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rgbrock1
3rd Apr 2014, 13:00
I'm sure by now most are aware of the latest shooting at Fort Hood in which 4 have been killed, including the gunman?

I do find it rather telling that unarmed troops are killed by their fellow, armed, troops. I guess there is nothing really that can be done about these types of attacks but it does make one wonder.

However, in this case the shooter was an Iraqi veteran who was "suffering from multiple mental health issues." Again.

david1300
3rd Apr 2014, 13:07
The reports I heard is that the shooter smuggled a weapon into the area, so I would suggest that the 'armed'/'unarmed' differentiation should rather be 'criminal'/'law abiding' or something similar.

rgbrock1
3rd Apr 2014, 13:11
He brought his own privately-owned .45 handgun onto base. Breaking military regulations from the get-go. The handgun was not registered with the unit armorer. Breaking yet another military regulation.

It's irrelevant though. He did what he did and three, or more, soldiers paid for it with their lives.

I think one of the things this should tell us is that the military MUST expedite diagnosis of PTSD in soldiers returning from the theater of war. The shooter was "undergoing mental health treatment" but according to the base commander, had not yet been diagnosed, officially, with PTSD. key word: yet.

Wholigan
3rd Apr 2014, 13:50
Please don't let this turn into yet another pro versus anti US gun law thread.

Several have been deleted lately and this one will be too if the usual unremitting, muck-throwing, insulting hamster wheel develops.

rgbrock1
3rd Apr 2014, 14:07
Wholigan:

Understood. I hope others do as well. My intention in starting this thread was not to incite anti-gun, pro-gun debate but to bring to attention the continued problem of service members who return from the field of battle who have been mentally "scarred" and the possible consequences if they do not receive the treatment they so deserve, and receive it rapidly.

Thanks for not deleting this thread, sir. :ok:

parabellum
3rd Apr 2014, 14:14
My only comment is that if he was known to have mental problems his home should have been searched for any weapons and his ability to purchase any weapons should have been suspended. No guarantee it would have prevented this incident but it might just have. Police being called to a simple domestic dispute in Australia is enough to get any guns impounded.


All that said, guns can be hidden.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
3rd Apr 2014, 14:34
The problem is perhaps the attitude of Governments (I include Canada and the UK as well as the USA here) to PTSD, and other illnesses related to service.
In short, they don't care anywhere near enough. They certainly won't stump up the funds to deal adequately with the problem, and the attitude of Governments has in many respects not changed in 200 years - deny, deflect and delay until most of the victims are dead, for the sole purpose of reducing the bill.

rgbrock1
3rd Apr 2014, 14:41
Fox3 wrote:

deny, deflect and delay until most of the victims are dead, for the sole purpose of reducing the bill.

Or until the number of the victim's victims becomes too great, no?

Um... lifting...
3rd Apr 2014, 14:52
A problem, parabellum, is that "undergoing mental health treatment" covers a lot of territory, and doesn't necessarily mean that there has been any diagnosis, as rgb points out. For reasons I don't entirely understand, the military mental health community is slow to diagnose PTSD.

I recently read a book called "Thank Your For Your Service", a very sobering look at the complete failure of the military to address the problems of returning veterans. Even the one-star reviews on Amazon are telling.

Thank You for Your Service: David Finkel: 9780374180669: Amazon.com: Books

Curious Pax
3rd Apr 2014, 15:06
For reasons I don't entirely understand, the military mental health community is slow to diagnose PTSD.


Sadly I suspect that there is a great fear of the Pandora's box that could be opened legally and financially were PTSD to openly acknowledged and dealt with properly, and is not something specific to the US or UK.

I've no military connection, but I imagine there are many on here who would be in a position to know that these incidents are probably the tip of a very large iceberg. Something of a paradox between humans going to war, with all the horror that entails, and the propensity of humans to suffer mental disorders I suppose.

Um... lifting...
3rd Apr 2014, 15:10
Curious Pax, that and Fox3's opinion pretty closely mirror mine.

rgbrock1
3rd Apr 2014, 15:15
Curious wrote:

I've no military connection, but I imagine there are many on here who would be in a position to know that these incidents are probably the tip of a very large iceberg. Something of a paradox between humans going to war, with all the horror that entails, and the propensity of humans to suffer mental disorders I suppose.

Interesting take. What I find hard to understand is that after WWII, for example, one really didn't hear much about PTSD and its effects. And WWII I'm sure had its share of horrible encounters for the practitioners of war.

