Ft. Hood, PTSD, and Horrific Media Reporting


First and foremost, my heart goes out to those recently affected by the heinous act of violence out at Ft. Hood. It is definitely one base that has had their fair share of tragedy. This latest incident will not set Ft. Hood back though.

Like the Nidal Hassan shooting, the folks at Ft. Hood will get back on their feet and move forward—that’s what our military folks do when faced with tragedy—we look tragedy in the face and knock it the hell out of our way.

It is way too early to write about the incident at large but as early as it is, there still remains plenty to write about and two of those things are the recent media reporting on the incident and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

I am appalled at some of the ongoing media reporting and commentary taking place today. I watched Sean Hannity last night on Fox News and was utterly repulsed. He kept pushing and pushing on his panel to speak about this incident which was fine. But it was my perception that infuriated me once I realized what I thought he was really pushing—the incident as an act of terrorism let alone politicizing the tragedy.

I am convinced that some persons in today’s MSM actually WANT every violent act that unfolds across America or the world for that matter to be terror related. There is a major difference between something being terrorizing in nature (which the recent FT. Hood shooting surely was) and actually terrorism.

No one has a clue what the shooter’s motives were. And without a firm motive discovered, it is impossible to categorize any act of violence as an act of terrorism. It is apparent that media pundits like Sean Hannity just don’t “understand” that…or, maybe he does and he really is just an absolute douche.

Understanding is part of the biggest problem I find in today’s media. Not only were several pundits going on and on about this act being possibly affiliated to an act of terrorism, they were incredibly quick to bring up Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“He had PTSD”….”He was being treated for PTSD”…..”He was being evaluated for PTSD”…..blah, blah, blah, blah….

Can someone, anyone, provide me with a hard scientific document proving what PTSD (not TBI)actually is and how it affects the human behavior? I am not looking for some soft science academic paper written by some psychologist or psychiatrist (soft science) either. I want something from the neurosciences (hard science).

For those appalled I would write the last paragraph, do not think for a second that I do not believe in PTSD or its existence. I do believe in time we will discover through the hard sciences a sound and credible fact based clinical study with MRI, CAT Scans, etc. the truth about PTSD and its existence and how it affects the human body and mind. But so far, we do not have 100% unanimously agreed upon facts to support conclusive evidence on the subject.

I have been referred by a medical practioners to seek greater diagnosis for PTSD which I consciously refused to do merely because I do not believe in the psychotropic drugs prescribed to treat such. That was my choice and I understand many have made an opposing choice. Again, their choice. Either way, the decision between me and others, was a conscious decision.

This leads me to PTSD and conscious individuals.

An alarming number of veterans have been “diagnosed” with PTSD. The vast majority are stand up citizens who do well in their everyday life. Yes, some persons with PTSD make mistakes, do illegal activities, go homeless, and even commit suicide. But there are a whole bunch of people that have NOT been diagnosed with PTSD who do similar acts. So what was their excuse?

Why do I say the last statement comparing acts among those with and without PTSD diagnosis? Because PTSD has become this blue eyed purple hairy monster brought into conversation EVERYTIME a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine does something stupid. We have made PTSD into an excuse for our own actions—many of which actions are inexcusable like this most recent atrocity at Ft. Hood.

Feel free to send the hate mail if I hurt your feelings but if you look closely at this incident and how media is reporting on same and pushing the whole “Terrorism” and “PTSD” angle, you should see why I am bothered by it all.

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  1. I was actually waiting for, and looking forward to your comments on this Kerry. As a SOFREP subscriber, I have a sense of where you would be coming from. As I read the headlines, I wanted to scream “Really? PTSD?… or was he just an asshole murderer?”

  2. Unfortunately Kerry, I have to agree with you. Not because we have different view points and you convinced me to see your side, but because you pinpointed the very nature of MSM. MSM is now in the business of using buzz words (or hashtags) to get their viewers to log on, click here or stay tuned. A wise man told me not to listen to the news until all the facts came out and I can clearly see why. I had the opportunity to talk to someone close to what was happening at FT Hood, and we both where quoting the news and the fluctuating numbers they presented. Every few minutes the numbers would change.The part that infuriated me the most was the use of the word terrorism, already labeling the acts of one suspected shooter. The started using the phrase “we can not rule out terrorism” as the event was still unfolding and the base was locked down. I also started seeing articles about who the shooter was. They were quick to try be the first to get the scoop on the guy. Media are always quick to jump onto the next “tragedy” to be the first to post even if they get it wrong. There is no balance in reporting. And when they get it wrong, there are no consequences as long as they have viewers who tune in.

  3. Charlie N says:

    A wise man once said, “Believe none of what you read and only half of what you see.” the MSM is in the business of making money, to do this they need to get viewers, listeners or readers. They need numbers to get advertisers, which is where they get the money. Many also have an agenda. All of use that served in combat carry pieces of that into our future lives, however, all people have memories that affect our thinking. It is up to us to decide what we will do with our lives. I have great sympathy for the families of the victims. I expect the truth to be covered up. At least this time, we do not have to continue to pay the murderer for years awaiting a trial.

