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  • The VVA Veteran
    Valerio who served as a VA Rehab Counselor for years and helped countless veterans in need Chapter 650 presented a VVA Life Membership in recognition of his compassion concern and dedication to the service of veterans in need as they journey through life Tim Susengill Chair of the Veterans Incarcerated Committee for Pennsylvania forwarded a letter from Barry Evans a member of Chapter 679 in Huntingdom Evans has been working with fellow veterans and prison staff to hold a ceremony at the state correctional institution each Veterans Day For the last four years Evans and the chapter have been presenting a moving ceremony that leaves grown men with tear filled eyes This year Father Koharchik Chapter 697 President Richard Rogers and Secretary Elsworth Groff presided over the ceremony which was supported by the Holy Names Society and the Altar Rock Jaycees The Chapel Winds Choral Group offered patriotic songs Robert Barnhart director of the Chapel Winds Choral conducted a 21 gun salute Timothy Brown Bernon Shank and Samuel Wilkins were responsible for an outstanding sound system If not for the help from Staff Adviser Paul Eggie the ceremony honoring all veterans never would have happened Army Major Eggie will find himself posted for duty in Iraq in later this summer West Haven Connecticut Chapter 647 in collected over 750 pounds of gifts for the 118th Medical Battalion currently serving Iraq The chapter also held the 11th Annual POW MIA Vigil using the opportunity to educate the public about the fate of some 1 800 Americans still listed as POW MIA from the Vietnam War The vigil was held on the town green and lasted 36 hours Chapter 48 in Virginia Beach Virginia continues to support veterans at the VA Hospital in Hampton Virginia Most recently chapter members and associates paid

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_03/mem_notes.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    however for whom war is no stranger and the ravages of our experiences in the past remain unresolved this new almost invisible enemy threatens our personal balance as few events can Many veterans of all wars are incapable of suppressing the memories trauma confusion and moral pain we had worked so hard to control before the terrorist act of aggression triggered an emotional concussion grenade deep within our psyches All the deep bottom feeders from the depths of our souls have surfaced Ugly and undeniable Simply here with us at street level again where we attempt to step over around and through them to negotiate our daily lives We cannot kill them because they are among the undead of our past We must keep them in the light and drive them back down and away scattered and afraid We learned long ago that psychic bullets kill just as lead ones do And old land mines are not to be ignored as harmless So we don t feel so great The question is How to feel better This committee is committed to do all in its power to bring to bear the increased need for support in all areas of PTSD Substance Abuse not only for veterans but also for their families We will adopt an agenda that will request and if necessary pressure our government for increased resources and funding We will encourage a coordinated effort among the other VSOs and work with all VVA committees with common interests This committee will do its best to draft and finalize a pamphlet concerning the most salient aspects of PTSD for veterans and their families It will seek advice and assistance from independent agencies and individuals with expertise and experience in these concerns Most importantly the PTSD SA Committee is here to

