Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why most people do not understand Veterans Injuries.

I have noticed quite a few remarks on this subject, both here and in other places, and I have been giving it some serious thought. With our ability today to show what life is like in Iraq and Afghanistan, you would think that most people would understand how so many of our Vets are so badly hurt. Particularly so at the start of the recent encounters, when the TV news stations had a minute-by-minute view of the death and destruction. This being so, why are folks not seeing what this does to the men and women who are on the spot?
I think I place at least part of the blame on the violence in so many movies. These movies show as many explosions as it is possible to fit into a few minutes of screen time. We can enjoy falling bodies and burning debris in slow motion. What the movies do NOT show are the after effects of such violence. The hero comes through unscathed; his face is never burned beyond recognition; he has both eyes and both arms and legs. He, or she, appears to suffer no adverse effects from being thrown on the ground from a fast moving vehicle, dropped from a helicopter or dumped off a bridge in a fiery crash. Even though at some level, we must recognize this as being very unlikely in real life, I think most audiences never really equate what they see with what real life is actually like for our troops.
Little is reported about those who are injured. If the injured are thought of at all, it is assumed that all the injured are well taken care of. Anything about care that reaches the national news is usually of the dramatic rescues or the drama of field surgery. How often do we see the effects of brain injuries or of the family who struggles with a disfigured son or husband. I mean, this wasn't in the script, was it.
I also lay blame on the violence in video games. Recently I watched one of my Grandsons playing a particularly, to me at any rate, horrible game. The main object appeared to be to spread as much of your opponent over the screen as possible and in the fastest time. Again there are no repercussions for the hero.
I do seriously think that what the TV news shows, comes over as just like another movie or X-Box game. No bad after-effects, and at the end of the day they wash off the fake blood and go home.

1 comment:

  1. Hi VetFriend, I agree with you comments, and mostly about not knowing what we caregivers experience each day when there is a TBI and PTSD diagnosis. One day is never the same as the one before or after it, and on the outside, it seems like our lives are normal -- until the odd behavior is noted. Then, it can be a "snap out of it" reaction instead of the compassion to know that he is doing the best he can. Many families are being supported just great, but some are torn when others don’t understand the effects of TBI. Where is the education of the public on this terrible and difficult to treat condition?