Thursday, August 22, 2013

Remember Always & Act Often

As a retired, disabled retiree from the U.S. Army I grasp with some clarity both the magnitude captured and personal impact reflected in the following statistics:
  • An estimated 400,000 warriors suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • An estimated 320,000 warriors suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
  • Over 51,300 warriors suffer from physical injuries.
During  the Vietnam Conflict, with rapid improvements through out this war, the United States demonstrated a marked ability to stabilize our wounded warriors at the point of combat and then rapidly transport them to "in-theater" trauma centers.  As such, many Vietnam veterans owe their lives to the men and women who made this capability work.

Today the United States has a world wide medical reach that can evacuate a wounded solider from an on going point of combat and provide medical treatment during the flight to major medical centers located in the UK and the US.   Within hours from the point at which a solider is wounded, he/she is in a state side hospital in the hands of highly trained doctors armed with state of the art medical equipment and skills.  Because of the medical reach, many of our wounded warriors survive and return to loved ones and family almost in a blink of an eye.

On the one hand, this is a great blessing to those who survive sever wounds in battle but on the other, the rapid transport from the struggle of combat allows little time for a wounded warrior to transition.  One moment there is the great chaos of a pitched battle and the next moment our warrior awakes surrounded by medical devices in the pristine white of a state side hospital room.  No decompression, no after action comradeship, no time to process what has happened to him/her, no time for the adrenalin rush to subside.

As such the number shown above of soldiers dealing with PTSD is not surprising.

The point here is that I want to encourage you to become aware of the unique needs of our wounded soldiers as they work to re-enter civilian life.  Learn what PTSD and how it can reveal itself in our returning heroes.  Be open to supporting organization like The Wounded Warrior Project as well more local groups seeking to support these men and women.

Enough for now - more over time and latter.

Thanks for listening (reading)!
Dr. Bill Maloney, LTC, US Army Retired

Have a blessed Day. Betty Maloney
Longing For Home Bed and Breakfast
"A State of Mind, A Place of Grace, A Way of Life*"
* Taken from the book, How to be a Better Southerner by Carolyn Kent.

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