Tuesday, June 19, 2007

invisible scars



There's a profound set of videos on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on the Washington Post website. The images and voices attempts to draw attention to the invisible scars --- the men and women, children and families affected forever by the making of war.

From the Washington Post article:

Little Relief on Ward 53
At Walter Reed, Care for Soldiers Struggling With War's Mental Trauma Is Undermined by Doctor Shortages and Unfocused Methods
By Anne Hull and Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writers

Every month, 20 to 40 soldiers are evacuated from Iraq because of mental problems, according to the Army. Most are sent to Walter Reed along with other war-wounded. For amputees, the nation's top Army hospital offers state-of-the-art prosthetics and physical rehab programs, and soon, a new $10 million amputee center with a rappelling wall and virtual reality center.

Nothing so gleaming exists for soldiers with diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder, who in the Army alone outnumber all of the war's amputees by 43 to 1. The Army has no PTSD center at Walter Reed, and its psychiatric treatment is weak compared with the best PTSD programs the government offers. Instead of receiving focused attention, soldiers with combat-stress disorders are mixed in with psych patients who have issues ranging from schizophrenia to marital strife.

Even though Walter Reed maintains the largest psychiatric department in the Army, it lacks enough psychiatrists and clinicians to properly treat the growing number of soldiers returning with combat stress. Earlier this year, the head of psychiatry sent out an "SOS" memo desperately seeking more clinical help.

Let's pray that this horrible war is be brought to an end and that we may more fully live into the nonviolent vision of Jesus and Biblical prophets like Micah and Isaiah. May we beat our swords into plowshares, and our spears into pruning hooks, may we no longer make war. May all those who have been wounded in body and mind be given the very best care and may the tools and money used for making war be used for healing and peace.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to write that it may benefit active duty veteran family’s / friends of veterans to read a recently released book titled, “Still the Monkey: What Happens to Warriors After War?” "Author Alivia C. Tagliaferri became inspired to write Still the Monkey: What Happens to Warriors After War after she visited the Walter Reed Medical Center in the summer of 2003, and saw first hand the casualties of the War on Terror. Her later interview with a former Marine and Vietnam Veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder helped cement her determination to express the devastating toll of war. Still the Monkey is a historical fiction novel about a Vietnam veteran plagued with pain and sickness, and his fateful meeting with an Iraq veteran who lost both his legs. For ten days inside the walls of Walter Reed's Monologue House, the two of them begin a painful yet ultimately cathartic progression toward healing and learning to live again, one day at a time. A poignant and powerful novel, written out of the deepest respect and admiration for the men and women who put their lives on the line for the sake of their nation.” - Midwest Book Review. At http://www.ironcuttermedia.com/ you can learn more about this book, which is reality-based work of historical fiction that depicts the problems caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among returning veterans. I hope this post helps educate people out there that need assistance. Take care and God bless.