January 11, 2011

Andi: The Veteran Who was Not a Veteran

Andi: The Veteran Who was Not a Veteran -
The horrific, senseless shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others this past weekend shocked and saddened everyone. As bad as the situation was, early reports were worse. Many claimed Representative Giffords, a military spouse, had died. Thankfully, that was not the case. As I watched the news unfold, I heard something which made me cringe (5:25 in) – the suspect *may* have been an OEF veteran. As soon as I heard this, I knew exactly what was on its way. Speculation that PTSD and exposure to combat would be discussed ad nauseam as a trigger for this violence, and we’d see a parade of “experts” on all the television shows focusing on the negative aspects of military service. Veterans would be under the microscope. Service members who have gone rogue and committed unspeakable offenses would suddenly seem the rule and not the exception though in reality, it’s the other way around. I was not looking forward to round #4,854 of detached experts speak about mental health issues in the military. Shades of Abu Ghraib came to mind. Remember how a handful of despicable individuals tarnished the reputations of hundreds of thousands of honorable troops and made their jobs much more difficult?

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