PTSD the New Badge of Honor

(DOK) Diatribes of a Knucklehead 180501

This weekend we lost another Marine to PTSD. This was the headline of a Facebook Page post from this last weekend. This is a FB page I follow because they honor our fallen warriors. I contacted them and asked them not make statements like that because I can guarantee PTSD did not kill this Marine. PTSD may have been a contributing factor, but it is almost always not the only reason.

I PMed them and they found my questioning of them offensive. They were offended because I called the headline ignorant- not stupid. Being ignorant is simply a lack of knowledge; such as I am ignorant to the subject of space flight and many other subjects. Ignorance does not make a person stupid; everyone is ignorant about something.

Ignorance is defined as lacking knowledge or awareness in general and stupid is defined as lacking intelligence or common sense; there is no justifiable comparison between the

two. I stand by my challenge of their ignorance; ignorance in this case is a lack of knowledge

about combat psychology and PTSD in general. What the heck is going on; when did PTSD become a badge of honor?

The military leadership created this monster through slow, but methodical conditioning of our troops. We pushed the de-stigmatization of PTSD so aggressively that it actually became a badge of honor; although I assure you it was unintentional

Oh, you have not been diagnosed with PTSD, you most NOT have really served- ridiculous. On the other hand, due to Hollywood and news media there are many citizens who believe that if you have been diagnosed with PTSD, you most be totally unstable. I know for fact, that there are many more warriors that have gained from their combat experiences psychologically, than have been damaged by it.

Although Dysfunctional Veteranshirts are funny to vets, they are not funny to many citizens. You cannot bitch about the public NOT paying attention or caring about veterans and simultaneously wearing a t-shirt that says

Dysfunctional Veteran Leave Me Alone. PTSD does not cause alcoholism, drug abuse, crime or even suicide, but it can be a contributingfactor. I have read so many suicide briefs over the years it is hard to count them

The Marine Corp’s suicide briefs look objectively at all factors; I never read a case where there was only one factor. For instance; even though his wife left him, he was also in financial trouble, he was also an alcoholic, he was an a*^hole, etc. I believe the main reasons PTSD is now a badge of honor for many veterans is because it is an honorable excuse for everything. – I cannot find my keys; PTSD (not that everybody forgets things)  I forgot what I was saying; PTSD (not that everybody forgets what they were saying from time to time)

– He beat his wife; PTSD (even though he was beating her l ong before combat)- Alcohol abuse; PTSD (even though he was an alcoholic sense he was 16)

veteran; especially a Marine. If one Police Chief feels this way, there are others. The sad part of this for me is the fact that most military members believe they and law enforcement are on the same team, just a different uniform, and they watch out for each other. This is actually true in most cases. I have attached an interesting read.

Thoughts are welcomed.

Read this:




About The Author

David K. Devaney SgtMaj USMC Retired 2009 City of Hit Iraq with PTTDavid was born in Geneva New York and graduated from Geneva High School in 1980. He joined the Marine Corps on a guaranteed Infantry contract in April of 1983. After graduating boot camp he was stationed in Hawaii with 3rdBattalion 3rd Marines (3/3). While assigned to 3/3 he held billets as a rifleman, fire team leader, and squad leader. During 1986 Corporal (Cpl) Devaney was selected as a member of Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoon, 3rd Battalion 3rd Marine. Upon graduation of Scout Sniper School he was assigned to the Scout Sniper Section of 3/3 STA Platoon. During his second deployment as a Scout Sniper with 3/3 he was promoted to Sergeant (Sgt). After a tour on the drill field from 1989-1991 Sgt Devaney returned to STA 3/3 were he deployed two more times. During 1994 Sgt Devaney was selected to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt) and ordered to III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF), Special Operation Training Group (SOTG); while at SOTG SSgt Devaney was assigned as a Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) and Urban Sniper Instructor and Chief Instructor. At the time III MEF SOTG Instructors were members of Joint Task Force 510 (JTF 510 CT); a Counter Terrorism Task Force. In 1998 he deployed to Operation Desert Fox with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/4 and was attached to Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 572/594 as a sniper. SSgt Devaney deployed again, during 2000, with ODA 135/136/132 to Malaysia as member of JTF 510, working with the Malaysian National Police. After leaving SOTG Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Devaney was assigned to Company A 1st Battalion 7th Marine, and spent much of his time training the Scout Snipers of 1/7. Just before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003, he was selected to the rank of First Sergeant (1stSgt) and led 270 Marines, sailors, and soldiers during combat – receiving a Bronze Star Medal for destroying the enemy and their will to fight. During 2004 1st Sgt Devaney was ordered to duty as the Inspector Instructor Staff 1st Sgt for 2nd Beach and Terminal Operations Company, Savannah, Georgia. During 2007 he was selected to the rank of Sergeant Major (SgtMaj) and received orders to Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 (VMAQ-4) stationed at Cherry Point, NC. There he trained a CADRE which in turn trained a massive Quick Reaction Force in combat operations. After two more deployments to Iraq SgtMaj Devaney received orders to Weapons Training Battalion, Quantico, VA. SgtMaj Devaney retired from the Marine Corps on 31 December 20013. He now works as an adjunct combat instructor at the “Crucible’’ in Fredericksburg, VA. David is also on the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Scout Sniper Association. David’s published work: Books Devaney, D.K. (2007). Surviving combat: Mentally and physically (3rd edition). 29 Palms, CA: USMC. Devaney, D.K. (2015). They Were Heroes: A Sergeant Major’s Tribute to Combat Marines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. Articles Devaney, D.K. (2011) Enough Talk of Suicide, Already! Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2011) Can PTSD Be Prevented Through Education? Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2012) PTSD Is Not Cancer. The Marine Corps Gazette. Devaney, D.K. (2012) Women in Combat Arms Units. The Marine Corps Gazette.

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