Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How do we define 'casualty'?

Amazing new piece of reporting/memorial coming out of the Virginia Quarterly Review illustrates in startling fashion the overwhelming problems of PTSD on returning Iraq/Afghanistan War/Conflict veterans.


Read the full article by Ashley Gilbertson above. It's a big long overall, but the story is profound, impacting and heartwrenching. It raises the question of how many, and as an underscore, how can our current powers and leaders pretend such a thing doesn't exist.

The word 'casualty' needs to be redefined in terms of governmental or legal standards, as the dictionary definition is much broader. And again, as a linguist, I completely support the adoption of a definition incorporating a wider breadth as this 'casualty' argument is a big problem.

I have many friends and family currently in different branches of the service, have had direct relatives in the conflicts of WWI and WWII, and know many others involved in Vietnam and Korea, but I find it disconcerting that the definition has not changed over the course of 100 years. We need to address this immediately and get help for many of our veterans whose problems are not so easily categorized or remedied.

Under current law, a broken leg is greater than (>) and receives more attention and medical care than suicidal tendencies caused by PTSD. That is concerning.

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