Friday, November 20, 2009

"Veterans' Children" Validates Trans-Generational Trauma Of War

"Veterans' Children" Validates Trans-Generational Trauma Of War

Since the Vietnam Era, the American psychiatric community has recognized the returning war veterans' affliction of what is now commonly known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

While there has been much research and advancements in the treatment of PTSD, the focus has always been on the veterans themselves. What has never been addressed or understood, until now, is how the stress from distant battlefields has affected the families of veterans.

Today - Veterans' Day - the first organization to support warfare's often invisible victims has launched an online community, Denver-based Veterans' Children is dedicated to exploring the trans-generational consequences of living with the trauma of war and serves as a resource center and support group for thousands of individuals and families affected by PTSD.

"Veterans' Children's mission is to heal, inform and serve as a forum for veterans and their families in creating a bridge of emotional reconciliation between children and their parents who have served our country from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam to today's conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan," explained the organization's founder, Leila Levinson, author of Gated Grief, a memoir and oral history about her father's experience as a Jewish-American doctor liberating a Nazi Concentration Camp in 1945.

Inspired by her own experience of trans-generational trauma, Levinson spent several years interviewing dozens of World War II veterans and their grown children across the country. Addressing the "collateral damage" experienced by these veterans' children was the inspiration for Gated Grief and the creation of the new organization.

"As I spoke with these veterans - most now in their 80s - and their families, I understood that the inability to process this grief or to even speak about these experiences has affected the lives of thousands of Americans over several generations. Addressing this trauma is the goal of my book and of Veterans' Children."

The site's navigation is designed to allow visitors to engage in conversations with other veterans and other children and grandchildren of veterans, to get information about PTSD, and to tell their stories - through words, photographs and video.

Veterans' Children


My step father was a WW2 Army Air Corp member 8th AF he made a lot of the runs into Germany that left him with nightmares, Dresden, Schweinfurt, the soldiers didn't like dropping incendiary bombs on Dresden most of them thought it was wrong, he tried watching the movie Memphis Belle when it came out, that plane was in his air group, he knew all of the enlisted men and the officers. His birthday was June 6, he always took it off from the Post Office and was usually toast by noon, that was the only day of the year he would even talk about WW2 and only after he was well into a half gallon of Scotch. Oh yea it left an impression. Manyof his friends also, Ira Purcer the clerk supervisor at the same post office was a survivor of Bataan, I knew another man that had survived the Arizona, like many men of that period "they manned up" and spent the weeks working providing for their families, but the weekends were normally binges PTSD has been around for a VERY long time, long before Vietnam, before that society just looked at men so messed up that they couldn't hold down a steady job as drunks and bums they just were never right after that war, there must have been something weak about them.............

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