56. A conflicted Veteran’s Day

Posted: November 11, 2009 in faith
Tags: , , , , ,

I find it extremely ironic that Veteran’s Day fell one day after the execution of convicted serial killer (DC sniper) John Allen Muhammad, and one week after the slayings at Fort Hood allegedly carried out by a Muslim Army officer, Gen. George Casey (lower rt).john allen mohammad

John Allen Mohammad (rt), one of the notorious Washington, D.C., snipers, was convicted of murdering 10 people in fall 2002.  In the case of the late Mohammad, many would agree that execution serves justice, but the question becomes, “what about our humanity?”

Allow me to preface my comments by suggesting that I have not experienced the tragedy of having a family innocently murdered by the hands of a serial killer.  That said, I can’t help but to feel sorry for yet another brother whose life has been taken prematurely.  Not to negate the feelings of the surviving family members, I just don’t see how taking another life helps to resolve the issue.

These recent events and my psychology background has caused me to do a little reading on what is known as Posttraumatic Stress disorder, dissociation, and trauma exposure in depressed and non-depressed veterans.  The following is a PubMed.gov publication written by Lambert A. Wilkeson, MT.george casey

Increasing evidence indicates that exposure to traumatic events predisposes individuals to depressive symptoms as well as to emotional and psycho physiological symptoms covered under the diagnostic criteria of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma exposure history and PTSD symptoms would, therefore, be expected to be more common in a depressed population than in a non-depressed group. To examine the association between trauma exposure (trauma load), dissociation, and depression, we administered clinical interviews and an assessment package derived from existing instruments (including the Dissociative Experiences Scale; DES) to 101 veteran patients with histories of clinically significant depression and a comparison group of 49 medical patients with no history of depression. The depression group had experienced significantly higher numbers of traumatic incidents, had higher average DES scores, and more frequently met diagnostic criteria for PTSD. The findings support the argument for a causal or predisposing effect of trauma in the expression of clinically significant depression.

The above does not provide an excuse but rather a rationale or reason as to why growing numbers of military veterans are committing vicious crimes once they’ve been discharged.  This is a growing problem that requires serious attention.

veteran's day

Regardless of the professional diagnosis, my heart goes out to the families of the victims of the DC sniper shooting and the recent Fort Hood shootings, may God bless and keep you.  Veteran’s Day of 2009 will be a memorable one, for all the wrong reasons.

D’s 2 cents,

2 cents

  1. Blackman says:

    What’s the conflict? They took innocent lives, they gotta go.

  2. Angie says:

    Its ironic ….this topic you have selected….since I just had a similar conversation with my mother on yesterday regarding the execution of this man. While I am most definitely not a supporter of any person who decides to take the life of another. By the same token I cannot sit and say that execution of this same individual sits well with me either. I just have one question who or what gives the government authority to take the life of another regardless of his crime? It seems to me that it is exactly the same action just made legal by the government.

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