PsychCentral reports on a study that tells us what we already know – it’s not PTS that makes veterans violent, but rather pressures that surround them when they exit the military.
“When you hear about veterans committing acts of violence, many people assume that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or combat exposure are to blame,” Elbogen said. “But our study shows that is not necessarily true.”
Factors that were associated with violence included alcohol misuse, criminal background, as well as veterans’ living, work, social, and financial circumstances.
Wealth was an issue as the survey found that veterans who didn’t have enough money to cover basic needs were more likely to report aggressive behavior than veterans with PTSD.
“Our study suggests the incidence of violence could be reduced by helping veterans develop and maintain protective factors in their lives back home,” Elbogen said.
Oh, so veterans are just like normal people? Really? Who knew?
So, because we’re like everyone else, maybe treating us like we’re all John Rambo, one traffic stop away from a murderous rampage is the wrong approach to dealing with veterans.
Treat us as if we’re just like you. And sometimes we’re our own worst enemy about that. One of my workmates was a supply clerk in Vietnam and he used to act like the crazy Vietnam veteran and made the whole office scared of him – breaking into Tourret’s-like cussing spells when things didn’t go his way. It led to the whole office treating us newly-hired veterans like we were all a bunch of lunatics and it created a tense working environment.
But civilians should judge veterans like they do anyone else they meet on the street instead of like we’re recently-caged animals.