There has been some talk lately as to the criminality of our returning veterans and its impact on our society. Inflammatory comments have been made and a defense of our veterans has been proffered. Validity resounds upon both sides of the argument as our veterans go on and try to live their lives.
I have only been arrested twice for driving under the influence, I say only because I have drove drunk many times. To say that this is the extent of my criminal activity would be misleading. Most of my felonious behavior resulted in tearing up my own personal property or my wifes, getting into fights with the whole bar, and instigating or looking for trouble in any form. It was gods blessing that I did not wind up in jail or prison on assault charges from the numerous times that I beat someone in a blackout of rage.
With a mind reeling in the cycle of survival, a feeling of need to engage the adrenaline rush overwhelms the person. The survival mode having been triggered feeds off of dangerous situations due to the fight or flight defensive mechanism. Survival depends on a reactionary responsive reflex, a instantaneous engagement of life threatening situations (Cercone, 302). A soldiers training suppresses the flight portion of this evolutionary apparatus leaving only one option for the veteran, self destructive behavior.
The driving force behind criminal activity for the veteran comes out in situations as unplanned overreactions to stimuli in our environment. Societies law enforcement, medical and mental health institutions, and judicial systems have little understanding of the war veterans perspective on life. A punitive approach to dealing with these individuals would only compound the mental health issues prevalent in our combat veterans.
When I hear of the offensive and incendiary conversations by individuals with little comprehension or compassion on the topic of combat veterans clashing with society I feel very much disrespected. I mean really, how do we expect our soldiers and veterans who have been on multiple deployments in Iraq to act? Most of these soldiers have been in a combat zone for an average of 2 to 3 YEARS, yes you read that right, years. Roadside bombs, their buddy blown apart right next to them, bullets whizzing by, RPG's, is that child going to blow me up? Try living with this for years and see how that might affect your mental ability to separate and distinguish cognitions into comprehendable interactions.
No offense to our veterans? Please, spare me the rhetoric. Go do some research and brush up on your knowledge of the situation from more than one narrow perspective.