December 2009 Archives

The Power of First Person War

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There is nothing like the power of writing by someone who experienced war first-hand. There's a female Iraq war vet who lives in MN and is dealing with a horrendous case of PTSD, hallucinations, the whole bit, as well as physical injuries. Ginmar's writing is powerful, from-the-gut truth that breaks away a bit of the shell of the ordinary that surrounds our daily lives and puts her readers in a different place.

I first read her writing in the diary: But aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

It introduces a bit of her story as a female vet with severe PTSD and how the VA, at least her particular VA center, hasn't yet figured out how to deal with the concept that there are no front-lines / behind-the-lines roles in modern warfare. That any deployed soldier, whether part of a supply unit or a combat unit, is in combat and female soldiers should not be lumped in with soldiers' wives for group therapy sessions.

Yesterday ginmar posted a diary about how people use the phrase, Thank you for your service. Makes you rethink what and how you respond to soldiers whose service you want to acknowledge.

In a comment in that one, she mentioned that she was going to post about how the hallucinations were becoming so severe that she was having difficulty writing and she did so today. It's called Riding the Nightmare and it's extraordinary.

There's an excerpt in the middle written by her CO in response to some comments by some supposed vets and conservative military types about her unit and what they did in Iraq. Per the CO, they did routes in Iraq that the Marines wouldn't do with 3-4 unarmored vehicles and no armored escort.

I'm not excerpting because it wouldn't do her writing justice. Start with any of the posts though the last one may make more sense if you read them in chronological order.

Go learn about what our female soldiers did and still do and how we, as a country, and the VA, specifically, fail to acknowledge what they did and to support them fully from someone who's in the midst of dealing with it.