Although only in combat for 3 days myself I never felt the little that I did see, or do, effected me in anyway. (Other than hitting the dirt for several years afterwards any time I heard a low-flying chopper.)

Vietnam had its share of PTSD victims as well.

But it just seems so much more prevalent now. Is it because we've stuck a name on something that's always been there but was ignored perhaps?

What I'm trying to say is, I'm sure the horrors of Afghanistan and Iraq were bad. But any worse than say 'Nam , Korea or WWII? Probably not is my guess. Or is it simply that the medical profession is now better situated to define and address those issues?

500N
3rd Apr 2014, 15:22
"What I find hard to understand is that after WWII, for example, one really didn't hear much about PTSD and its effects."

Used to be called Shell shock. Now we call "it" and other things associated with it PTSD.

And in the past, society kept them hidden away, if needed in "institutions", or just out of sight, out of mind and don't discuss it publicly !

Not so much more prevalent but discussed more publicly.

I am sure a bit of "over diagnosis" occurs but that is the same with anything - ie Autism etc (I am not saying that the people are conning the system, I am saying the medical / psychological side re lumping more things under the PTSD banner).

rgbrock1
3rd Apr 2014, 16:01
I think you have a couple of valid points 500N. I also forgot about "shell shock."

I do know that my father was deeply effected by his time in Korea with the U.S. Marines in the precursor of Force Recon. He was a very quiet man but often had the 'thousand yard stare.' My mother claims that he changed a lot after getting home after Korea and "he was never the same." And he rarely, if ever, spoke about Korea.

On the other hand my maternal uncle was airborne during WWII and jumped at Utah Beach (I think it was Utah) with the 101st. Although I was young when he was around I do remember him relating several yarns about his time "behind the goddamn Kraut lines." Never seemed to effect him much but, then again, I was young so probably not too attuned to that sort of thing.

I guess it really boils down to how one's psyche, if you will, can process and handle that sort of thing. For some it's just something that needs to be done, you focus on that and get it over with and hope for the best. For others it's much more of a psychological struggle with its attendant after effects.

My 2 cents anyway.

lomapaseo
3rd Apr 2014, 16:17
Are we saying that the shooter was not right in the head?

Isn't that true for most of these killings where the intent was not to steal but to inflict injury?

I don't see our society with the ability to eliminate head problems so maybe we're just gonna have to accept the outcome or minimize the carnage someway

Curious Pax
3rd Apr 2014, 16:26
I think 500N has it about right - probably not much more prevalent, but more openly discussed, partly as people are more open about such things, and partly because in the internet age the opportunity for discussion going to a massively larger audience is there.

RGB's comments about the different psyches of combatants are also relevant I think. I sense that more weeding out of recruits could be done, though of course this wouldn't catch everyone, and with (in the UK at least) there being problems with getting enough recruits in the first place, there would be a natural reluctance to reduce the pool further.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
3rd Apr 2014, 16:39
Personally, I suspect the likelihood for PTSD depends on 4 main factors (outside personal factors) - how messy it was (best friend being blown up next to you, etc), the daily stress level, whether your side won, and how society reacts both to the conflict and the troops. I await comment from experts.

We seem to live now in a situation where many troops, in Afghanistan say, are on the wrong side of all of these. Given the reduction in Armed Forces manning to the point where most people probably don't know a soldier, lack of societal understanding doesn't look like it will get better soon. I feel that sending inadequate numbers of ill-equipped troops into a long drawn-out war we eventually lose for no clear reasons and that doesn't have public support is pretty much guaranteed to produce a lot of PTSD victims in the Armed Forces.
I blame the voters, especially everyone who voted for TB.

p.s. RGB a high number of victims of the PTSD sufferers will get something done, but I don't fancy the chances of that being a well-thought out long term plan

rgbrock1
3rd Apr 2014, 16:43
Curious wrote:

RGB's comments about the different psyches of combatants are also relevant I think. I sense that more weeding out of recruits could be done,

Won't work. There is no way anyone can foresee how a person a: will react in combat and b: what his or her experience in combat will do to him or her psychologically. Even highly-trained professionals can react very badly when the shit hits the fan. Two events come to mind as an example and both having to do with U.S. Army Rangers, who are highly-trained light infantry in case you didn't already know that. The first even happened in '93 during the battle of Mogadishu. A chalk of Rangers were fast-roping out of a Black Hawk into a firestorm brought to you by the "skinnies" of Mog. Now I know back then Rangers practice fast-rope techniques until we were blue in the face. And what happened that day? The first Ranger to attempt to fast-rope started his descent. However, the problem was he forgot to hold onto the damn rope. And plummeted 100' landing on his head. Ooops.

