Our buddy, Alex Horton, formerly the blogger at Army of Dude, and currently a public affairs specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs, wrote a piece at the New York Times yesterday about how we all (veterans) silently prayed that the shooter in Connecticut wasn’t one of us;
Call it the Rambo Effect: when a war veteran returns home and faces conflict, for the uninformed, it seems no stretch that he would respond by killing everything in his path, just as he did overseas.
It’s an embarrassing, inaccurate, yet pervasive trope that percolates throughout entertainment and mass media. This year, when two Iraq veterans committed unrelated murders in Washington State and California, journalists quickly and incorrectly connected their crimes to post-traumatic stress as a result of their combat experiences.
Yeah, well, it’s not just that. Remember how the media tried to connect Jared Loughner to the military because he’d once gone to a recruiting station? The media also tried to connect that shooter in Portland last week to us, Jacob Tyler Roberts, because he couldn’t join the Marines due to an injury. Yeah, I don’t know how many times someone would tell me that they’d have been airborne if it wasn’t for some phantom injury.
But, Alex ends his piece;
One Afghanistan veteran summed up the strange acquittal many of us felt when we heard that Mr. Lanza never served.
“I am relieved,” he said in response to my post on Twitter. “What does that mean? I don’t know, honestly.”
Well, just wait…maybe he talked to a recruiter at some point in his life which will somehow explain it all to the media.
Category: Veterans Issues