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A response to an Editorial on Stress

By Remy Benoit

An Editorial in the Dayton Daily Times,Three things you can do to eliminate stress By Gregory Ramey, Ph.D. reprinted here in the Times Picayune was brought to my attention because the comparison of experience, of stress, between Band of Brothers, combat troops in WWII and a high school boy stressing over college was so totally unacceptable, and insensitive to those we send to war. Have some of us come so little forward to not recognize the making of, actual PTSD? With due respect, Dr. Ramey, may we bring other thoughts to your attention on the stress our soldiers know?

I forwarded the link to a few Veterans for their reaction to his Editorial. Your reactions to this Editorial are welcome, as are counter reactions by the author. Here, this morning, I present you with a reaction by a Special Forces Veteran, Lonnie D. Story.

Dear Mr. Ramey: I recently was forwarded a copy of your article/editorial in the Dayton Daily News under the date of January 25, 2009 regarding "stress." In the introductory paragraph you mentioned your "ten hours..watching Band of Brothers.." and then went on to altruistically ironize the lack of "stress" being mentioned by the interviewees. I too, have watched the series repeatedly. There are too many occasions to note when the men interviewed had to stop talking because of the internalized pain, suffering and God knows how many nightmares, flashbacks and tears. It is absurd to think that these men, whom you clearly state, witnessed unspeakable hardships, destruction and death and allude to the assumption they don't ascribe to having had stress.

PTSD is a very clear and evident problem among vets. I come from a long line of veterans in my family from WWII, Korea, Vietnam and my own combat experiences in four theatres.

Additionally, I personally wrote and published the biography of The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg. and all that her family and country of Luxembourg endured under the Nazi regime and the war itself in their front and backyard. Your suggestion are valid for children and parents but to minimalize and even trivialize the stress of combat wounded (emotionally, physically and socially) is horribly disgraceful. As a professional with a PhD, you should re-exam and reconsider your words which others rely upon as medicinal in nature. It comes across as the same ol' hardcore Army, Marine, Navy answers "Suck it up, soldier and move on."

This answer has caused me to witness things I doubt very seriously you could even fathom. From an uncle with a heroin addiction formed in Vietnam and dying at a bar stool, a stepfather that still has night sweats from Tinian, Guam and other places seeing bodies of Marines floating in the water to my own personal experiences I rather save for a brother, another member of the "band of brothers" that I can talk to at the VA or on the street or over a beer. We hurt, we cry, we stress. We just don't let everyone see it so maybe you haven't noticed it. Our soldiers in and at war overseas and here at home should NOT be equated with the stress of a high-schooler, even though they too suffer, I would recommend you read my article Playground Politics. at Populist America website.

In closing, I am a highly decorated veteran having served in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama and the Philippines. All my "decorations" are a menagarie of colors representing the kaleidoscope of nightmares I have on a nightly basis. I am glad my 83 year old stepfather and my good friend Anni Adams, aged 82 did not see your article. They most likely would have cried,..inside.

Mr. Lonnie D. Story
Sgt. U.S. Army
10th Special Forces
1981-1988, 2001.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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