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Veterans With Ptsd

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  • HadIt.com Elder

'Marlboro Marine': Home Front Woes

NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2006(CBS) In November 2004, a photo of a U.S. Marine made the front page of newspapers across the country. The picture is still one of the best-known images of the war. But the man himself has moved on, and is having trouble adjusting to civilian life.

Lance Cpl. Blake Miller of Jonancy, Ky., came to be known as the "Marlboro Marine" when his picture was splashed across the nation.

The attention didn't get him any special privileges, and he served his entire combat tour before he and his unit were ordered home.

The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith was there in February when Miller got to hug his mother upon his return.

At the time, Miller told Smith, "I lost a few of some of my dearest friends. People don't understand how you can be so close to someone that you've only known for such a short time but, when you spend a year-and-a-half with someone, you know some things about them their own family doesn't even know about. People say that the Marine Corps is a brotherhood, and you truly do not realize that until you actually need your brothers, and that's when they're there."

But, like many of his comrades, Miller wasn't able to completely put his time in Iraq behind him.

While on duty during the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, Miller suffered from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and was granted an honorable discharge from the Marines in November.

Miller's life is also different in another way. In June, he married his longtime love, Jessica.

On The Early Show Tuesday, Miller told Smith, "For the most part, I mean, it was a big adjustment (when I got home) just trying to get in that mindset of being able to just roam, run around without fear of being shot at or where to look for danger. … It's unexplainable. I mean, just to go from that mindset to being able to walk around freely and just enjoy it."

Miller said the trouble that arose during his Katrina duties happened on the USS Iwo Jima when a sailor mimicked the whistle of a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG).

"For anybody to duplicate that sound," Miller told Smith, "they've had to hear it. Without even knowing what I'd done until after it was over, I snatched him up, I slammed him against the bulkhead, the wall, and took him to the floor, and I was on top of him."

Miller went into therapy, but wasn't told right away that he had PTSD.

"At first, they thought maybe it was the pressure of being on the ship," he said. "The more doctors I talked to, the more they came to the conclusion that (PTSD) is what it is. … I'm continuing my therapy; continued up until the day I got out (of the service), actually."

And Miller knows he's not alone.

"A lot of guys have had way worse incidents from being in Iraq," he said. "And I guess it just — it troubled me due to the fact that their incidents may have been more severe, and they weren't suffering from the same things I was. I just didn't understand how it could affect me so dramatically and not affect some of these guys. But a lot of them deal with different ways.

"The more and more I talk to (other guys), the more I found out there were a lot of Marines that are going through same or similar emotions. It's tough to deal with. Being in Iraq is something no one wants to talk about."

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Posted on Mon, Jan. 02, 2006


Disorder familiar among soldiers


Everybody comes home from war with combat stress reactions, said Lt. Col. Susan Whiteaker, a licensed clinical social worker with the 88th U.S. Army Reserve Regional Readiness Command in Minnesota.But some, she said, come back with the more severe PTSD. ``It doesn't reach PTSD until it goes on awhile, and it becomes totally disruptive to their lives,'' she said.


Franklin was out of the Army and in Individual Ready Reserves when an Army noncommissioned officer showed up at his home in July 2003 to tell him he was being brought back into the Army. He and his wife, Marnie, who met in high school in Mansfield and attended the University of Akron together, operated Total Quality Maintenance, a floor care firm, before he was deployed. Revenues for his family business fell $300,000 the year he was gone.

Franklin was assigned to the Army Reserve's 706th Transportation Company in Mansfield and, after months of training, arrived in Iraq in January 2004. The unit's job was to haul fuel in trucks across Iraq.

On March 27, 2004, his unit was on a dangerous mission to take fuel to Marines in the Fallujah area, and Franklin was uneasy about it. ``Nobody was supposed to be on that road,'' he said.

The road they were on was riddled with holes from previous roadside bomb explosions. ``We were heading out and kept slowing down, and I said, `This doesn't feel right,' '' he said. About three minutes later, Franklin's world changed. ``Everything went black -- that is when my truck got hit,'' he said. He said he suffered from a ``thrashing'' of his head that resulted in bruises on his brain and compressed discs in his back. ``I only remember bits and pieces,'' he said.

Headaches, nightmares

Eventually, he was sent back to the United States and stayed two months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, where he suffered from dizzy spells, headaches and nightmares.

``Do I see faces at night?'' he said during an interview this summer. ``Yes. I sure do. Do I relive that day over and over again? Sure. Do I relive other people's experiences? Sure.''

