November 5, 2009

Combat Values Theory and the Veteran: A Marriage of Defensive Mechanisms and Role Switching

My readership has grown pretty steady in the last two years and I want to tell you that I am truly blessed to have people look to me for understanding when not so long ago I seriously lacked such perceptions. Soon I will have my 200th post here at PASP, Thank you for your continued patronage. I would like to bring some attention to some overlooked posts that I think will shed some light on a combat veterans thinking process, feelings, behaviors, reactions and interactions with others. I hope to bring forth an illumination into why we do what we do.

Photo by Scott Lee
Dichotomous Subdivisions Within the Subconscious, an existence without realizing our true nature results in a separation from reality and our connection to one another. An either-or duality dissociates discernment from reason leaving a fractured self. We cut up and separate rationalities in an attempt to preserve our sanity as the mind forms dissections to preserve and protect itself. The defensive mechanism overwhelms our thinking process and compartmentalizes our personality. The split in our mental reflections enables a combat veteran to 'role switch' from a killer instinct with no remorse to a loving and caring father with great capacity for empathy. For the combat vet this can become troublesome to dangerous when these roles begin to blur and wreck havoc.

Everyone sets up belief systems, a schema that enable us to react to situations as they arrive. By using this system of rules as a guide in life we can interact in society without having to analyze every aspect of our experience. We can convince ourselves that our ideology is who we are, when in reality living within our dogma cuts us off from a greater understanding and reaching our potentiality. The combat veteran's brain has invoked a divided self to ensure the integrity of the differing internal representations. His or her mind has been subdivided into incompatible subsections to deal with life in the clashing realms of their subconscious.


  1. I totally can see this! But tell me if a vet has an actually physical feeling of this happening? Also, is desensitizing involved to numb the mental pain?

  2. Yes many veterans feel physical pain as a result of traumatic events due to their service to their country. Correct again with regard to desensitizing to numb the mental pain.


Please share your comments, stories and information. Thank you. ~ Scott Lee