Sunday, December 28, 2008

Monsters we create

After reading a recent blog involving a Marine accused of beating his wife, almost to death, I decided to delve into the topic of military personal, psychological issues and how they get to the point of hurting or killing people they love.

Many recruits are found in high schools. Recruiters go to local high schools and give boys and girls alike the option of a career in the military. Many of these youth have no other option due to poor employment, lack of funding for college and other various economic reasons. The recruiter can seem like a beacon in the night to theses types of youth.

Some of theses youth have never even been to a city or exposed to the various situations that are part of city life. Some get married before or right after boot camp out of shear loneliness or the need to have someone from home near them. This places another youth into the mix that is equally inexperienced.

These youth are trained in the art of combat and all that that implies. They are then shipped to a foreign country, given a weapon that if they were at home they would be arrested for and told to shoot to kill. Their lives are in danger at every turn and they are dealing with forced adulthood and homesickness.

These same youth call home to learn their wife has taken a seedy job in the city and is making more money than they are for risking life and limb. This seedy job places their wife in situations that are less than safe and give her the false feeling of great glamour.

The youth, if they survive combat, return home to controversy and politics that make them less than the hero the recruiter promised. The psychological issues have already developed from combat situations and are fueled by the ever mounting situations the youth faces.

The wife decides to experiment with an admirer who fills the void left by the ever absent military husband who is suffering from PTSD and depression and feels no one cares or understands. If this dalliance is blatant it only adds to the psychological mix. If it is found out by the youth by chance or gossip betrayal is felt at an even greater level.

Enter domestic violence and even murder. Then enter the public opinion that the youth is “bad” and “how could this happen”? We, or society as a whole, create these scenarios and stand back and judge the result like we think it is something new. The facts and history are there to prevent it all from occurring but we, as ignorant humans, refuse to acknowledge our role in the causation so we could never acknowledge the fact that it can be stopped.

Now I realize the need for military and the need to recruit youth. But I also realize the need for preventative methods at every level of this situation. If we are going to recruit youth we need to prepare them for more than battle. From the issues of domesticity to disorders due to combat there are prevention methods that can be taught.

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