Why do Veterans from Desert Storm and Iraq have so many difficulties readjusting? -

Cabelaz

Hang ‘Em High.
kiwifarms.net
There's always been guys that have had issues reintegrating into normal life since the first war was fought. But the sentiment of "We're still stuck in the desert" and "The war isn't over." is incredibly pervasive in today's veterans. I see it daily with my neighbor. A hallmark of every interaction we have is him bitching about some minor part of daily life and comparing it to the military.

Now there's the obvious factor of the US is still in the sandbox even 30 years later, but what other psychological effects contribute to this hatred and loathing of everyday life? Most of these guys never even fired their weapon or saw combat. Their lives were never threatened.
Yet they look down on anyone who didn't sign the 11b.

All the veterans I know found success and have a meaningful job and meaningful relationships, but they still feel so detached and bitter. And it shows. Why?
 

oldTireWater

Incompetent as fuck
kiwifarms.net
There are real reasons, but don't overlook disability scamming. Many are reaching an age, and place in life, where scamming doesn't seem so loathsome. "All these other motherfuckers are doing it."

But yea, straight saltiness is mostly due to loss of companionship. The military can give you a taste of the tribal relationships that humans evolved in. You're not going to find those in the first world many places outside the military. Once you've lived with that closeness, you will always feel its loss, whether you recognize why or not.
 
There's always been guys that have had issues reintegrating into normal life since the first war was fought. But the sentiment of "We're still stuck in the desert" and "The war isn't over." is incredibly pervasive in today's veterans. I see it daily with my neighbor. A hallmark of every interaction we have is him bitching about some minor part of daily life and comparing it to the military.
Your neighbor is an anecdote, not data.
 

Cabelaz

Hang ‘Em High.
kiwifarms.net
Your neighbor is an anecdote, not data.
True. But get to know a veteran and you'll learn what I mean.
We all know about those former SEALS or whatever who wake up at 4am and bitch about discipline and how everything was better in the military. I always thought it was a stereotype. But parts of it are very real and very common.
 

RA-5C Vigilante

Alone, Unarmed, Unafraid
kiwifarms.net
I think with most veterans comparing things to their service is more because of a lack of other perspectives. For someone who stepped into the recruiter after high school, its the biggest and only life experience many of them have, so they will rate everything else to it.

From personal experience, I miss having a bunch of friends who suffered as I did and walked the walk that I could dick around with. It's like the only thing I miss. Everything else about the military, from the losing your rights, dickhead leadership, shitty locations, etc. was abysmal. If this guys talking about how much he misses it, he's talking out his ass or surgically attaching those rose colored glasses to his face.
 
True. But get to know a veteran and you'll learn what I mean.
Most people I know in a professional capacity and many of my friends are veterans of OIF/OEF, Desert Storm, or both. A few others served during that era but I don't know if they deployed there. None of us give a shit about the desert or the military and we all have normal lives, except one guy who offed himself while taking Chantix. That's all anecdotal too.

I suspect there's a lot of confirmation bias here, maybe availability bias. Your neighbor is evidently like this and you probably encounter him regularly. You're going to assign a lot of weight to that data point and it will overshadow contrary data, if you even notice it. And I'm not sure how you would notice all the contrary data, since veterans who don't stand out are indistinguishable from non-veterans.
 

Iron Jaguar

kiwifarms.net
It has a lot to do with going to war with the expectation that you'll be allowed to stomp your enemies, then having suicidal ROE placed upon you so that you are constantly at risk and can never have actual security.
 

Solid Snek

kiwifarms.net
True. But get to know a veteran and you'll learn what I mean.
We all know about those former SEALS or whatever who wake up at 4am and bitch about discipline and how everything was better in the military. I always thought it was a stereotype. But parts of it are very real and very common.
As a crapbag vet who's worked with many other veterans in the healthcare field, I haven't really noticed this behavior. Does it sometimes happen? Yeah, sure. But it's not common, even amongst the crazy vets, and (anecdotally) it doesn't seem to be any more prevalent amongst Desert Storm or OIF/OEF vets than it was with the older generations.

If someone has data that can back this claim up, I'd be happy to get proven wrong. But my theory is that people are just remembering the hits and forgetting (or even not being aware of) the misses. All it takes is for you to meet one veteran with serious reintegration problems, and the experience could (quite understandably) colour your perception about veterans as a whole.

