Jay Shaft of the Coalition For Free Thought In Media sent me a pointer to his latest article, the bulk of which consists of three letters from pissed off Iraq veterans with PTSD. These are first person accounts of what the soldiers on the front lines are going through and having to put up with… and what they (if they survive), and their families will have to cope with for the rest of their lives. Some majorly f*cked up sh*t. Stuff you don’t hear about in your local newspaper. (and why is that?)
These guys are being sent back to Iraq… and they’re not happy about it. One of them views himself as so screwed in the head that he’s a danger to the men around him, and can’t get anyone in the Army bureaucracy to take him seriously.
Reading through these letters, I suddenly get how so many soldiers qualify for disability, even though they might not have been directly in combat, or wounded. Not too many men or women can be expected to spend months on end living in the middle of a minefield, and come out whole and sane at the end of it. This is Vietnam all over again, only perhaps worse, since I don’t get the impression that the Vietnamese were willing to blow themselves up to get off-duty American soldiers in an urban settting.
Truly, there is no “behind the lines” in Iraq.