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_03/feature_mason.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran--A Short History of PTSD
    been learned up to then was forgotten The only American experience with psychiatric casualties that anyone remembered was when American soldiers under the command of Gen John J Pershing in Mexico exhibited an abnormally high rate of mental illness Consequently the medical establishment set out once again to recreate the wheel This time they began by attributing the high psychiatric casualties to the new weapons of war specifically the large caliber artillery It was believed the impact of the shells produced a concussion that disrupted the physiology of the brain thus the term shell shock came into fashion Although WWI generated stress theories based on models of the mind such as Freud s war neurosis these theories never gained wide acceptance Quite simply Freud postulated war neurosis was brought about by the inner conflict between a soldier s war ego and his peace ego Another diagnosis at the time which gained little currency was neurasthenia The mental troubles are many and marked on the emotional side there are sadness weariness and pessimism repugnance to effort abnormal irritability defective control of temper tendency to weep on slight provocation timidity On the intellectual side lessened power of attention defective memory and will power By the end of World War I the United States had hundreds of psychiatrists overseas who were beginning to realize that psychiatric casualties were not suffering from shell shock These psychiatrists came to comprehend it was emotions and not physiological brain damage that was most often causing soldiers to collapse under a wide range of symptoms Unfortunately they continued to believe this collapse came about primarily in men who were weak in character During WWI almost two million men were sent overseas to fight in Europe Deaths were put at 116 516 while 204 000 were wounded During the same period 159 000 soldiers were out of action for psychiatric problems with nearly half of these 70 000 permanently discharged Harking back to military medicine during the Civil War psychiatrists concluded that the answer to psychological casualties was to more thoroughly screen those entering the military Based on this the main effort to reduce WWII psychological casualties was to focus on sifting through draftees in order to weed out those predisposed to break down in combat The military used the best available psychiatric testing and rejected no fewer than five million men for military service In World War II the ratio of rear area support troops to combat troops was twelve to one In the four years of war no more than 800 000 soldiers saw direct combat and of these 37 5 percent became such serious psychiatric cases they were permanently discharged In the U S Army alone not counting Army air crews 504 000 men were lost to the fight for psychiatric reasons Another 1 393 000 suffered symptoms serious enough to debilitate them for some period It became clear it was not just the weak in character who were breaking down This is reflected in the subtle change in terminology that took place near the end of World War II when combat neurosis began to give way to the term combat exhaustion Author Paul Fussell says that term as well as the term battle fatigue suggest a little rest would be enough to restore to useful duty a soldier who would be more honestly designated as insane While the name change showed movement away from psychopathology it didn t keep the military model of predisposition plus stress equals collapse from working its way back into military medicine Fussell was a 20 year old Army lieutenant and the leader of a rifle platoon in France He was severely wounded in 1945 and came home to earn a Ph D from Harvard In the preface to his highly acclaimed book Wartime he writes For the past 50 years the allied war has been sanitized and romanticized almost beyond recognition by the sentimental the loony patriotic the ignorant and the bloodthirsty I have tried to balance the scales Fussell quickly cuts to the heart of the war experience reminding us that those who fight are at once young athletic credulous and innocent of their own mortality He points out that the populace is naive to their pain and suffering Fussell quotes Bruce Catton A singular fact about modern war is that it takes charge Once begun it has to be carried to its conclusion and carrying it there sets in motion events that may be beyond men s control Doing what has to be done to win men perform acts that alter the very soil in which society s roots are nourished Astonishingly Catton was writing about the Civil War which Fussell in turn characterizes as long brutal total and stupid something that can be said about any war when we fully realize that before society s roots can be altered soldiers very souls are seared by the acts they witness and perform The denial and naivete of the populace as to what war really is becomes a dynamic underlying the trauma of soldiers S evere trauma was often the result of the initial optimistic imagination encountering actuality Many Vietnam veterans can attest it s a long way from the jungles of Vietnam to Disneyland America That is just about as far as Erich Maria Remarque knew it to be from the Western Front to home in WWI Now if we go back we will be weary broken burnt out rootless and without hope We will not be able to find our way anymore And men will not understand us We will be superfluous even to ourselves we will grow older a few will adapt themselves some others will merely submit and most will be bewildered Fussell points out all wars are boyish and are fought by boys who are useful material for the sharp edge of war but only for a short time A fter a few months they ll be dried up and as soldiers virtually useless