My point: one never knows how they will react in combat. You can train and train until the cows come home but once the shit hits the fan......
So trying to "weed out" recruits based on their perceived ability to hold their own, psychologically, during and after combat is a formidable task and one which really couldn't be effectively done.

rgbrock1
3rd Apr 2014, 16:48
Fox3 wrote:

p.s. RGB a high number of victims of the PTSD sufferers will get something done, but I don't fancy the chances of that being a well-thought out long term plan

I agree. And I think it's the military itself which is at fault here. I think they really are hesitant to acknowledge this problem. Sort of like the aforementioned Pandora's box.

I don't know what the shooter at Fort Hood saw in his time in Iraq. Don't know anything about him. But according to some media reports he claimed to have suffered a traumatic brain event (IED?) yet the Army claims there is no record of any such event. conversely, the Army did acknowledge that he had "mental issues" which were under care AND UNDER MEDICATION. key here. Did he, for whatever reason, decide to stop taking that medication? :eek:

pigboat
3rd Apr 2014, 16:56
I think you have a couple of valid points 500N. I also forgot about "shell shock."

I mean no disrespect to the military, either ex or active, but that most excellent wordsmith George Carlin had something to say about how certain conditions have been euphemized to death. I won't post a direct link, but go to You Tube and in their search function enter George Carlin shell shock. George's last sentence in the little clip speaks volumes: "Maybe if they had still called it shell shock some of those veterans would have gotten the attention they needed at the time."

con-pilot
3rd Apr 2014, 17:32
But according to some media reports he claimed to have suffered a traumatic brain event

I read that it was a self inflicted brain event. Whatever that means. Also, the Lt. Gen. that gave a statement about the shooting, stated that the shooter was not wounded/injured while he was in Iraq.

But, as we know today, one does not have to be physically wounded or injured in combat to suffer from PTSD.

vulcanised
3rd Apr 2014, 17:38
Media are also reporting that he never saw any combat action.

That destroys at least half the theories above.

rgbrock1
3rd Apr 2014, 17:49
vulcanised:

The fact that the shooter saw no combat action destroys not one theory.

The shooter was in the Army in the transport corp. Don't need to see combat in the transport corp. All you have to see is the Humvee they bring back for transport which was blown up by an IED and still contains the sodden remains of the soldiers who were in the vehicle as it was blown up.

As a member of the transport corp you might even be detailed to clean up the gory mess inside that Humvee. Every last bit of brain, half-arms, legs stuck inside boots (but separate from the rest of the body.), blood, guts and all the other matter that makes up a human being.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
3rd Apr 2014, 18:02
My brother gave up driving tow trucks in the civilian world after two weeks of collecting wrecks for just that reason. Still won't talk about it.

rgbrock1
3rd Apr 2014, 18:06
My nephew lost both his legs to an IED in Iraq back during the "Battle of Fallujah" in '04. (The 2nd one, not the first.) According to what he's related to me in conversation, he dealt with his loss much better than the motor pool private - non-combatant - who had to help lift his riddled body off the stretcher. Supposedly the motor pool private, who had not seen any combat, had to be relieved of his duties and sent back to the States after "losing it."

Tankertrashnav
3rd Apr 2014, 18:15
I have known two people quite well who were both POWs of the Japanese and had been on the infamous Burma Railway.

One, an RAF Regiment SNCO was distinctly "odd" and in all fairness should not have been still serving. Nevertheless he was treated carefully and as far as I know there were never any unfortunate incidents.

The other was a chap I got to know in recent years, a retired railway track worker. He was as cheerful and normal as anyone you would wish to meet. He was quite willing to talk about his time on the Burma railway(ironic that he spent his working life walking the tracks, this time in Cornwall) and his attitude was that that was then, this was now, and there was no point in dwelling on it.

Two men with similar experiences with quite different outcomes. Picking out the ones who are going to have trouble is the job of the psychiatrists, and I'm darn sure it's not an easy one.

con-pilot
3rd Apr 2014, 18:48
We have a very close friend whose daughter was a wild child. Now she never got into any legal trouble, she was smart enough to know just where the line was and never crossed it.