Marnie Franklin said her husband came home a different man.

``He goes from zero to 10 over nothing,'' she said in a summer interview.

``If dinner wasn't ready, it set him off. He was hungry and he wanted to eat right now.''

Franklin said he often felt like he was adrift in the months after arriving back home.

``It is like I am here, and I am not here,'' he said. ``I am in a zone.''

And he said he understood how his problems have taken a toll on his family.

``My kids have picked up on it,'' said the father of two.

They ask: Why is Daddy mad? Why does Daddy go to the bedroom? Why does Daddy yell all the time? Why does Daddy roam the house all night?


Lt. Col. Whiteaker said all who have been to war come back changed in some way.

``You don't come back and just forget,'' she said. ``It becomes PTSD when you cannot manage your emotions and it totally debilitates you... where you are not functioning.''


Lessons from Vietnam

She said the Army learned lessons from the veterans who suffered from PTSD in Vietnam. ``If you can talk about it and you see everybody went through the same thing, it normalizes a very abnormal thing.... It makes you see you are not the only one having the feeling,'' she said. For Franklin, the sleepless nights and nightmares and back pains and headaches continued throughout 2005. In August, as he and a work crew from his company prepared floors at a new school building in Lorain, he talked about the hardship of being plucked from a family business, going straight to war and then returning to civilian life. ``Most are going from their living rooms to Iraq,'' he said.

Frustrated with VA

Franklin said he was frustrated trying to get the care he felt he needed through the VA. Even though he praised the counselors he has worked with, he said he needed physical therapy and wanted to talk to a psychiatrist in Ohio but so far has not been able to do so.

As for Franklin, ``I thank God every day that I made it out of that explosion.'' But the darkness that has followed him since the explosion in Iraq is still present. ``I am talking and nobody is listening,'' he said.

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Guest Jim S.

I would like to put my two cents worth in, but this is not the post for palitical issues, pleas continue on Socail Chat. It takes away from Claims and Benefits Research.

Perty Please,

Jim S. :D

p.s.; When are we going to get a spell check? I try guys but palitical should be political and pleas should be please, and Socail should be Social. LoL

Edited by Jim S.
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Guest allanopie


If I was a guest or new to this board, I couldn't help notice just how knit picking your comments are over where things should be. Is PTSD a claim issue? Is PTSD a benefit issue?

Politics have a great deal to do with our benefits. They can't be completely separated, so why harrass members over it?

If members are made to feel they are not free to speak out, they will go someplace else. That's a fact.

ieSpell - A Spell Checker for Internet Explorer

Download at: http://www.iespell.com/download.php

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I agree Allan -with you- I think this stuff not only belongs in Claims Research but should be Plastered all over every newspaper in the Nation , and on 20/20 and Dateline and CNN, as well as part of every current event History curriculum in High school.

I type fast and haven't figured put the spell check here- also I have mentioned Pres Clinton today-

and after I said it-although I am not political - probably someone will take what I said that way-and I am also one of the bad spellers-but not in any mood to be criticized for that-

This crap is petty when men and women are in Harm's way, paying taxes right this minute to fund the illiterates we have to deal with at VAs, and have yet to find out what the VA can really be like-

and let's face it many of them have PTSD already-

These articles are about Honorable veterans who walked the walk-if their experience is not worthy enough for Claims Research-then I am booking-outta here-

It seems to me if vets who have petty points to pick on others with- they could better spend their time trying to really support their own claims.

As George Washington said- 'our future military is directly dependent on how we treat our nation's veterans.'

Our future military is OUR responsibility as we all try to help vets here-we are laying a foundation for them-

by helping each other with claims. I fully intend to post in Claims Research myself anything like this I get from my vet orgs by email or that I catch on the news.


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Guest Jim S.

I'm sorry everyone for being such a nip picking fruit ball. LoL If the post is on a subject I will refrain from looking at it as political flak. But, you know their had to be a but.

I failed to see the question, their for I assumed ( made an Ass out of myself) not you just me, and thought such articles should be brought up in a different forum than research and claims.

nip picking is not such a bad thing, I only thought their should have been a question asked first on the subject the article referenced or waited until their was. Once your post has moved on to another page, some who could benfit from ther words, may not see them.

I wished the search worked better than it does, then if you wanted to see what their was on PTSD you could just put it in the box and get all the posst that have it in the subject matter.

I guess we will have to be a little forgiving due to the lack of topic titles to post to.

I'm So Sorry, to the bottom of my toes. :) Naaa, their you are. LoL :D

Jim S. :blink:

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