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_03/feature_HistoryPTSD.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Waiting For Justice--The Saga of Army Lt. Jullian Goodrum, PTSD, Hillbilly Armor, and Whistle-Blowing
    Goodrum again found himself in sharp opposition to the Army now on a different matter But in a way Goodrum said it was all about the same thing decent treatment for soldiers Along the way Goodrum realized that something else was happening He was feeling increasingly agitated easy to anger often depressed His customary energy and focus waned Attributing his feelings at first to the frustration of waiting for medical care at Ft Knox he began to dream vivid dreams of the combat zone laced with fragmented memories of the terrifying convoys into the Iraqi desert The dreams were colored by apprehension and uncertainty Goodrum would wake shaking filmed with sweat imagining shadows moving in his bedroom for a moment unsure of where he was Goodrum did not know it at the time but he was suffering from PTSD When word came that Sgt Kenneth Harris a member of Goodrum s own 3rd Platoon was killed in a grisly PLS accident on August 20 2003 along a supply route near the town of Ad Diwaniyah Iraq Goodrum spun deeper into guilt and depression The truck in which Harris was riding had been frequently deadlined and already had broken down once on August 20 The precise reasons for the accident are unclear Army CentCom s official position is that the convoy slammed to a stop after taking small arms fire Others say there was no hostile fire only an unreliable vehicle on a bad stretch of road in bad weather Whatever the cause of the sudden stop the brakes in the truck carrying Harris apparently failed to hold Harris s truck slammed into the rear edge of the lead truck s cargo bed which ripped through Harris s cab to shear the 23 year old sergeant in half Capt Fisher the man who had generated 65 pages in his quest to prove that Goodrum fraternized with his platoon sergeant produced only two pages when it came time to investigate the death of Sgt Kenneth Harris A Dark Place After Harris s death Goodrum found himself in a dark place I couldn t seem to get my bearings he said My mind ran away with me I kept thinking I hadn t done enough to stop this I felt responsible The summer passed with such ideas festering in Goodrum s psyche He had carpal tunnel surgery on his right wrist in mid September at Ft Knox s Ireland Army Community Hospital then fought for weeks to get the post operative physical therapy prescribed by his surgeon His PTSD symptoms continued unabated and untreated there were no counseling services available at Ft Knox It was early November before Goodrum could get an appointment to schedule carpal tunnel surgery for his left wrist In the course of that appointment he told the medical officer that he was having a breakdown and needed help To Goodrum s amazement he was not scheduled for surgery and he was denied psychological care as well a decision confirmed in writing by the medical officer who saw Goodrum The note introduced as evidence in the Article 32 hearing referenced the instruction of Ft Knox s deputy chief of clinical services Lt Col Ronald Stevens that Goodrum not be retained on med hold status that he be in essence denied care and turned away Goodrum however had no orders to proceed to any other unit was midstream with his carpal tunnel treatment and had not received treatment of any sort for his burgeoning PTSD Caught between anger and confusion Goodrum wandered out of the building got in his car and started driving Disoriented by anxiety and a mounting despair his damaged thoughts raced but his car did not He was driving on an interstate highway at five miles per hour with no idea of his surroundings Startled abruptly out of his trance by a truck bearing down on his rear bumper with its horn blaring Goodrum said he could ve wound up dead on that highway I was having a complete breakdown Goodrum called his mother who got out a map and talked me in for the three hour drive home back to Knoxville Tennessee He later made his way to the home of an old friend from his high school days who helped get him to a Knoxville based psychiatrist Dr Vijay Jethanandani The psychiatrist recognized Goodrum s problem as PTSD hospitalized him and on Nov 15 notified medical administrators at Ft Knox that Lt Goodrum was under his care and should remain on medical leave until December 7 Dr Jethanandani kept Ft Knox authorities advised in a series of five letters describing Goodrum s status and progress The Army however took a different approach notifying Goodrum that he was AWOL and must return to Ft Knox to face charges Unfortunately Dr Jethanandani wrote in one of his letters recent intimidation and threats of being arrested for staying on medical leave has resulted in recurrent psychiatric symptoms Until Nov 26 2003 Lt Goodrum was progressing fairly well Lt Col Stevens was located on his cell phone for the Article 32 hearing He testified that he had in fact never met Jullian Goodrum nor had he reviewed Goodrum s medical records Stevens acknowledged that no mental health professional at Ft Knox ever evaluated Lt Goodrum and that Stevens himself had no direct or personal knowledge of the nature of Goodrum s case He did however register his unhappiness with Goodrum s public remarks castigating med hold conditions at Ft Knox It does not help Dr Jethanandani wrote in his final letter that Lt Goodrum was in combat with a unit in Iraq where a superior officer ignored safety protocol jeopardizing the safety of soldiers Instead of following up on these complaints it appears that some of Lt Goodrum s superiors may be penalizing him for reporting problems in Iraq PTSD And The Iraq War There has never been a recorded war in which combatants did not suffer from PTSD a

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_03/feature_goodrum.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    Division Association Prior Service Traditions Military Videos Truman Publishing Veterans Commemoratives Veterans Viet Nam Restoration Project War on Cancer Wild Card To receive information about advertising in the VVA Veteran contact J S Publications Inc 8220 Hilton Road Gaithersburg Maryland 20882 3530 301 482 0720 Fax 301 482 0726 E Mail cathy john jspublications com E mail us at TheVeteran vva org Home Membership Publications Events Government Relations Contact Us

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_03/advertizers.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    45 L Cpl Bill Meeks Jr served with the Marines in Vietnam in 1968 He now serves on the VVA National Board of Directors and chairs the Membership Committee His son SSgt Chris Meeks also serves with the Marines He is a Desert Storm veteran who is currently on his second tour in Iraq Visit The VVA Veteran archives to locate back issues E mail us at TheVeteran vva org

