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Home > Issues > From One "Disordered" Soldier to Another

From One "Disordered" Soldier to Another
by Daniel Newby, March 16, 2007 (Updated on 4/17/2007)

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"By facing reality, man begins the journey toward independence and empowerment. He no longer needs pills to deaden his mental faculties. He does not need to retreat into an emotionless cocoon of denial. Nor must he pretend to be 'normal' like the comatose masses around him... He will resist disorder by pursuing a clear and uncompromising path toward justice and accountability.  And he will deal harshly with those who manipulate and abuse others."

Soldiers finishing their "tours" in Iraq can look forward to a less-than-ideal homecoming. The war in Iraq did not go well, and little there or here seems to be making much sense. They invested more in our political policies than did the average citizen, and for their effort, they saw, heard, smelled, and felt things no person should ever have to experience.

They will be confused and even angry.  In response, psychological practitioners in white gowns and suits will peer over their charts and declare many of them to suffer from "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" (PTSD). With this diagnosis, they are magically transformed into "disordered" war veterans.

Hordes of psychiatrists, counselors, and even other veterans, will take this pronouncement as the green flag to encourage these soldiers to apply for all sorts of government subsidies, including mind-numbing medication, individual and group therapy, and disability pension.

While these bureaucratic remedies may prove marginally useful, they cannot help soldiers deal with the core causes of their distress and pain. "Disordered" soldiers are mistakenly assumed to be abnormal as compared to those who did not experience the stresses of combat.  In other words, non-soldiers are theoretically more "ordered" because they avoided the death, gore, and loss associated with that environment.
Note: As pointed out by another veteran, the PTSD label may be added to a soldier's permanent record, and there are efforts in Congress to make those records available to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF).  Undoubtedly, gun control advocates would like to ban veterans branded with the PTSD label from owning firearms in the future.

Those are convenient theories for those who profit from dishing out labels and supposed treatment. But they are dead wrong.  While the stresses of combat are incomprehensible, there are other experiences, more closer to home, that are at least as damaging to the human psyche and spirit.

Let's consider an event that might trigger the PTSD label for a soldier coming home from Iraq. A roadside bomb detonates, leaving several children and parents dead or screaming in shock and agony. How do you deal with the emotions of that moment? How could you possibly console yourself, or those impacted by the explosion? When you leave that environment and return home to "the real world", you remove yourself from the sights, sounds, and smells that accompanied the incident, but you cannot erase the memory of it.

Compare this chaos with something I, and many other political activists, have experienced back here in "the real world." We get a call in the middle of the night from parents who just had their children seized from them by the "Department of Child and Family Services" (DCFS). We listen to their desperate screams and wails, and do what little we can to give them a shoulder to cry on.

We withhold the fact that children in the foster care system are far more likely to be raped and otherwise abused than children in the general public. We rarely reveal that one of the first places their children will go is to a pseudo-private psychiatric facility, where they will be diagnosed with some mental disorder so that the facility and DCFS can receive tens of thousands of dollars in additional federal funding. Or that the children will thereafter be drugged out of their minds to make them more "compliant" for their government kidnappers.

Unlike soldiers in Iraq, we can't walk away from this explosion. Over the next months and even years, we will, with little hope, attempt to help these parents fight against a merciless system that is hopelessly stacked against them. We must eventually explain to them that they have fewer rights* than an already-convicted felon accused of stealing a television set. We must witness the misery of vile bureaucrats who lie to parents and children without shame, in an effort to trick them into signing away their rights or becoming more submissive.
Source: As an example, consider statutes and statistics from the so-called family-friendly State of Utah.  See "Utah Legislature Declares War on Your Family!" by Accountability Utah. The entire article is enlightening, as every state has now erected similar barriers against innocent parents.

We must watch as a judge without ethics or moral character presides as the ruthless dictator over a jury-less secret juvenile court, and permanently terminates any hope these parents have of ever seeing their children again. We must watch their children break down and sob in agony as they are torn from their parents for perhaps the last time. Sometimes, we even hold burials for their children, as in the case of Casey Barrows*, who was repeatedly abused by multiple "providers," and finally murdered in Utah's abhorrent foster "care" system.
Note: For a refresher on the importance of juries, see "Why Are Jury Trials Crucial to Your Freedom?" by Accountability Utah.
See "Casey's Sister, Caylee, is Freed & Attends Memorial Service," also by Accountability Utah.

This is only one facet of an entire battlefield of local human carnage. Do soldiers think their nightmares are bad? At least they can go home and bury their heads in a new beach of sand. Those of us who deal with the nightmares here have no such refuge or escape. We get no special kudos, support groups, or subsidies; nor do we ask for them.  We often know the victims intimately, and they might live just down the street.  We can pick up the phone at any time to hear their emptiness and agony all over again.

Sure, soldiers have it rough. They were sent away by a disordered people and society that is in complete decay. The leaders who gave them orders, the corporations* that profited by providing their equipment, the pastors who told them Jesus would be proud, and the masses who voted these individuals and organizations into power, are all corrupt and degenerate.
Note: Our modern industrial war complex was aptly described in 1935 by Major General Smedley Butler, in his short book: "War is a Racket".

Like many of us political activists, soldiers were thrust into an environment that stripped them of their blissful ignorance. They can no longer slap an "I Voted" sticker on their pompous chests and forget about their poor choices. They, like us, have been forced to taste some of the blackest fruits of our collective failure.

They are beginning to realize that their neighbors are in a state of stupor; not inclined to fight, or in any meaningful way resist, the nefarious people and systems they have empowered. Their religions have the gall to call their own inaction "civility," and to ridicule and ostracize others who attempt to confront the evils consuming our society.

In Iraq, soldiers paid, in part, for every stupid vote, every bureaucrat's tolerated lie, and every other dismal political decision made in America. In time, many will realize, as we do, that our politicians do not support the ideals they claim to believe in public settings. And few of us military soldier or activist soldier will ever enjoy the Souza fluff-world of flag waving and apple pie the way we used to.

The future of freedom and justice is in too serious a jeopardy to ignore and remain sane.  Those who ignore everything but beer and television are truly disordered; both mentally and emotionally AWOL (absent without leave).

If we use a label like PTSD, it should have a more proper definition, such as,  "Attempting to ignore reality by pretending that a disordered, chaotic environment is actually ordered and serene."  Those who recognize our precarious state, and do what they can to improve our world, may be traumatized or stressed, but they are not "disordered."

By facing reality, man begins the journey toward independence and empowerment.  He no longer needs pills to deaden his mental faculties.  He does not need to retreat into an emotionless cocoon of denial.  Nor must he pretend to be "normal" like the comatose masses around him.

The empowered man will not be effeminately passive or detestably subservient.  He will resist disorder by pursuing a clear and uncompromising path toward justice and accountability.  And he will deal harshly with those who manipulate and abuse others.

When enough of us are ready to exert our independence and power together, the world we all dream about, and still yearn to find, will become reality.




Additional Resources:

  • "I Recognize Justice; Therefore I Am", highlights the importance for all men to engage in the masculine struggle for justice.

  • "12 Questions Statesmen Ask Before Going to War" offers questions we should carefully consider prior to shedding blood.

  • "War is a Racket" contains counsel and warnings of Major General Smedley Butler, who, at the time of his death, was the most highly decorated Marine in U.S. history.  Butler's extensive combat experience, and long list of military accomplishments, is often more difficult for soldiers to ignore.


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