After high school and a couple years at university, she became bored and joined the army. After all of her training was over she came to visit us. She was overjoyed with being in the army and was so proud that she had scored the highest level possible with the M-16, one of the few women that ever had.

She wanted to be assigned to a combt unit, course there was no way that could happen back then, so they made her a truck driver and sent her to Iraq. While she was there she some how managed to get assigned to a combat unit, ending up being the only woman in the entire unit cosisting of nearly a thousand men.

She was not wounded, except for when a Muslim hit her in the face, breaking her nose. Near the end of her first tour, a soldier standing next to her was shot in the head by a sniper and most of his brains ended up all over her; her face and her uniform.

Looking back she thinks that this was when PTSD first started. She didn't report any problems that she was starting to suffer and volunteered for a second tour, thinking that facing her fears would be the way to solve her problems. During her second tour she started having heart attacks and having blackouts.

While in theater she was diagnosed with PTSD and was medi-evaced back to the US. She was given a medical discharge, with full disability payments.

She is now married, with three beautiful childern and she and her husband have just bought a new home.

When she comes to our home, if one never knew her, the'dy not see any problems. But we can, there is a haunting in her eyes and she is nearly always on guard, sometimes wired up as tight as a spring.

But slowly and surely she is getting better, but she will never fully recover I fear.

rgbrock1
3rd Apr 2014, 18:54
Wow con! And then multiple this by the thousands and it should come as no surprise if a few of those suffering from PTSD suddenly go postal. the vast majority of those psychologically affected by war will make do as best they can. As your friend there con. But there are those few who cannot. And unless they get the best treatment available they will remain walking time-bombs.

brickhistory
3rd Apr 2014, 21:11
Dual-edged issue:

For those Vietnam and earlier, "shell shock," "LMF," etc, etc, was considered, largely, something shameful and those who were right on the edge of such learned to push the beast down into dark, hidden internal corners.

Only to have the beast come out unexpectedly throughout the veteran's life, affecting him and his family until death.

Post-Vietnam, and PTSD is discussed openly. Perhaps too much and I, sadly, believe that some "sufferers" are merely attention-whores who detract from the discussion and treatment of those truly suffering. Akin to the "Walts" that are sometimes featured on pprune.

The financial implications have already been mentioned and I believe that is a concern for various governments. If you can discharge said soldier before he's diagnosed, the problem, and the costs associated, become someone else's.

Not to mention, some careerists don't have a blemish because they have too many such on their rolls.

Not all in leadership are this way, but there are such.

But, the facts on this tragedy are still to be determined. Could be a mental breakdown, or could be a beef with a fellow soldier that went bad and the shooter decided to go out in a blaze of publicity.

We simply don't know.

But Ft. Hood (as well as all US stateside bases) was and is designated a "gun free" zone. Does such work or merely contribute to making a soft target?

We simply don't know yet in this case.

con-pilot
3rd Apr 2014, 21:55
As one good friend I used to fly with, a Viet Nam vet, not a pilot but as an on the ground, jungle grunt once told me, 'The way it looks to me, is that most guys that came back from Viet Nam screwed up, were screwed up before they went.'

Come to think about it, I flew (a lot) with five Viet Nam grunts that became pilots after they came home, weren't any crazier than me. :p

There is no doubt that PTSD exists, but as Brick posted, just how many are ridding a free train, taking much needed monies and resources from those that really suffer from PTSD?



Just a side note. Two of the guys that I flew with decided to help out a homeless man that claimed to be a Viet Nam vet. A few months into attempting to get this guy some help, they discovered not only had this guy never been to Viet Nam, he'd never been in the military. They were more upset that they had wasted so much time and money on a fraud, when that time and money could have been on the real deal.

Lonewolf_50
3rd Apr 2014, 22:25
con pilot, are you telling me that the draft and the Army recruiting system was unable to screen out people who weren't quite right? :E Perish the thought! :}

con-pilot
3rd Apr 2014, 22:31
con pilot, are you telling me that the draft and the Army recruiting system was unable to screen out people who weren't quite right?

Well I don't know, they rejected me. :p









And no, it was not for mental reasons. :*



I don't think. :\

500N
3rd Apr 2014, 22:33
That is what they told you ! :O ;) :p

con-pilot
3rd Apr 2014, 22:47
That is what they told you !

