As more details come out about the Army Sergeant who allegedly killed 16 Afghani citizens, we are made further aware of PTSD, the silent killer of our armed forces. I grew up in a home with my dad who flew 33 missions over Germany in World War II, and of course there was no such thing as a military psychologist, at least my dad never saw one and didn't see anything more to do about the periodic nightmares, panic attacks and such than to self medicate with gin, beer and whiskey for the remainder of his heart attack shortened life. He was absolutely a victim of Post Trauma as a waist gunner in the 8th Air Force stationed in England during the war. As an enlisted man, he was constantly being jailed for alcohol-fueled incidents, going awol and other acts of mild insubordination. Of course, all they ever did was clean him up and put him back into a B-17 because he was a true warrior, winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross twice with Oak Leaf Cluster. Nobody took the time to look under the hood, so to speak, and help him with the demons that would rear their head in his personal life years later after he had returned to the normal life of husband, father and country pharmacist. Without leveling any blame, I want to underscore the responsibility of the government for the damaged psyches of our war veterans. They must watch for all the warning signs of mental and moral breakdown that may accompany post traumatic stress disorder. And that's certainly something to think about. I'm W J O'Reilly
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