The internal anguish a soldier experiences after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan can sometimes be far more severe than the live external combat. More than 2 million troops have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Those who do return suffer from physical, psychological, and cognitive trauma. The numbers of soldiers who are undergoing post-traumatic stress disorder and suffering from traumatic brain injuries are staggering. The media more than often glorifies our military while portraying the war situation in the Middle East. The corporate media does not, however, represent the side in which soldiers can no longer resume their lives prior to being deployed due to the sheer terror of combat experienced abroad.
Iraq veterans such as Brock Savelkoul, undergo such acute post-traumatic stress disorder that suicide is not a far off option. On September 21, 2010, Savelkoul lead a half dozen law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase while he was armed with six weapons including a semiautomatic assault rifle and 9-mm pistol. As the chase ended, Savelkoul emerged from his pickup truck and pleaded with the officers to shoot him. Stories like these rarely make their way to the public’s attention. Savelkoul stated that, “They teach us how to get over there, now they need to teach us how to get back”.
Title: Aftershock: The Ticking Time Bomb of Soldiers’ Traumatic Brain Injuries
Source: alternet.org, 3/27/11
Student Researcher: Karen Kniel, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University