That Feeling of ‘Aliveness’ Combat Veterans Miss Most:

(8 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Ilona Meagher, of PTSD Combat: Winning the War Within, shares with us, from her Blogspot, the writings of another blogger, a Combat Veteran, Scott Lee, a Gulf War I Veteran , who writes about his experiances with PTS and returning to civilian life after the military and combat experiances and more.

Can it Be Recaptured in Ho-Hum Civilian Life?

A powerful post by Scott Lee, a Gulf War veteran who blogs over at PTSD, A Soldier’s Perspective, arrived on Friday. We Cannot Make it Through the Confines of Our Minds Without the Help of Others is so full and rich and speaks entirely to my current research that I hope he doesn’t mind my reprinting it here to share with you:

I am a Gulf War I vet, I felt the same as you when I returned home from combat. For me it was the total sense of feeling alive and being a part of my squad that I missed, although I did not figure this out until after 15 years of insanity.

Ilona commented at his blog on the post, just above, by Scott, the one in the blockquotes, and it seems they are both sharing their thoughts on each others blogs for all. Ilona’s is above and Scott has this Some Insights From Ilona Meagher on Presence of Mind posted at his.

The more I write here, the more blessings God gives me. Lately I have been talking with people on the national scene, some of the leading PTSD advocates. A high profile PTSD lawyer, some of the leading proponents in the veterans court movement, and authors. Such as the veteran blogger of PTSD: Winning the War Within, Ilona Meagher, who had commented on one of my latest articles. Additionally, Ilona has authored Moving A Nation to Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and America’s Returning Troops. I do not think that she will mind me dropping her name (I hope).

You will find both writings informative and open.

As Ilona points out you really should read what other thoughts Scott has put out for all to read and learn from, especially for those who’ve never experienced the Military and especially engaging in what you train for actual Conflicts and Occupations. But it, as any writings and research about PTS, will also inform and bring to light the suffering many go through after their own traumatic experiences in their lives, PTS is not only related to Combat, War and Occupations, for the soldiers or the civilians of!

Here’s a few links to Scott’s recent writings:

Structural Dissociation of the Personality

Not One, But Two Stars Died to Make You

Dissociation, Fructose, Insomnia & Escape

Visit and read more of Scott’s writings and thoughts at PTSD, A Soldiers Perspective


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    • jimstaro on January 25, 2009 at 16:16

    Another Casualty of War

    If politicians want to protect marriage, they should work to support veterans and military families.

    More than 13,000 military marriages ended last year, and mine came dangerously close to becoming one of them, but it wasn’t because of some gays getting hitched. Military marriages are at increasingly high risk of failure, and combat is the cause.

    Most of the boots on the ground in Iraq are worn by Marines, active duty Army, or Army National Guard. They have served the most and longest deployments, seen the most combat, and suffered the most injuries, both physical and psychological. In 2008, the active-duty Army and Marines also had a higher percentage of failed marriages than the Navy or Air Force, whose rates held steady or decreased slightly.

    • jimstaro on January 25, 2009 at 16:16

    Of Service Members and Veterans

    Community Reintegration Summit on Service Members and Veterans Returning to Civilian Life

    Washington, D.C.

    Carnegie Institution

    January 26-27, 2009

    Survivor Corps, Booz Allen Hamilton, and The Veterans’ Coalition are co-hosting a Summit to convene a community of leaders from the public, private, and civil sectors. Together we can collaboratively address the reintegration of service members and veterans as they return home to their families, communities, schools, and jobs.

    The Challenge

    Over one and a half million service members have deployed in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Over thirty thousand have been physically wounded, with many more experiencing less visible, psychological wounds. Many returning veterans are facing family, employment, and other community reintegration issues. Recent reports suggest an increase in rates of suicide [1], alcohol and drug abuse [2], homelessness [3], and domestic violence [4]. These traumatic effects of war, left unaddressed, could have far-reaching negative consequences for the individuals affected, their families, and our nation.

