Not All War Wounds Are Visible
A Veterans Day Reflections
Not all wounds are visible. These are the words written on a poster that I've seen at the Veterans Hospital last month. I can only say how absolutely true this message is! I've read several news about Veterans, especially Vietnam Veterans. Many of them have suffered from PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder. Some have early PTSD during and after the war has ended. But some have delayed PTSD which usually happen during middle age years or maybe some experiences in life which trigger the onset of their delayed PTSD. I'm no expert but a person who have dealt with someone who is a family member.
We Should Salute The Veterans
We should salute the Veterans, those who are not here anymore, as well as those who are still here. They are the heroes and the living heroes. For some Veterans, war didn't end after the war was over. Some have a continuing battle in their own minds, which somehow never ends and instead progresses as they go older. If any Veterans who hasn't experience PTSD or at least able to heal, you are very very lucky. We may not see a physical wound, but with PTSD, the wound is invisible. Some may say that it is normal to be affected by war or any traumatic events. But depending on how serious is the effects to the person, we can't really say how normal it is to the person who suffers.
Do you know some stories?
Have you ever heard stories about Vets life? How they live in the background of life and believed the real life is how they live it? Have you heard Veterans who are well educated, but can't hold on to a job and end up homeless? Some jumped from the roof or turned to alcohol to achieve balance. Yet when they talk about life they seem to be the most reasonable human being who knows what real life is. PTSD didn't exist until after 1980s. In reality it did exist since early times, even during the Bible times.
Some have called PTSD in different names and some thought it wasn't a big deal like for example, if you have the symptoms for more than 6 months that means you have a pre-existing personality disorder before going to war. I read a quote saying " Vietnam didn't change you, you were defective before you went." If they turn to alcohol it was called a "willful misconduct." But recently I guess PTSD is now accepted as a result of war. There are many Vets that are going to VA for treatments. It's a good thing. They have served the country and the country should take care of them when they need it.
Some thoughts on this Veterans Day:
- Somehow, it is usually the family members and close relations who truly understand what PTSD means to a loved one. And it is also the family members who are negatively affected by PTSD.
- Some Veterans live in the background of life looking from the inside out. They believe they experience the reality of life and stay in that state.
- Some have a very different mentality or outlook in life, more independent. They don't want help. It takes courage for a soldier to ask for help even if they need it.
- They may turn to alcohol to achieve balance in their mind but are the most reasonable and righteous human being who knows what real life is.
- At the same time they are somehow lost in the middle and can't go forward in life which limit their success.