The Boston Globe just ran a remarkable 4-part series on combat PTSD, filled with stories (like the graf below) and photo galleries to allow anyone to seek out the experience of Iraq in vivid detail. By author Thomas Farragher:
There was just too much to handle. His marriage, always stormy, was in free-fall. His mind flickered again and again with images of Regnier, cut down by a roadside bomb. Most soldiers put the horror behind them, enclosing it in an armored inner space, or seeming to. But, for others, moving on is the work of months, or years. Or a life.
It is a condition with an off-putting, antiseptic name -- post-traumatic stress disorder. It is as old as warfare and as new as yesterday's casualty list. Yet, remarkably little is known of why it afflicts some and exempts others, why its symptoms can be so insidious and so adamant.
Wilson only knew what he felt -- possessed, immobilized, ashamed. He had left Iraq early, and he believed his superiors now considered him damaged goods. The soldier who ran when others stayed. The commander who swapped places with Regnier minutes before the bomb tore him apart.
"I should have died," Wilson said. Instead, he unraveled.
Letters-to-the-editor are making their way to the Globe (add yours to the mix, too). Off to read the series in full myself, and here's to attempting to catch up on all of the excellent reporting being done on the issue at the moment.
Three cheers, Boston Globe!