  4. The author of this article hits those of us who are vets with some hard facts. Still, he’s right, PTSD has become this blanket all excuse that we give to veterans so that we can excuse their actions. This man was in Iraq two full years after I was, and I can almost promise you that it wasn’t nearly the free for all firefight that it was when we initially went in in 2003. I have been pushed by other Veterans to seek treatment for my insomnia at the local VA. I had insomnia before I joined the army, and it may have worsened, but it’s also known to do this as you age no matter what. I have witnessed people treating the VA like a sort of cash cow. They abuse the system and clog it for those who actually need it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t seek help, but I’m saying that if you have the means to do it outside the system than do so. I’ve personally found that working out seems to help. I digress, what this guys motives were we don’t really know. We may never know, he may have just been one of those guys who wants to see the world in pain and suffering.

  5. PTSD is a new catchphrase to tie to any mass crime committed with a firearm to tie behavioral and mental problems to being able to deny access the right to own or possess a firearm.

  6. Eric Morris says:

    I agree that the MSM uses PTSD and other key words to attract viewers and readers alike to their brand. I do however think that finding some hard science as you say to pinpoint what PTSD is or is not will be very near impossible to do or be a very very very long time before it does. The problem lies in that it is of the mind and not the brain, which can be confused to be one and the same. It is an anxiety disorder and effects emotions and other processes of the mind, which can and do have an effect on the brain eventually. Just my thoughts as a Soldier, veteran of multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan (2 to both), a sufferer of both TBI and PTSD, as well as a student of psychology and future Clinician of such as well.

  7. Nicholas says:

    Well put.

  8. Military Momma says:

    I agree with you Kerry. If you look at the helicopter crash in Seattle a couple weeks in one of the first press conferences there was a reporter asking, do you think this is an act of terrorism? I was like WTF people!!?!?!?!? REALLY!?!?!!?
    Can there not be mechanical, or plain emotional, failures of things and people?
    If we had taken such a stance about terrorism way back in ’88, ’93, etc. we may never have had to deal with 9/11/2011.
    Just sayin’.

  9. I agree with your message as a whole, but to discredit our current understanding of PTSD because “so far, we do not have 100% unanimously agreed upon facts to support conclusive evidence on the subject” is nonsensical. There are many things that we do not have 100% unanimously agreed upon facts about, yet still accept as generally true. Do you believe in depression? OCD? Anxiety? The emotion of anger? Any emotion? These are all fairly fluid concepts that hard science has tried to capsulate, yet it’s the soft sciences that have uncovered the most truth with those concepts. I agree with your message in general, but to throw out the soft sciences’ approach to PTSD is silly.

  10. Nathan, point taken and just. However, in prescribing drugs to remedy biological, chemical, and nuerological symptoms that do not have science supporting the diagnosis is unethical. Pharmacueticals induce effects on the body. How do you justify giving a pill to someone without understanding the physical science behind the bodily disorder? Last I heard, and still rumor until the toxicology report comes out, but the shooter was on ambien…ever see the side effects of ambien? Some people can handle it, many others cannot though….

    • I accept that. Unless it’s an extreme case of PTSD, drugs shouldn’t be prescribed. And even in “extreme PTSD” cases, usually there’s co-morbidity with another disorder, like bipolar.

      • Spot on brother…you just hit the nail in the head…comorbidity…rarely looked at in the diagnosis of PTSD…I call it a “bunched” diagnosis which is bothersome

  11. Kerry, I do agree and support your argument that MSM pulls the terror or PTSD card way too quick. I watched the General last night keep his act together when the reporters wanted to draw him in to substantiating their sensationalized theories that it was either that Ft. Hood is a jihad target, or that the shooter was a crazed PTSD escapee that should have been locked up. How he didn’t throw them off his base is beyond me.
    Just because someone is in the service, that has nothing to do with service members not still being outstanding citizens, productive, motivated and dedicated men and women. It does not mean they are gun nuts or killing machines or crazy. The media just wants to make a splash and lacks integrity. So, if there is a bomb/shooting. Terrorism. If anyone is killed who isn’t white, racism. Should they be in the military, PTSD or Gun Lust. I honestly believe they have a chart on their wall like this too and it is sad state of affairs in what I still hold up to believe is the greatest Country on the globe. God Bless the USA

  12. PTS is the new ADD of the times. If they can’t figure you out as a kid oh he/she has ADD same now for PTSD.

  13. Ritgeous conclusions … A former “boy from the Hood, have PTSD myself and bipolar though medicated and well controlled I will tell you it is NO EXCUSE! things wrong with me and their impact on my actions are my responsibility. It is my job to filter my day, actions,and reactions through the understanding that I have a condition and control it !

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