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_03/feature_warriors.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran
    bases should have their water tested at regular intervals for bacteria chemicals and heavy metals such as lead iron copper arsenic and any other metal that is dangerous to one s health Craig Close Via e mail SAVING MORE LIVES Tom Corey may well be correct that Democratic legislators are more inclined to look favorably upon VA budgetary matters as he says in his President s Message in the January February issue However The VVA Veteran could save more lives and help more of our fellow veterans in ways that simply emphasize personal responsibility and initiative that is cessation of smoking dealing with substance abuse low fat diet and aerobic exercise I doubt very much that I am the only veteran who has never sought or received a penny from the VA We all agree that veterans should be entitled to world class treatment and benefits But it would be a mistake to assume that all or even most VVA members are receiving government checks or seeking some expanded benefit from the federal government for our service Vietnam Veterans of America should not turn itself into just one more benefit seeking lobbying group James C Anderson Via e mail THE SYSTEM In reference to your article on vaccinations The Needle and the Damage Done and the President s Message Is Anyone Listening in the January February issue I propose that all veterans organizations band together and tell the American people the truth which is The American veteran gets screwed by the system he fights and dies for Larry Fiedler London Kentucky DEJA VU AGAIN First I read of the dangerous and shameful way the government treated Iraq War Army medic Michael Berger The Needle and the Damage Done And I thought Deja vu all over again Haven t our policy

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_03/letters.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • The VVA Veteran-Locate Former Fellow Servicemembers
    yahoo com or phunstufnsuch earthlink net Looking for John Miller from South Carolina or anyone who served with 526 CC S Co Phu Tai 1967 68 Contact John Shirey 706 846 8130 jcshirey alltel net Trying to locate anyone who has had skin problems since returning from Vietnam and served in the Can Tho area I served with 550th Sig 1972 73 Contact Phillip W Hagan phillip dwightsbikersdream com Looking for anyone who was assigned to HST USARV Long Binh 1972 72 Need information for Agent Orange claim that has been denied Contact JDavis2304 aol com Looking for BoBo Johnson Jeff Lawson Alfredo Marquez Sgt Red Sgt Randell who served with me in 3 325 Inf C Co 1st Plt 1972 to verify that I hurt my back on a jump at Ft Bragg Medical records were lost I need witnesses Contact Robert Rigler AF 7750 P O Box 244 Graterford PA 19426 0244 Looking for anyone who served with 544th Eng Co or 36th Eng Bn and witnessed mortar attack in 1968 that hit Vung Tau Airport and nearby barracks Contact Forney Shrewsbury Box 36 Justice WV 24851 304 664 9207 shrewsbury4 msn com Looking for stories and pictures of Black Scarf Bn 1st 2nd 1st Inf Div for a book that I am writing Pictures will be returned if requested and can be e mailed to recon2niner yahoo com Contact Luther Patton 2779 W 115th Pl Jenks OK 74037 918 296 3742 Looking for anyone who served with my brother Floyd E Kanatzar who was a Boatswains Mate on the USS Stribling DD 867 USS Perkins DD 377 USS Bronstein and the USS Floyd B Parks He died from exposure to Agent Orange Contact Donald F Kanatzar P O Box 851 Springdale AR 72765 429 751 9221 Looking for anyone who served with C Btry 6th Bn 56th ADA Hahn Air Base Germany 1974 76 especially Ronald Tromley Cape Cod Massachusetts Larry Hampton Haltom City Texas and Roger Frank Grosse Ile Michigan We served with Army Air Defense Arty Btry Vulcan Chaparral that provided air defense for Hahn 50th Fighter Wing located near Wueschheim Germany Contact Roberto D Avanzo 155476 Southern Michigan Correctional JMF 4010 Cooper St Jackson MI 49201 7552 Looking for women who served with Women s Recruit Bn 3A and went through Parris Island Recruit Depot February 1965 Also looking for Douglas Johnson from Lafayette Georgia who served in Vietnam in 1967 Contact Patricia Phillips Pollard P O Box 968 Chickamauga GA 30707 Looking for anyone who served with me in HHC 5 31 197th Inf Spt especially medics who went TDY to Ranger camps in 1971 Also anyone who served with me in 128th Medical Evacuation Hospital 1972 Contact Jose Luis Guzman 4162889 2605 State St Salem OR 97310 Looking for anyone who served with me at Camp Love near Danang 1967 68 I served in USMC with 3531 Mtrvhopr Need information for PTSD claim Contact Richard E Brown 21 Rose Ln Presque Isle

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/archive/TheVeteran/2005_03/locator.htm (2016-02-16)
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