Another Georgie Slapping Our Soldiers
by Chuck Keller
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
edited: Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2007
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This is the second in a series of articles which are excerpts from my (work in progress) book on PTSD.
General George S. Patton was called "Georgie" by his wife, Beatrice. He was forced to apologize to the troops he "slapped around" for suffering from PTSD during WWII. Here's what happened.
Patton didn't believe "Battle Fatigue" or "Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder" to be a "disease." He thought anyone who gave in to the psychological affliction was, in his words, A God-Damned Coward!
I'm sure there are those on the fanatic right wing who agree with Patton's view. I'm almost certain that our "Georgie" and his Neo-Con puppet master, Dick "The Monster" Cheney would take great satisfaction from having a "leader" like Patton today.
Donald Schmidt, 23, who lives near Peoria, Illinois, is one of more than 22,000 who have been discharged from military service for "pre-existing personality disorders" after serving this country bravely.
Schmidt served two combat tours in Iraq. His job? Gathering up body parts after suicide bombings. He was on a "Quick Reaction Team." During TET in 1968, I carried my share of bodies and body parts off the choppers and into our make-shift morgue. Such duty changes a man. Walk a mile in Donald Schmidt's boots before you judge him, as both the "Georgies" in this article, a God-Damned coward.
Tell me honestly that you can't picture Dick Cheney verbally "slapping" this young man. Think about that for a minute. Dick Cheney who hid behind a half-dozen deferments to avoid military service where his "True Grit" would have been tested.
How about our "Georgie?" He hid from Vietnam service in the National Guard. And anyone who doesn't know the difference between the National Guard of the Vietnam era and today's Guard should do a little research.
Now think about the other 22,000 who stood against the enemy during battle. Think about the consequences of being discharged for a "pre-existing personality disorder" by a Pentagon who sent you into a war... TWICE or more!
If these 22,000 would have been discharged for PTSD caused by their military service, our country would be responsible for their treatment and long term psychological care. Is this obscenity all about money? Of course it is!
I could cite many others who are among the 22,000. One who slept under his truck and lived in nearly constant fear received the same treatment from the Pentagon.
During my research about PTSD, I've heard the same story over and over and over from veterans of several wars. I heard from a fellow blogger about how her son returned from his FOURTH tour in Iraq and was bothered terribly by the Independence Day fireworks. He could no longer enjoy the event he had loved for his entire life.
Yesterday a comment on my first blog in this series told the story of a WWII vet in her town who had to retire to his farm and hide from the celebration of Independence Day because it took him back to HIS war.
All veterans of ALL wars know what I'm talking about. Some can handle it better than others but ALL are affected.
The tragedy of the current war in Iraq is more than the fact that it was not necessary, legal or moral. The real tragedy which this administration's monsters didn't plan for or care about is this: These soldiers, sailors and Marines have been sent into harms way time and time again. Some have done 5 tours in Iraq!
Another fellow blogger noted that her husband, a combat medic in Vietnam, had told her that if he'd been extended for another 6 months he wouldn't have survived. I don't know if he was talking about the gamble of battle or suicide to escape the terror. Either way I know what he was talking about and thinking. I can't imagine what these brave Americans in Iraq must be enduring.
The fear we in Vietnam felt was the same but we had a date certain to go home. We had HOPE. But these troops have been involuntarily extended, sent back over and over again, lived under constant threat of death or injury every day since this war began. They NEVER get a break from the fear. They NEVER get a break from the terror. They NEVER get a chance to hope they will be home on a date certain. This is psychological torture beyond imagination.
And when they crack under that kind of incredible pressure does our government support them? Does our government offer them treatment for the PTSD they suffer? NO! They are thrown back into civilian society with not only the scars of battle but with the official brand: Pre-Existing-Personality-Disorder.
That's a slap in the face of these brave Americans from our current "Georgie."
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|Reviewed by Jansen Estrup
|Scandalous, these 'Georgies' - after WWII a USArmy study found that 100% of soldiers 'in the lines' for 60 days or more were seriously affected mentally or emotionally. Those that were not, about 2%, were 'crazy' before they went into combat. History's 'Georgies' would fall into that category. The 22k discharged for 'previously existing conditions' should be reassessed at once, if they are still alive. Fine article, Chuck. Keep on slapping the faces of the Kissingers and Cheneys, LeMays and Pattons - maybe they'll seek the psychiatric help they need, too.|
|Reviewed by Damien Rickner
|Slaps in the face for everyone. They've always shown equal treatment in that regard at least. Many of us could probably use one to shake off our torpor, but the soldiers...
If I now said "Support our Troops," would I be a bleeding-heart wack0? Decency shouldn't be that complicated.
|Reviewed by Steffan Piper
|Great article. I agree with your thoughts on Cheney. I wrote an article for the Anchorage Daily News the night of the infamous election in 2000. I stated that I thought 'Dick Cheney made Darth Vadar look like Magnum P.I.'. years later I hear Hillary Clinton making almost the same comparison. The article I wrote was abridged to exclude my statement, as it was deemed 'too personal'. Shortly after I left Anchorage and moved to Los Angeles. Not the wisest decision, but to paraphrase Dr. Thompson ... I was deep in the heart of Bush Country.|
|Reviewed by Harold Hester
|Well written article Chuck. 1969-70 Vietnam vet here. If you get the chance I have two VA articles I feel sure you will be interested in reading. "We owe our Veterans" and "Our vets - part two". Can be seen here on Authorsden or from my web site www.haroldhester.com. Welcome home buddy.. Harold|
|Reviewed by Keith Rowley
|Damn well said Chuck -
I would like to add that if Georgy boy and his fellow cowards and crony's published the roll of persons suffering missing limbs, disfigurement and so much more as a consequence of their illegal war, the true cost in human suffering would become even more apparent - it won't happen, any more than it'll come to be that they inform us of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who are now also mutilated or dead. Shame, and eternal shame on them...
From what I hear, the British are no better. In fact, their part time soldiers (the equivalent of your national guard) on return home were refused admission to military hospitals on the grounds they were civilians.
I really despise politicians...