OP - have you tried getting your neighbour down to the local VA? Even if he never shot anyone, it's entirely possible he's got some kind of lingering stress issues. Stress and trauma disorders aren't necessarily rational things - they can manifest from something as innocuous as a slight chemical imbalance in the brain - and given the urban environment most OEF vets found themselves in, daily life has a good chance of re-exposing them to triggers, if they suffer from PTSD or the like.
 

waffle

kiwifarms.net
I think it has to do with the ROE and the fact that prior to Nam deployments were done differently and were frankly probably a lot more psychologically healthy.

There's also decent evidence that the malaria pills they give like everyone except for SF and pilots heavily promote/basically cause PTSD like symptoms.
 

I Love Beef

OH YEAHHUH, SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM
kiwifarms.net
If you ask me, it's because those conflicts weren't appropriately "won", so to speak.

Yeah, World War II had its share of shell shocked, but there were decisive winners and losers. There was something to fight for, something to lay down your life on the line for. It was the single most significant war in human history where there was a black and white scenario going on, rather than something petty, shades of gray, and self serving ruling class garbage.

Vietnam and Desert Storm and the Second Gulf War? There's no definitive enemy. Yeah, you're pitted against another nation's army/armed forces/fighting legions, but it wasn't like Ho Chi Minn was the second Hitler or outside of 9/11, Osama wasn't dropping nukes on America and openly tried to take over and pull off an Alexander the Great. Another thing is that today's battlefield is all about espionage, psychology, and logistics; this is the Information Age after all. America "lost" because despite all of the use of armed force and military presence, we didn't change shit other than the landscape with scorched earth and bunker busting tactics.

Warriors don't fight to lose or engage in a long, drawn out, and underprepared battle for nothing. They fight to win and fight when they need to, and they fight for something. I may be bleeding heart or some shit and plenty of actual vets may look at me funny, but if you wonder why the traumatized aren't getting fixed from a conflict that's not getting anything done, their causes are wasted and their honor hasn't gotten them anything from their hardships.
 

Cabelaz

Hang ‘Em High.
kiwifarms.net
As a crapbag vet who's worked with many other veterans in the healthcare field, I haven't really noticed this behavior. Does it sometimes happen? Yeah, sure. But it's not common, even amongst the crazy vets, and (anecdotally) it doesn't seem to be any more prevalent amongst Desert Storm or OIF/OEF vets than it was with the older generations.

If someone has data that can back this claim up, I'd be happy to get proven wrong. But my theory is that people are just remembering the hits and forgetting (or even not being aware of) the misses. All it takes is for you to meet one veteran with serious reintegration problems, and the experience could (quite understandably) colour your perception about veterans as a whole.

OP - have you tried getting your neighbour down to the local VA? Even if he never shot anyone, it's entirely possible he's got some kind of lingering stress issues. Stress and trauma disorders aren't necessarily rational things - they can manifest from something as innocuous as a slight chemical imbalance in the brain - and given the urban environment most OEF vets found themselves in, daily life has a good chance of re-exposing them to triggers, if they suffer from PTSD or the like.
I guess maybe I'm biased because of my experiences with them. I know only a few vets personally. Two are in my family and both never got involved in any middle eastern conflict. They came back just fine and picked right back up from where they left before they enlisted. They barely spoke of their military service, and some of the stories my grandfather told me my father never even heard himself.
It was just a tiny, unremarkable part of their lives to them.

Back in the day when I was a dummy I used to browse /k/, (the 4chan military board) a lot.
There were all these former Iraq and Desert Storm guys being posted and they were making youtube channels, selling merch, writing books, and making fitness programs so (You) could too be a spook!
Sure they could just be taking advantage of a buisness niche they saw. But even as a kid it always struck me as they couldn't let go. They would make their military service the staple of their life. It felt like this was all they knew.
I guess that and my neighbor just let that stain my perception of all GWOT vets. I'm sure I've personally got to know some guys who I didn't even know served.
 

Oliveoil

kiwifarms.net
This discussion always stands out to me. Pay special attention to 7:38. You can see he is reliving a traumatic memory there.

Being over there? You have something to DO. You are taken care of. In a sense it is like prison, and I could imagine why some people re-offend.
Anyway, I did not mean it in a disrespectful way.
Semper Fi guys, and thank you.
I am sorry you get to see bunch of snot nosed ass holes piss away what you gave your health, sanity and in some ways life for.
 
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