A Message to the Vets Who are Nuts


by OPOVV, ©2015

Is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs effectively treating veterans with PTSD or simply masking the problem with addictive prescriptions?

(Jul. 6, 2015) — Everyone’s time in the military is an unique experience. Some have it relatively easy compared to those who had limbs blown off, but there are some common denominators that they all share. One such common experience is what I refer to as the “So-this-is-what-prison-must-feel-like,” meaning, of course, that you can’t leave and go home any time you want to after you’re sworn in and bused off to your first base (no, you read it right: base and not campus). As a matter of fact, you can’t leave at all until months after being cooped up with other like-minded crazed individuals who are being re-socialized by the indoctrination process widely known as “You’re in the military now.”

The shock value of going from civilian to a captive of the military is a life-changing experience. Think of it as going to summer camp but it lasts longer, then you get some kind of sense of what it’s like. But it’s got to be done; the bullet must be bitten. I volunteered for it. It was how I was raised: there’s no such thing as a “free lunch.”

The downside is that you’re away from everything that you hold dear: the upside is that you wouldn’t have anything to hold dear in the first place if it weren’t for the military and, since you’re part of it now, the part that allows everything else to happen (because of freedom), you’re helping yourself while you’re at it, if you get my meaning. It comes down to the basic “someone’s got to do it.” You serve your time, do your patriotic duty, get out and become a law-abiding productive citizen by paying your taxes and supporting America. It used to be America’s “citizen military,” a place where the troops knew the Constitution and what constituted an “illegal order,” but that’s another editorial.

Sounds good, and looks good in print: join; serve; out. But sometimes there’s a catch. Sometimes it reads: join; serve; and can’t get out; what then? They even have names for it: shell shock; post-traumatic stress syndrome; messed-up; nuts. But no matter what you call it, it’s real. The “nut” factor invades the brain where such thoughts creep in as “I don’t deserve happiness when so many others got it worse than I did,” and the abused excuse “Why me?” The flip side would be to ask, “Why not me?”

So you got the “nut factor,” now what? Well, don’t do what I did, which was nothing. The women in my life suffered because I couldn’t adjust: it wasn’t their fault. I thought that I was one of the “lucky” ones: got out of it without a scratch, or nearly so. I got injured and was asked if I wanted the “Purple Heart.” Hey, I just got a cut, big deal, so “No thank you”: there were others wounded worse than I. Of course nowadays those with the “Purple Heart” get to go to the head of the line at the VA, so maybe I should‘ve accepted it. But that’s another story, too.

This story is about those who come back with PTSD and what to do and, much more importantly, WHAT NOT TO DO. What to do is to seek others like yourself and talk openly about it. I had nightmares for 17 years after I got out and managed to do everything wrong possible which, as it turned out, was nothing. I cured myself, kind-of, but at the great price of ruined relationships. But the worst thing that’s happened to me, because of the PTSD, was to get entangled in what I call the VA’s “P-cubed: PPP (Pill Pushing Policy).”

Do not, DO NOT get into the horrible-dependent cycle of pills. Now I’m not a doctor of psychiatry, nor a pharmacist, but I’m here to tell you that quitting the bar scene, stopping any alcohol intake, even beer, and quitting smoking and any drugs including marijuana will be but your first step to getting back to some sort of normal life.

But you can kiss whatever you thought was “normal” out the window; it doesn’t exist for you anymore. You’re brain-damaged: you’re “nuts,” you have PTSD; face it. Deal with it, and the worst way to deal with it is to mask it by pretending it doesn’t exist by losing yourself in some pill-induced, make-believe world that “everything’s okay.” The reality is that everything is not okay: the world is becoming unglued, and it may very well be that we’ll need every Veteran available to save it. And if you have PTSD for whatever reason, flush the pills, get yourself into a support group, and don’t go off killing yourself because you’re still needed to defend the Constitution.

One more time: stay around, because we may very well need you in the fight to save our country. Quit the drugs, including the never-ending cycle of pills from the VA. Do yourself, family, friends and country a favor: get back to the World by getting straight. These 22 suicides a day is 22 too many.

[Furthermore . . . If you get on the VA’s pill program, the government can use that as an excuse to raid your home to confiscate any guns, at 3:00 a.m., and shoot your dog. Just a head’s-up warning. Do I trust our government? I did until Obama.]

Semper Fi


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