But today’s the official one, apparently. Whatever name one gives combat trauma – there are many that hate the term “disorder” – it’s been with us since our first armies, from “nostalgia” to “soldier’s heart” to “battle fatigue,” which may be my favorite. (Above, the beginning of the movie John Huston made about the latter, after the Battle of San Pietro left him screaming.) Nowadays mostly we just use the initials — as in a T-shirt I found at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, PTSD: DON’T LEAVE IRAQ WITHOUT IT.
For today, we’re asked to post links to PTSD resources, such as the official one from the Defense Centers of Excellence. Of course, I’m much more inclined to promote the unequalled Healing Combat Trauma, and for women, Susan Avila-Smith’s powerful VetWow or Service Women’s Action Network. What’s most essential is that anyone reading this reach out, and keep reaching out. If your local Veterans Administration seems unresponsive, keep going. It’s your latest and most important mission.