The "shell-shocked military veteran" trope is one frequently employed by TV and Hollywood writers. After all, a former soldier haunted by the death and destruction of war who lashes out at those around him is an easy stereotype to play with. But post-traumatic stress disorder manifests differently in each person. In a series of tweets to clear up some popular misconceptions about the mental illness, one veteran responded to Sarah Palin's PSTD-Obama comment linking her son's alleged disorder to the president's lack of "respect" for veterans.
The same week Palin endorsed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, her 26-year-old son Track, an Iraq combat veteran, was arrested for a domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend.
"What my own son is going through, what he is going through coming back, I can relate to other families who feel ramifications of PTSD and some of the woundedness that our soldiers do return with," she told the audience at a Trump rally in Oklahoma. "And it makes me realize, more than ever, it is now or never for the sake of America's finest that we have that commander in chief who will respect them and honor them."
Many veterans quickly denounced the implication that President Obama was to blame for her son's actions, urging restraint from politicizing the illness that affects approximately 10 to 20 percent of veterans today.
"It's not President Obama's fault that Sarah Palin's son has PTSD," Paul Rieckhoff, head of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told NBC News. "PTSD is a very serious problem, a complicated mental health injury, and I would be extremely reluctant to blame any one person in particular."
One veteran, Nate Bethea, who also suffers from PTSD, took to Twitter to drop some blunt honesty on PTSD-sufferers and how they have a responsibility to uphold themselves to the same norms as everyone else.
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