Actually 'they' didn't tell me anything. A doctor looked at my leg, wrote something down, handed me my free lunch voucher and told me to leave. I was only there for about ten minutes. :p

Seldomfitforpurpose
4th Apr 2014, 00:06
Post #6 offers some very sensible advice. Without knowing all the facts in this case it's hard to say what's what but on face value we have to ask should a guy with known mental health issues be allowed access to personal firearms?

Solid Rust Twotter
4th Apr 2014, 10:33
Most of those I served with carried on pretty much as normal. A couple of the hard cases got religion and a couple took to recreational pharmaceuticals. One before he'd even left the military was known for lifting the Sosegon ampoules from the medic packs.

As for the media and PTSD, a lot of pay clerks and storemen 'suffering' from it came out of the woodwork when it became trendy to knock the old military under the new government. The tinfoil hat red top type magazines catering for the gullible and thick, as well as most women's magazines jumped on their stories like a fat girl in a chocolate shop.

As for me, I still work in areas deemed risky and have had a couple of close shaves. Not yet had the urge to open fire on a Sunday school class or wear my undies on my head. Different strokes, I guess...

Tankertrashnav
4th Apr 2014, 10:50
jumped on their stories like a fat girl in a chocolate shop.




Fattist and sexist!

I love JB - the last refuge of the non - PC :ok:

Cacophonix
4th Apr 2014, 12:44
or wear my undies on my head

As yes that will do it but you know that you have crossed the line when you start pushing pencils up your nose...

PTSD or shellshock as it was known (and punished in WW1) is a genuine syndrome that can effect anybody from any walk of life who has been subject to an extremely stressful situation. An elderly neighbour of mine in Johannesburg who had been robbed at gunpoint and tied up with steel wire before being beaten showed all the symptoms of this syndrome for a couple of years before he died...

Depression, disturbed sleep patterns, anxiety, lack of concentration, intermittent rage and grief are just some of the potential symptoms. Combine these symptoms with potential alcohol and drug abuse in a younger man who might be armed and the outcome can turn deadly as might have been the case in this incident...

Sad for all concerned in this case and one wonders what if anything the military can do to prevent these isolated tragedies without circumscribing the rights and liberties of folks who, having served their country, probably just need a rest and some recreation in the short to medium term to return to full mental health.

Caco

rgbrock1
4th Apr 2014, 13:11
con wrote:

Actually 'they' didn't tell me anything. A doctor looked at my leg, wrote something down, handed me my free lunch voucher and told me to leave.'Twas kind of different for me buddy. With me the doctor stuck his finger up my ass, told me to cough twice while he had my balls in his hands, wrote something down, handed me my free lunch voucher and told me to get in line with all the others "scum bags."

I've been scarred ever since. :}

rgbrock1
4th Apr 2014, 13:15
Caco wrote:

As yes that will do it but you know that you have crossed the line when you start pushing pencils up your nose...

And there's a problem with pushing pencils up ones nose? I do it all the time when I'm dragged into meetings: I arrive with two pencils, not just one, dangling from my nostrils. It seems to work pretty well because 9 times out of 10 I'm told my presence in the meeting is no longer required. :ok:

Solid Rust Twotter
4th Apr 2014, 13:54
I've been scarred ever since.


Wouldn't have expected anything else from a sensitive little flower such as yourself, Mr Rock.:}

Lonewolf_50
4th Apr 2014, 14:01
Post #6 offers some very sensible advice. Without knowing all the facts in this case it's hard to say what's what but on face value we have to ask should a guy with known mental health issues be allowed access to personal firearms?
This is called "a stupid question" that is pre biased in a particular way. If he already owns firearms, your question is meaningless. If he is under treatment, any gun shop owner won't know someone is under treatment. Nor should they. You will note that the firearm he used was not from the armory on base, so that "access to firearms" issue is a RED HERRING.

I could go on, but the attitude and the number of assumptions imbedded in your question point to a willful misunderstanding.

What the base commander is doubtless in an uproar about is someone sneaking a personal firearm onto the post from off post. THAT security issue is a long standing red ass for base commanders all over.

Pinky the pilot
5th Apr 2014, 12:26
I do it all the time when I'm dragged into meetings: I arrive with two pencils, not just one, dangling from my nostrils. It seems to work pretty well because 9 times out of 10 I'm told my presence in the meeting is no longer required.

So rgbrock1, You have worked out how it works quite well, haven't you?:ok::D

How are ya btw?