    Leaders of the public, private, and civil sectors have been doing substantial work to address the issues around reintegration-individually and through partnerships or coalitions. Clearly, the hard work of these organizations has improved the lives of returning service members and veterans, yet many challenges remain. Reintegration issues are complex, and the responsibility for dealing with them is shared among many organizations. Successful solutions to the issues may require a shift in leadership approach and a significant increase in collaborative action.

    The Reintegration Summit

    To continue the work accomplished at the Initiators Conference, Survivor Corps, Booz Allen Hamilton, and The Veterans’ Coalition will host the Community Reintegration Summit on January 26-27, 2009, at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, DC. The goal is to convene a broader community of leaders from the public, private, and civil sectors to collaboratively address the issues of reintegration that affect how service members return to family, work, school, and community following their war time service.

    There are four key objectives for the Summit:

       * Review themes, issues, and challenges faced by service members and veterans returning to civilian life

       * Develop a definition of successful community reintegration

       * Develop action plans to address specific issues of community reintegration that reach across sectors

       * Launch megacommunity workgroups to address specific issues of community reintegration

    At the Summit, attendees will confront the toughest issues of community reintegration by participating in a dynamic simulation. Participants will be divided into various teams, whose assumptions, actions, and agreements will drive the simulation. Teams will work together, share information, and develop coordinated decisions and actions. As the simulation advances in time, participants will see the consequences and long-term impacts of their decisions on service members and veterans.

    The issues of community reintegration are complex and will likely take years to solve. Participants will leave the Summit with a greater understanding of these issues as informed by the perspectives of leaders from all sectors. They will also have the opportunity to engage in action-oriented workgroups to facilitate leader-to-leader collaboration between organizations moving beyond the Summit. We believe that by gaining commitments to action, developing measurable goals, and routinely checking our progress against them, together we can sustain progress toward helping service members make a healthy return to their families and communities.

    • jimstaro on January 25, 2009 at 17:19

    I wouldn’t normally pass on a petition link in this fashion. But a young lady from the area has taken this request on and I’d not only like to give her a hand but the Vet who’s requesting the help.

    With this ‘stimulus package’ being worked up, that ‘stimulus’ is what should already have been being spent on infrastructure and needs from our tax dollars all along, there is already some billions going towards military and veterans needs. But more is needed and should be allocated. Most, if not all, of those serving in these theaters will be doing so not just one tour but many tours and some in both theaters. Many more clinics are needed around the country, especially in the rural area’s, closer to these Veterans and as to the populations of same, both for physical and mental care needs!

    This is what Dana sent me:

    I came across this mans myspace yesterday his name is Rey Leal and he has to go 5 hours out of his way to get to his VA hospital he lives in South Texas. He wants to put a VA hospital closer to him. He is trying to get veterans in his area to stand togehter for their rights so that they will get a VA hospital within a reasonable distance in his area. I thought you might want to check it out here is his myspace: OIF & OEF Veterans of the RGV

    And this is where you can sign the petition: Petition for VA Hospital in South Texas

    I signed it and am donating to his cause also I am trying to write his local congressman

    I think that its ridiculous that someone would have to go 5 HOURS out of there way at their own expense that is extremely cruel and especially someone who has done so much for our country. He has to go all the way into San Antonio Texas if he wanted to get surgery done or see a specialist. I am writing to his local congressman and I really want to help him.

    Dana is heading into college to study psychology and especially leading towards understanding, research and care of those with PTSD. Give her and this vet a hand and sign his petition,


    • jimstaro on January 25, 2009 at 23:28

    The Nation’s Hardest to House

    According to reports, it took an average of nine years postdeployment for Vietnam vets to fall into homelessness. There’s concern that it’s happening much sooner for the recent vets, says Blecker.

    • TST on January 27, 2009 at 04:41

    really alive, some of us can relate to that, and it can be very difficult going through life without it. That’s why this old vet lives in S.E. Asia.

    Thanks for the essay as always Jimstaro.

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