"The mental building blocks for an operational mental injury may be set in motion long before critical events ever happen. These ingredients can be rooted in early development and amplified through military conditioning but they are also present among those soldiers who come from stable, nurturing families. Essentially, most soldiers develop adaptations (i.e., emotional suppression, compartmentalization, and a detached persona) to help them succeed in training and to do their jobs. Unfortunately, these same adaptations that served them wonderfully in carrying out their military duties can interfere with the normal processing of routine and unusual events. Furthermore, the same embodied adaptations and the over-investment in military specialness seems to underpin the problem of maladjustment to civilian life. We need to move beyond our clichés if we are to understand post-service maladjustment."
John J. Whelan
John J. Whelan, Ph.D., is the author of Going Crazy in the Green Machine, available now on FriesenPress.