I can’t quit thinking about Iraq combat vet Jesse Huff and his recent suicide. Because this happened in my old hometown of Dayton, Ohio, it especially “hits home.” I believe his story needs to be explored, so I am posting more on him today.
I have relatives working at the Dayton VA, and I know how much it must hurt to know this young soldier saw no way out of his pain, but to literally “blow his brains out,” on the VA campus. Continue reading 'More on the Suicide of Iraq Combat Vet Jesse Huff'»
From an article in The Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, we learn of another combat vet suicide. Jesse Huff, a 27-year-old honorably discharged soldier, suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and from physical injuries from a roadside bomb in Iraq. He had been living with chronic, severe pain in his lower back and legs.
His sister, Heather Lake, said “He was truly depressed, because he wanted nothing more than to be in the military.”
Huff arrived at the emergency room at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center around 1 a.m. April 16th, and sought immediate help because he was “paranoid someone was after him” according to Scott Labensky, the father of Jesse’s half-brother Dalton. Continue reading 'Iraq Army Combat Vet Commits Suicide on the Steps of the VA’s Patient Tower'»
In a recent article by Anita K. Kantrowitz, we learn about psychiatrist Judith Broder, who spent 30 years working in a private psychoanalytic practice, primarily with teens and young adults. As a volunteer, she counseled teenage mothers and taught, trained and supervised analysts at the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies (LAISPS).
Broder had been cutting back on her practice and looking forward to retirement. But then she saw a play about the Iraq War’s emotional toll on soldiers’ lives. The play that inspired Broder, The Sand Storm: Stories From The Front, was written by Sean Huze, at the time an active-duty Marine. Huze created 10 monologues based on the experiences of soldiers stationed with him in Fallujah, Iraq.
She shelved her retirement plans and embarked on a new mission. She began to create a network of psychological services for those affected by the trauma of combat. The experienced doctor had no prior experience with the psychological effects of combat, and was devastated as she watched the actors, some of who were veterans, describe “horrible things that no one should have to see or participate in.” Continue reading 'Psychiatrist Judith Broder, Founded THE SOLDIERS PROJECT, After Seeing Play About Iraq War Veterans'»
The National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum (NVVAM) was formed in 1981, by a few Vietnam combat veterans. They put together an artistic and historical collection that has become a timeless statement of war on behalf of all veterans for future generations. The rare collection blossomed from a group of veterans in the post-war era, and has now grown into the world’s only museum with a permanent collection focusing on the subject of war from an artistic perspective.
They are now “stretching beyond Vietnam” to help today’s combat veterans. While the stigma against Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder continues, veterans across the country have found a way to let the healing process begin by creating art.
Art therapy is an established mental health profession which uses the creative process of art to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It’s based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight. Continue reading 'Art Therapy Continues Its Tradition As a Healing Tool for Today’s Combat Veterans PTSD'»
A new study has come out from researchers in San Francisco, on Iraq War veterans. The study suggests that more discussion of killing, may help veterans cope with an array of mental health problems after their wartime experience.
This is no surprise to those of us of the Vietnam War generation. We’ve long known that Vietnam vets seemed to find comfort in having interaction with other Vietnam vets. Unfortunately, from my experience, much of that bonding time included consumption of massive amounts of alcohol, or other substances. This of course, can be very hard on families.
The study was published last week in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, and found that soldiers who reported having killed in combat, or who gave orders that led to killing, were more likely to report the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse, anger and relationships problems. Continue reading 'New Study Says Combat Veterans Need to Talk about Killing, Even in Public Forums'»