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A Modest Proposal....New Forum Category for "Military Medicine"(?)

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  • A Modest Proposal....New Forum Category for "Military Medicine"(?)

    Although still a FNG in these forums, I'd like to recommend that the Powers That Be consider initiating a new forum category that would address the many medical problems that are now faced and will be faced in the future by our veterans. My own particular interest as a practitioner of psychology is in the area of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But that is but one of many problems of adjustment faced by those who have been "To See The Elephant." The sheer number of cancers and other "killing" diseases now being treated and having a statistical inference for cause to exposure to Agent Orange in Viet Nam and Korea is staggering. Here is a laundry list of conditions recognized by both the Veterans Administration and medical authority as having their roots in exposure to Agent Orange:

    Chloracne
    Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
    Soft tissue sarcoma
    Hodgkin's Disease
    Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (PCT)
    Multiple Myeloma
    Respiratory cancers
    (including cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea and bronchus)
    Prostate cancer
    Peripheral neuorapthy
    (acute or subacute)
    Type 2 Diabetes (Diabetes mellitus)

    The VA also recognizes the following condition in the Children of Vietnam veterans, pending final regulation:
    Spina bifida
    Other birth defects in the children of Women Vietnam Veterans


    Specifically, these diseases may affect every system in the body of the veteran. Beginning with the various cancers, the cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, reproduction, metabolic, psycho-neurological, psychiatric, respiratory and visual functions of some veterans are known to have been caused or by AO exposure. Thousands of Viet Nam veterans are now coping with and their deaths are being caused by these conditions.

    And we've all heard of Gulf War Syndrome, a condition that so far as I know continues to present itself in so many guises that it still has the medical profession and the Veterans Administration running about in circles.

    Because of the nature of the war our troops are now fighting, the incidence of closed and open head injuries has skyrocketed far beyond what we've known in previous wars. Particular attention will have to be provided to those who have suffered such injuries and knowing that in many cases the veteran so wounded will never regain full bodily and/or mental capacities. I note with pleasure that specific allocations of budget funds have been set aside to begin to deal with this specific issue.

    But let me share with you an article from the Washington Post that I’ve copied from Military.com this morning indicating that repeated tours in Iraq and Afghanistan is having a devastating effect on U. S. Armed Forces personnel. The headline and first paragraph of the article read:

    Repeat Iraq Tours Raise Risk of PTSD, Army Finds
    By Ann Scott Tyson
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, December 20, 2006; Page A19

    U.S. soldiers serving repeated Iraq deployments are 50 percent more likely than those with one tour to suffer from acute combat stress, raising their risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Army's first survey exploring how today's multiple war-zone rotations affect soldiers' mental health….


    Because republishing rights have not been granted, I can’t provide the entire article. Hopefully at least some of you will be sufficiently interested to read it. If so, you may find it either at washingtonpost.com or Military.com.
    Last edited by Piedpiper 6; 20 Dec 06, 11:26. Reason: Smoothing out the verbage....
    Nothing except a battle lost can be half as melancholy as a battle won.
    Duke of Wellington

  • #2
    What? We're making a baby eating forum?


    Oh... wrong modest proposal...
    “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

    Comment


    • #3
      More seriously, it's an interesting idea. We'll bounce it around upstairs to see if it seems like the topics would be better off in their respective war or just in the warfare general forum where they are across wars.

      It's a matter of whether there'd really be enough demand to make a whole new category worthwhile.
      “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

      Comment


      • #4
        An interesting side excursion into military history I think. Don't be discouraged sir. I'd highly suggest this get considered. Is there anywhere else where this topic gets discussed? If for no other reason than that it would be a good idea. Topics generated and resulting message traffic will generate google 'hits' and lead new people to this here wonderful forum and thus ACG magazine as well. One of the best WWII books I've read was Combat Surgeon, an excellent read if I may plug it.
        As lord and master of your grill, you will welcome any opportunity to display your grilling prowess.
        Mario Batali, 2006

        Comment


        • #5
          Erm, your post isn't a laughing matter. We are quite seriously going to think about whether or not it's a fit for the forum.

