off the day prior to the Killing Incident, which begs the question what happened the day before ? Was he witness to a bloody battle or was he wounded as well ? There is too much silence and too many Questions at this point.”
“Troubling new data show there are an average of 950 suicide attempts each month by veterans who are receiving some type of treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department.Seven percent of the attempts are successful, and 11 percent of those who don’t succeed on the first attempt try again within nine months.”
The Sgt. Robert Bales tragedy is terrible news, but will force our nation to take a closer look at extended deployments and the longer term effects on soldiers. This is not a new problem to be sure. In my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, my father spent 66 months in continuous combat duty during World War II. Dad was broken and wounded with life time emotional challenges when he came home. None of us in our family or the community understood him nor his behaviors. He was okay at work while still in the US Navy and later in his career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. But at home he was not the same man. He acted out and vented his anger on my mother and we siblings. We could only conclude the least path of resistance, Dad was just mean and drank too much… As his son, I feel terrible for not knowing enough while Dad was alive to respond differently, and possibly be more compassionate toward him. It is also apparent that family members are affected with secondary PTSD as the result of living with a troubled combat veteran who does not receive adequate treatment or chooses not to. Long deployments are inhuman and cause moral injury and invisible wounds. Our nation must now take a giant step to change the policies regarding combat theater deployments. Our communities must also step up and take more responsibility for learning how to reintegrate combat veterans who are coming home. The real cost of war far exceeds deaths, physical injury, and emotional wounds in combat; and the huge impact on the national debt for which future generations will pay dearly as a legacy of war.
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story