Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Curse of Being a Neglected Hero

Residual War Horrors and Neglected Heroes
Residual War
Kathie Costos
April 8, 2017

On Combat PTSD Wounded Times there are over 27,000 articles spanning nearly 10 years of news and government reports on what our heroes have to go through for our sake. They tell of the price men and women pay for doing what they believe in doing.

Oh, sure, we can boil it all down to being a patriot and doing it because freedom isn't free, but then you'd have to get into the reasons behind sending them into combat. The purest reason they have to risk their lives, is also what cuts them the deepest. They risk their lives for those they are with. 

War is often a wrong choice made by those who do not have to go. But those who go make the choice to be willing to die for the sake of their combat family members. Yes, family.

Think of what you'd do for your own family and then maybe you'll be able to understand how devoted they are to each other. That bond adds to what they face afterwards. That bond is what makes being out of combat more dangerous than being in it for them. 

In combat, the concern of the threat of death is not about their own lives. It is about the others. After combat, when it is about what the risk did to them, they run out of reasons to stay alive for.

"Life is like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending." Jim Henson
Residual War is out of my own brain but it is based on real accounts from heroes trying to recover from what we asked them to do. Wow, bet that hit you like a sledgehammer.

I envisioned a world where wounded soldiers were sent into a healing unit instead of being cast out of the military after it all cut too deeply into their soul. Fort Christmas was a place where they would stop risking their lives and start simply risking their pride, asking for help and getting it. 

The accounts of what placed them in jeopardy are based on what has happened to many different generations of soldiers and woven into a tale of what can happen...or should I say, what should happen.

It should have happened to someone like  Tech. Sgt Steven Bellino in the following report, but it didn't.
Audio recordings, military records, an Air Force psychiatric evaluation, and a timeline Bellino made of key events in his life — most provided to the San Antonio Express-News by his family — show Bellino dealt with steadily worsening symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder as he struggled to change careers after a stellar record throughout multiple Army deployments and CIA contract work in Afghanistan and Iraq.
What if the ending had been written differently and he received the help he needed after being convinced he was worthy of it? What if he got the help he needed and didn't have to worry about giving up the thing he dedicated his life to?

When you read the following story, please take a look at the pictures taken when this happened. Look at how many people were involved in this situation. Then remember none of them knew what was happening or the story behind the outcome. They only knew they had two dead servicemembers after something that should not have happened.

Gunman in Lackland murder-suicide had 66 rounds of ammunition
My San Antonio
By Sig Christenson
April 7, 2017
McKenna noted that Bellino had the chance to seek other victims after killing Schroeder, 39, of Ames, Iowa, but instead shot himself.
A bearded Steven Bellino stands on a base in Afghanistan. Undated.
Photo courtesy of Scott Workman.
The Air Force has long maintained that Lt. Col. William Schroeder made a heroic last stand when he fought and was killed by a disgruntled pararescue trainee who had arrived in his office armed with two handguns and a knife.

Days before today’s first anniversary of the killing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, commanders said Schroeder “saved the lives of countless fellow airmen” by confronting Tech. Sgt Steven Bellino, a veteran Special Forces soldier.

Citing a still-ongoing investigation, the Air Force now says Bellino also was carrying a stun gun — and 66 rounds of ammunition. The handgun he used to kill Schroeder, and then himself, had an extended magazine loaded with 30 bullets.

“Bill Schroeder is a hero,” said Col. Sean McKenna, chief spokesman for the Air Education and Training Command. “His swift and selfless actions have been recognized as preventing what could have been a much more terrifying event.”

The Air Force has credited Schroeder with sacrificing himself to save his first sergeant, who was in the office as the confrontation began.
read more here
cross posted on Combat PTSD Wounded Times

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