          However, you did title the thread after the single greatest satire ever written, that's what drew a comment.
          “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

          Comment


          • #6
            I think you are going to find that this is a highly specialized and tightly focused subject which may not have broad appeal to many, much like the failed thread proposal for "military fortifications" which failed to win approval.

            It is something that, like fortifications, can more easily be discussed in the context of a particular war or period of history.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe as a sub-forum somewhere?

              On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

              ACG History Today

              BoRG

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Admiral View Post
                Maybe as a sub-forum somewhere?

                Well, if it were to be anything, it would be a subforum in the WTTA section.
                “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Overseer View Post
                  Erm, your post isn't a laughing matter. We are quite seriously going to think about whether or not it's a fit for the forum.

                  However, you did title the thread after the single greatest satire ever written, that's what drew a comment.
                  I'm well aware of Jonathan Swift and his works. The usurpation of one of his titles was not done accidentally. Had you bothered to read my bio as posted on ACG you might well have assumed that. Having read your bio I assume that you have no "hands on" experience with the "actual" military and therefore lack the appreciation for "Military Medicine" that those of us who have shaken hands with the Elephant have.

                  In a previous thread I suggested that participants in ACG be somewhat more specific in their bios. The reason for this should be obvious. I read many opinions in these forums where judging the validity of those opinions depends in my mind largely on the experiential background of those who make them. These forums, after all, are devoted to military matters, and the weight of opinions have to be weighed at least to an extent against how those opinions were derived.

                  Although I'd be the last person on earth to denigrate "book learning" (look at my bio) but Historians don't always get "it" right. And Historians themselves sometimes have their own axes to grind and slant their written work in that direction. I've written "many" SARs (Special Action Reports) and been on the List of Reviewers for several "Official Histories" and can testify to the foregoing from my own experience.

                  So far as I can recall, as an integral part of every military museum I've ever visited, regardless of the time frame or battle memorialized there has always been a section devoted to Military Medicine. The saws, drills, scalpels and the other paraphernalia of the then existing medical practice are on display for the visitor. These implements of relief from physical suffering usually draw Oooohhhhs and Ahhhooos from those visitors. What those visitors don’t realize is that in the most modern of military hospitals that those instruments haven’t changed that much. Some of us, as I do myself, know the truth of the latter either from our own experience or by reason of hospital visits made to Soldiers who had been wounded that very day.

                  As an infantry battalion, company or platoon commander in combat, I made it a point to visit my wounded if possible as quickly as they were removed from the battlefield and I had the time to do so. Many of those Soldiers, particularly those with traumatic amputations, of which we had many in Viet Nam, I’d never see again since they’d be evacuated either that night or as soon as their condition was stabilized. These visits would tear anyone’s heart out but were mandated as a last show of respect and thanks to those who, if they hadn’t given their all, had given very close to their all. For those wounded who were more lightly wounded and wound be returning to my command in a week or a month, on their return, they’d never forget that I’d paid my respects to them. Also, and I consider this very important, those visits were a constant reminder to me, as a commander, that I was playing Armchair General….that the pieces I was moving on the map contained flesh and blood and deserved my best and greatest efforts to keep them intact.

                  For many of you who come here to Armchair General I realize that you’ve had no experience with such matters as I discuss in the paragraph above. Those comparative few of you who have been to “see the Elephant” will understand what I mean. May those who don’t fully understand, I hope that you never have to experiences so that you will.

