Did you watch “CBS Sunday Morning” a couple of days ago?
If not, find it on your computer or smart TV service. If you did see it, watch it again. I’m directing you specifically to the segment on U.S. veterans and post-traumatic stress disorders.
Now, before you say you know all you need to know about this paralyzing condition — wait! This time, the news staff doesn’t focus primarily on the veteran. No, this piece is about what is called the “collateral damage” of this devastating mental illness. In this case, collateral damage is another name for the damaged children of the damaged parent.
A 15-year-old Indiana girl reflected nostalgically on what a fun, engaged father her dad was before Iraq. After Iraq, he couldn’t take her to the park or basketball games anymore because, as he explained, he was always looking for snipers. Sometimes an uncontrollable rage will even take over that frightens him and his family. To make matters worse, his son attempted suicide a year ago.
Veterans and the officials who sent them into harm’s way all acknowledge war is hell.
But imagine what this kind of hell looks like through the eyes of a child.
I’m Pat McMahon.