E04:Critical Reading-breadpatrol99

The article first claims that Brannan Vines, despite never being to war, has many qualities that a “warrior” might have. Most of these are traits that belong to someone with PTSD. Dubbed the “warrior’s skills”: “hyperawareness, hypervigilance, adrenaline-sharp quick-scanning for danger, for triggers.”. The following claim seems related, being that she will act rash in situations that do not call for it. She will suffer a break down of sorts, all because “…a tiny elderly woman needs an extra minute to pay for her dish soap or whatever.”
These claims lay out sympathy for the subject through what appears to be a paradox of sorts. She hasn’t been to war, nor are any traumatizing experience in her past explained (so it is best to assume there were not any), yet she still behaves in moments as if she had PTSD. Her freak out’s are compared to the trivialities they are thrown over in a language that makes it seem absurd (the use of “…dish soap or whatever”)
The article then claims that Brannan may not have been to war, yet her husband Caleb has been to Iraq twice, where he returned with a traumatic brain injury. The article attempts the define the number of American veterans from Iraq/Afghanistan with PTSD, yet “He’s one of 103,200, or 228,875, or 336,000 Americans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and came back with PTSD, depending on whom you ask…” is the answer we get.
These claims attempt to layout the lack of agreement and confusion over the case of PTSD in veterans. With so many different statistics on those suffering from the disorder, it makes the phenomenon seem even more discouraging for those with it. Onward, it tries to explain how it is these experiences that have negative effects on those around these veterans.
The next claim, “Hypervigilance sounds innocuous, but it is in fact exhaustively distressing…” almost tries to make account for someones ignorance on the issue of PTSD, explaining how it’s easy to assume that many symptoms are mild, yet that the truth of these symptoms is far more disturbing. The effect makes, at least me, think more about the effects of PTSD.
The following claim “Caleb has been home since 2006, way more than enough time for Brannan to catch his symptoms.”, tries to make it appear almost impossible for Brannan to not have “caught” Calebs PTSD. Claims further into this paragraph use examples to explain how Brannan’s situation is not nearly as bad as other military wives with husbands suffering from PTSD. “She has not, unlike military wives she advises, ever been beat up. Nor jumped out of her own bed when she got touched in the middle of the night for fear of being raped, again. Still.”. Though even after being aquantied with the better than average conditions for a PTSD wife, that lone “Still.” leaves a notion of negativity in the air.
Another claim demonstrates some conditions in making up for Calebs PTSD, the interviewer writes “We raise the blinds in the afternoons, but only if we are alone. When we hear Caleb pulling back in the driveway, we jump up and grab their strings, plunging the living room back into its usual necessary darkness.”. Sympathy for Brannan, as she must have drastically changed her life for her husband.
The following paragraph tries to define a picture of the Viness’ before the PTSD, by explaining their wedding album. Gives a eerie feeling once “And there’s Caleb, slim, in a tux, three years older than Brannan at 22, in every single picture just about the smilingest motherfucker you’ve ever seen, in a shy kind of way.”, is followed by “Now, he’s rounder, heavier, bearded, and long-haired, obviously tough even if he weren’t prone to wearing a COMBAT INFANTRYMAN cap, but still not the guy you picture when you see his “Disabled Veteran” license plates. Not the old ‘Nam guy with a limp, or maybe the young legless Iraq survivor, that you’d expect.” Shows that these kind of things drastically change people.
“It’s kind of hard to understand Caleb’s injuries.” is a very clearly stated claim. Followed by explanations, such as doctors lack of ideas on why he suffers from flashbacks or other odd behaviors. Onward, there are snipits of horrors Caleb faced during wartime. “They don’t know exactly why it comes to him in dreams, and why especially that time he picked up the pieces of Baghdad bombing victims and that lady who appeared to have thrown herself on top of her child to save him only to find the child dead underneath torments him when he’s sleeping, and sometimes awake.” The sarcasm here is painful, as they are clearly explaining why he has these behaviors.
The next paragraph makes the claim that these conditions are nothing new, and have been an effect of war for all of history. “Whatever is happening to Caleb, it’s as old as war itself.”, puts Caleb in an historical context. War creates this. “It wasn’t an official diagnosis until 1980, when Post Traumatic Stress Disorder made its debut in psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, uniting a flood of Vietnam vets suffering persistent psych issues with traumatized civilians—previously assigned labels like “accident neurosis” and “post-rape syndrome”—onto the same page of the DSM-III.” explains how little we’ve really known about the subject until some of the most horrific cases of it arose from the Vietnam war. “But whatever people have called it, they haven’t been likely to grasp or respect it.”, is a claim that even further invalidates anyones supposed knowledge on the issue. It’s still largely a mystery to us. “Granted, diagnosing PTSD is a tricky thing.” only further pushes the notion.
