Sunday, May 02, 2004


Another reason why the bullies want to block any real images from Iraq:
    Edie McCoy-Meeks arrived in Pleiku, Vietnam, in July 1968, at age 23 and worked as a nurse at the 71st Evacuation Hospital near the Cambodian border. She later returned home to a career as an operating room nurse and for the most part, she said, shut the door of memory about what she saw and felt in her year of combat medicine.

    But America's journey into Iraq over the past year, she said, has broken down that door.

    "I thought was I doing O.K., then this war came up and I can't stop crying, and I can't listen to the news," said Ms. McCoy-Meeks, now a surgical consultant in Beacon, N.Y. "For a lot of us, this is flashback time."

    The war in Vietnam has charged back into the American consciousness, as the fighting in Iraq has continued and election-year questions have been raised about how President Bush and Senator John Kerry handled the challenges of the Vietnam era as young men.

    But for 51 veterans from around the nation, including Ms. McCoy-Meeks, who gathered in Utah this weekend for the first reunion of their unit, known as the 71st Evac, Vietnam never entirely went away. Every member of the unit witnessed war's worst. Many say they are different people today because of Pleiku.
From my VA experience, I learned years don't take away the trauma. PTSD haunts our older vets, even though by strict definition, many don't fall in the DSM diagnostic criteria, still another reason why I caution against using DSM as the bible for anything.