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Nov-13-2007 11:45printcomments

PTSD Vets: The Chickens are Coming Home to Roost

Phillip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Physician, Toxicologist and Pharmacologist.

Vietnam vet
Photo courtesy: tatteredcoat.com

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - The Oregonian newspaper seems to have published what every combat veteran has known for years if not centuries. "War is Hell" said General Sherman and he never was on the front lines, which itself requires an EXPLANATION. Only one in seven U.S. Army soldiers was a front line combat infantryman. I was one, the rest we called near-echelon SOB's.

They stole our food, our clothing, our blankets, our winter boots, our Eisenhower combat jackets, our cigarette, our candy, etc. They did the looting, shacked up with available females, found the booze and drank it and lived in warm houses and warm beds, often with the warm females. This included rear echelon soldiers up to and including generals.

I was taken to a very high class night club in Paris in July 1945. I was a buck private. The lowest other rank I was near was a major. The rest were colonels and generals and they all had women with them. Damned good looking ones but certainly not their wives. Been there, seen that, done that.

It seems fashionable now for the newspapers to finally publish articles about veterans and PTSD. It's about time.

The Oregonian published that the VA reports 267 thousand vets have PTSD with 193 thousand of them from Vietnam. Somewhere I read there were 50,000 American homeless vets. Many of them must be the discards from the VA system. It has already been published that the VA's pharmaceutical treatment is mostly a failure and the psychologist's psycobabble doesn't work any better.

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I was asked by a social worker from the VA Hospital if I as a battle veteran and as a cannabis doctor, would treat veterans? Not only "yes" but "hell yes". Within weeks I had about 400 veterans who had discovered in Vietnam that cannabis was the best tranquilizer and best sleep aid, even better than booze which was not overly available for enlisted men. Beer for them just doesn't do as well.

When I see in the Oregonian that 1.5 million troops have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and about 150 thousand have been diagnosed with PTSD and/or mental disorder, I say to myself, "Yep, its the infantry AGAIN!" The rear echelon SOB's might as well be working in downtown Portland, except for driving on the 205 they aren't in much hazard.

The increase in Vietnam vets seeking psychological help is not surprising. They are approaching retirement from jobs that kept them busy after they came home which was and is the best way to keep PTSD at least under the surface. Hard mental or physical work is a good distraction from the thought of being shot at 24 hours a day.

The 50 thousand homeless vets need help. For most, they went into the service right our if nigh school. The only skills they were taught was killing the enemy with a minimal side course in survival. 58 thousand flunked the final exam in survival. If these veterans were patriotic enough to put themselves "on the line" for the rest of Americans, shouldn't these protected Americans be willing to reciprocate now that these vets need help?

But again this is the infantry, AGAIN. Free Thanksgiving dinners and free warm socks for Christmas do not compensate for even one day in an artillery barrage.

Big numbers of PTSD vets are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, we are not ready for them. The chickens (no insult intended) are coming home to roost. Pull up your socks somebody.

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You can email your questions to the doctor:
newsroom@salem-news.com

More information on the history of Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of Phil Leveque about his experiences in WWII. Order the book by mail by following this link: salem-news.com/pages/Dogface_soldier.

If you are a World War Two history fan, you don't want to miss it.

Watch for Dr. Phil Leveque's video question and answer segments about medical marijuana with Bonnie King.

Other articles and video segments about medical marijuana on Salem-News.com:




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