“Even if something is certainly wrong—even if a couple of times he has inadvisably downed his medication with a lot of booze, admitting to Brannan that he doesn’t care if he dies; even if he once came closer to striking her than she ever, ever, ever could have imagined before he went to war­—Caleb knows that a person whose problem is essentially that he can’t adapt to peacetime Alabama sounds, to many, like a pussy.” This whole article is in a way making a claim about the view of cognitive disorders by the general public, that no matter how horrific his experiences are, that he may be any weaker of a person. “You can’t see Caleb’s other wound, either. It’s called traumatic brain injury, or TBI, from multiple concussions. In two tours, he was in at least 20 explosions—IEDs, vehicle-borne IEDs, RPGs.” this is making a claim that Caleb is in fact a very brave person who has went through incredible feats of courage.
“The Army has rules about that sort of thing now. Now if you’re knocked unconscious, or have double vision, or exhibit other signs of a brain injury, you have to rest for a certain period of time, but that rule didn’t go into effect in theater until 2010, after Caleb was already out of the service.” this passage almost makes a claim that conditions for soldiers have been quite deplorable for some time, and are only recently seeing any improvement. “He wasn’t diagnosed for years after he got back, despite Brannan’s frantic phone calls to the VA begging for tests, since her husband, formerly a high-scoring civil-engineering major at Auburn University, was asking her to help him do simple division.” further pushes the reluctance of the government or military to do anything for someone who gave so much for them.
“Katie* Vines, the first time I meet her, is in trouble. Not that you’d know it to look at her, bounding up to the car, blondish bob flying as she sprints from her kindergarten class, nice round face like her daddy’s.” makes the claim that the child of Caleb and Brannan, appears to be a quite normal girl, though quite quickly and even before we learn that she appears so, we learn that she is in some sort of trouble, likely in relation somehow to what’s been discussed thus far. We learn that Katie spat on a classmate. “Her eyebrows are heavily creased when she shakes her head and says quietly again, “I was so mad.””, why was she so mad? Probably has something to do with the subject matter of this article. “She is not, according to Brannan, “a normal, carefree six-year-old.””, pushing the point closer to her father, Caleb.
“Different studies of the children of American World War II, Korea, and Vietnam vets with PTSD have turned up different results…” enforces a claim made earlier that these disorders still largely remain uncovered, and are not fully understood. “But then in 2003, a team of Dutch and Israeli researchers meta-analyzed 31 of the papers on Holocaust survivors’ families, and concluded—to the fury of some clinicians—that when more rigorous controls were applied, there was no evidence for the intergenerational transmission of trauma.” And there it is! Apparently at least, evidence that PTSD cannot be transmitted biologically! “They were not, in other words, expected to man up and get over it.”, explains why those tested did not reveal any transmission of PTSD, perhaps because of social aspects.
“When I asked the VA if the organization would treat kids for secondary trauma, its spokespeople stressed that it has made great strides in family services in recent years, rolling out its own program for couples’ counseling and parenting training.”, this appeared to be to be a claim that their initial requests are denied and in place giving alternate remedies that have virtually nothing to do with the initial request of having children screened. “…since the Vineses aren’t poor enough for subsidized health care and the Blue Cross gap insurance maxes out at six months a year. She’s never been diagnosed with anything, and Brannan prefers it that way.” This a very odd statement, somewhere between difficulty in them getting proper help, and their inability to accept what that help may yield.
“Brannan is a force of keeping her family together. She sleeps a maximum of five hours a night, keeps herself going with fast food and energy drinks, gets Katie to and from school and to tap dance and art, where Katie produces some startlingly impressive canvases, bright swirling shapes bisected by and intersected with other swaths of color, bold, intricate.” is a claim that despite the negativity in her life stemming from her husbands PTSD, she still does what’s expected of her as a wife and mother. “That’s typical parent stuff, but Brannan also keeps Caleb on his regimen of 12 pills—antidepressants, anti-anxiety, sleep aids, pain meds, nerve meds, stomach meds—plus weekly therapy, and sometimes weekly physical therapy for a cartilage-lacking knee and the several disintegrating disks in his spine, products of the degenerative joint disease lots of guys are coming back with maybe from enduring all the bomb blasts, and speech therapy for the TBI, and continuing tests for a cyst in his chest and his 48-percent-functional lungs.” further claims that she really goes above and beyond the normal mother routine even with a disability in her way.

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