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In the News Branded by War

November 6, 2009

VIEW: A short clip from FRONTLINE's report, The Soldier's Heart, which examines what it means to be in war -- view it in full online.

And explore the perspectives of:

--veterans of past 20th century wars;

--experts who have studied the impact of battle on the soldier;

--the great writers and poets who wrote about war's toll on the warrior.

Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates discussed the mental health challenges facing U.S forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, citing a RAND Corp. study estimating more than 600,000 troops could have traumatic brain injuries (TBI), or PTSD.

17 Comments

COMMENTS

Bravo Frontline! Thank you for reporting on PTSD and how soldiers in combat are affected with this. I cannot even imagine what our soldiers go through. Educating us on such an important issue is vitally important. Thank you.

Spencer Cassler / November 6, 2009 8:20 PM

No matter how you phrase it, and how much training you can give a person, how can anyone be expected to accept and intregate horror, death, and carnage into the sum of their being.

I lost my best friend in 1965. He was 18 yrs old and in Vietnam for only 1 month, before he was killed,
.
This situation seems very familiar.

Thank you for truth in reporting.

debalah / November 6, 2009 10:47 PM

Glad to see that our marines are being trained to understand the causes/effects of PTSD. I really like LT. Col. Grossman comment, "your enemy is denial."

Cliff / November 7, 2009 1:21 AM

I'm glad that our military recognize that PSD is a mental issue that needs to treated. I'm have learned to treatment myself through the Word of God.

MSG Ret Melvin McCullough / November 7, 2009 8:06 PM

The United States hasn't won a war in 70 years. I doubt these wars will suddenly become an exception.

Richard Greene / November 8, 2009 2:12 PM

The gentleman who commented earlier is right. There is healing from ptsd in the washing of the Word of God. There is deliverance from ptsd. The Lord delivered an Iraqi veteran, I care about very much, from ptsd. I spent time praying over him and I still do; and, the Lord has set him free from ptsd. He is on to another job and is doing well. I am so grateful to the Lord. Some of the medication prescribed to him, made him worse. It took prayer and the Lord to deliver him.

Shayna / November 10, 2009 3:50 PM

Mr. Greene, I forgive you for saying awful thing. Our troops are doing a job for the Lord and by the Grace of God, they accomplish what they are sent, by the Lord, to accomplish. This brings me to the point I wanted to make. Mr. Grossman is right in what he said about guilt. An issue is guilt and survivor's guilt. I want our troops to know, that they are serving the Lord. What they do in combat is what they are called to do. If they have any regrets, ask the Lord for forgiveness and more forward. Guilt is not of the Lord. Our troops are serving the Lord and can come back with a clean conscious.

Shayna / November 10, 2009 6:42 PM

Troops are not serving the lord, they are serving man.

Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys.
Give them thumbs, they make a club to beat their brother down.
How they've survived so misguided is a mystery.
Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability
To lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here.

Gina / November 11, 2009 12:51 PM

We are little sheep who has lost our way and have no real objective in Afganistan. What has happened to Osama Bin Laden because its clear that he is no longer our objective in this land that we have no business in and it is clear that we no longer care about him because if this was or is our true objective for going there or being there in the first place he would be dead or captured by now. Our leaders are liars and can no longer be believed this is very obvious by now to most people that have not yet been brain washed by religion or by our leaders !

Roland / November 11, 2009 7:01 PM

it must be comforting to have a belief capacious enough, wide and deep enough, to hold all the blood of one's enemies... and their children, and their loved ones, and their cultures, and their lands, and their futures... and yet, that comfort seems so precarious and frail, so dependent on recitation and hard, mind enthralling work. if faith can lessen your suffering, that's great and you are truly fortunate. be well...

Maurice / November 11, 2009 9:06 PM

I haven't watched the whole film from Frontline about our troops and the mental anguish they face in and after battle. I can tell you this: I have been haunted by mental illness for decades and have largely overcome it. I don't think we need to be fighting either war. Our men and women need to be here retooling this great land for PEACE not WAR!! We need to cut the Pentagon Defense budged by 10 % a year for five years straight and get those people working on helping youth and re-building the cities and suburbs and the infrastructure. Write the President and Congress about this. WE DON'T NEED WAR!!

Tracy / November 13, 2009 7:28 AM

I wish we could just pack up and leave the entire
middle east and bring all our men home.

NAOMA FOREMAN / November 13, 2009 4:13 PM

I feel that we need to speak to whom ever is in charge, and bring our troops back home. I try not to read a lot about what's going on in the military, and I definitely do not look at the news. My son (19 yrs old) is in the military, he choose this career because he didn't have a father figure; he feels that being challenged this way would be like having the father figure he always wanted. I raised him the best I knew how, but he said I weren't stern enough. I feel that many of our young men may feel this way also. I know that my son is going to be alright, and the rest of our son's and daughter's are going to be alright. Let's all pray and hope for our son's and daughter's who are in the military; for their real soon safe return. Thank you all for listening.....

Raemelle / November 13, 2009 5:43 PM

Thank you for bringing this much needed video and information to the public. Most Americans have no concept of the sacrifices we ask our young men and women to face when they become part of the military and go to war.

The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, in particular, have been exceptionally trying because of the several times we have required them to deploy. Not only have they been cast into very difficult circumstances but their families have suffered as well.

At some level almost all who serve in combat suffer from acute stress (PTSD) which often does not show up until much later. We must recognize that vets deserve some time to decompress and talk about their experiences probably with those who have gone thru the same or similar experiences. We must get rid of the stigma that sometimes accompanies our lack of understanding of what combat vets go thru.

Sam Taylor / November 14, 2009 2:51 PM

Thank you for reporting on this. I wish I could see stories like these on CBS,ABC,CNN or even Fox News. My husband is on his way to Iraq for a year. This will be his second tour. I want to thank him and every soldier that has CHOSEN to do dedicate their lives to the United States of America. No government is perfect, but I do know we live in the best nation in the World. Everybody has their opinions about the war in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and that's YOUR right to speak out because YOU are American. My opinion is if you have nothing positive to say you should keep it to yourself or get off your behind and do something....take a stand! Like my husband and many other soldiers have done. They are standing up for what they believe in! They are the one's sacrificing their lives and time with their families in order to stand for this great Nation of ours. So instead of complaining about how wrong these wars are and how screwed up the government is do something or keep it to yourself.
If you can talk the talk then walk the walk as my husband and many many other great American Soldiers do on a daily basis!!!!

Misty / November 21, 2009 3:32 PM

You’re welcome Misty. I joined the U.S. Army and I participated in the first half-hearted war in Iraq I like to refer to as “Iraq version 1.0 – the Beta test of ‘Mission Abject Failure’” (the current debacle.) I endured the idiotic mission goal of invading half of the country and watching as civilians were massacred by an authoritarian government in the other half while I believe we should have intervened, or at least interceded. I also suffered through medical treatments by horribly incompetent military doctors. Wow! All the free crappy medical treatment they deem necessary, what a bargain. And don’t forget those anti-nerve agent pills we were forced to take. They did wonders for our immune systems, too bad mine doesn’t work anymore and I have 2-3 pneumonias a year and I have to run to the hospital the second I think I am getting a cold. Then the VA rejects any petition for treatment. No Misty, the United States government is not the best, nor is the United States the best country. I suggest you join the U.S. Army and see the world for yourself.

PFC Gooey Green Discharge / November 23, 2009 4:11 AM

interesting!

Rex / January 24, 2010 12:18 PM
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