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Sunday, December 21, 2008

NPR's Impact of War, Linking Higher Post-Trauma Heart/Respiration Rates to PTSD, AWOL Marine Discharged, Report on Rochester Military Families

Recent stories of interest...

  • Earlier this month, NPR introduced listeners to John Blaufus, an Iraq veteran who's been hospitalized twice for acute PTSD since returning home. The segment was the latest installment in their important "Impact of War" series.

  • Australian researchers have found that "elevation of the heart and respiration rates, which occur immediately after a traumatic event, are predictive of future PTSD."

  • At Camp Pendleton this past Friday, a summary court-martial was held for a Marine who had gone AWOL for two years and faked his own death, all to keep from deploying to Iraq for a third time. His attorney had argued that he had a nervous breakdown after his experiences in Iraq, which included the death of a close friend who had been killed while taking his place on duty one day. In the unique case, the Marine, who grew up in Saudi Arabia as the son of oil company school teachers, has been discharged.

  • Another court-martial case, this one of a Silver Star Afghanistan veteran and Air Force Captain whose actions in 2002's Operation Anaconda saved three men's lives, has ended with the officer's retirement. "Who rescues the rescuer?" asked the helicopter rescue pilot's attorney, whose PTSD was not recognized officially by the Air Force until the end of his tour when he'd already sunk deeply into illegal and erratic behavior.

  • A recent study of 140 returning Rochester/Finger Lakes [NY]-area veterans, family members and service providers has found that military families "struggle needlessly because they aren't aware of benefits and services available or don't think they need them. ...The report says soldiers and families need honest information about the pitfalls of reintegration, signs to look for, strategies for coping and the fact that it's common to struggle."

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