For instance, Did you know that Vietnam Vet Max Cleland is currently being treated for Post traumatic stress disorder brought on by the invasion of Iraq? I didn't.
Is Iraq reawakening shell shock in other war vets?
Max Cleland, former Democrat Senator from Georgia and Vietnam War veteran, is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which he claims is related not to his own service in Vietnam, but to the war in Iraq. Cleland has always opposed the war—except when he voted for it—and he has never been shy about mentioning his Vietnam service and the injuries he sustained there.
Let’s make no mistake here. Cleland served his country honorably, and he is owed a great debt of gratitude for his service and for paying such a high price for that service. (For the record, Cleland lost both legs and one arm not in combat, but by mishandling a live hand grenade.) As with fellow anti-war Demos John Murtha and John Kerry, the liberals want to believe that Cleland’s military service puts him above reproach for his views. Frankly, it does not.
It is not clear whether viewing television coverage of the Iraqi conflict causes delayed post-traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam or Korean War veterans. Demos have embraced the theory that is does, pointing to the steep increase in the number of cases that have been reported between 1999 and 2004. Psychiatrist and author Dr. Sally Satel, in the 21 August Weekly Standard, pointed out that this increase is not necessarily triggered by the Iraq war. For starters, Vietnam veterans are reaching retirement age, a time filled with anxiety about their identity, their future, their mortality and the mortality of spouses and loved ones. Also, there is a tendency among Veterans Affairs workers to assume that depression and anxiety among veterans must automatically be related to war service, when these symptoms could be a product of civilian life or may have been with the veteran prior to military service.
Let us be clear: We have nothing but the utmost respect for the men and women who have served in combat to defend this great nation, and we’re inclined to give even highly partisan Democrats like Cleland the benefit of the doubt in matters of wartime service. However, if this former U.S. Senator is using PTSD merely to make a political statement before a midterm election, shame on him.
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