                  As I mentioned in the initial message, after retirement from the Marine Corps I returned to the university, acquired a terminal degree and after licensure, joined my wife in a conjoint practice in Clinical (Medical) Psychology. Shortly after going into private practice in 1978, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual III of the American Psychiatric Association was published (1980) which for the first time recognized a condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Prior to that, although the condition had been recognized for centuries, it was not considered a particular psychiatric disorder, now it was listed under Anxiety Disorders. The Diagnostic Criteria listed specific behaviors that had been observed for many years and associated with persons who were known to have been exposed to psychological stress. That brought about claims submitted to the Veterans Administration for compensation for that condition, and the need for licensed practitioners in the psychiatric/psychological field to assess those claimants. Referrals from the VA to conduct “C&P” (Compensation and Pension) Examinations.” As the examiner, I reported back to the VA as to the legitimacy of the claim, and the amount of compensation (0% to 100%) that should be awarded to the claimant.

                  These were interesting exercises because there when I first read the Diagnostic Criteria for PTSD I fit every one of them with the one exception of having difficulty in my marriage and family life. Other than that I was a “poster-boy” for the condition myself and for that reason could empathize as well as evaluate those who claimed the condition.

                  So that’s my background and the reason for my concern that those who do not understand the parameters of Military Medicine, including not only psychiatric/psychological implications be given the opportunity to learn about that aspect of being an Armchair General. No real General, believe me, ever goes into combat without the provision as part of his force of the medical facilities that would be required for the type of operation he is going to conduct. Field Manuals exist to help the General and his Staff to estimate the number of wounded he will encounter in a given type of defensive of offensive operations. Just as important, the number of KIAs can be predicted for a particular operation.

                  Provision for handing our dead brethren is a matter of troop morale. Specific units are trained in that important battlefield function. Some will find it interesting that in the planning stages of certain island operations in the Pacific during WW II the plans for the operation called for X number of Christian and Jewish crosses which would be erected over the graves of those KIA. The planning in many cases included those specific areas in the objective area where body collection points would be established, and the geographical location of where the cemeteries would be.

                  Because I still serve as a PTSD Consultant, and sometimes the buffer between the veteran and the VA, I keep myself current in matters having to do with the diagnosis, psychotherapy, and psychotropic drugs which hopefully will alleviate at least some of the behavioral symptoms of the condition. At the same time I keep tuned in to other matters having to do with what might be called “Military Medicine.”

                  I well realize that prior to my suggestion that the subject has, unfortunately, been given short shrift in these forums. That is to be regretted since if the Soldier goes into battle well knowing that, should he be wounded, he will be treated and his life saved if at all possible. Thus it becomes a morale factor which the wise commander will not ignore.

                  Think on it.

                  And, just who in the bloody h__l is “Erm””
                  Nothing except a battle lost can be half as melancholy as a battle won.
                  Duke of Wellington

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A couple of notes:

                    In regards to the title of the thread:
                    -Realize that a response to the title that you yourself say was on purpose is not the same as a response to the topic.

                    -The title on purpose is actually curious if one is actually familiar with the reference material. Would it not suggest that you are bringing up the idea of a Military Medicine forum as satire or as a joke?


                    In regards to the content of the thread:
                    -No one took the idea of the forum lightly and it is being considered.

                    -A lot of factors go into deciding whether a forum will be made or not. Many important topics go without forums based on simple supply and demand so to speak. I realize having never been in the military, I'm incapable of grasping the importance of keeping people alive but I've heard it's a good thing so again we are considering the forum.

                    -Just for clarity's sake: We are considering your forum suggestion seriously.


                    Miscellaneous notes:
                    - "Erm" is a sound made when one is expressing surprise and confusion. Such as the surprise and confusion at someone being completely unable to differentiate two separate topics in one conversation/thread.
                    “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Piedpiper 6

                      Speaking as someone who has "seen the elephant", I just want to add my two cents worth.

                      I believe the subject should be explored on these forums, but I am not sure in what direction it will go. I for one have problems to this day resulting from Vietnam, but I am not willing to go into detail here either.

                      If the thread is to be about how medicine has progressed from say the civil war to present day, then I am 100% behind it. When I flew Medevac in Vietnam the wounded soldiers got medical attention very fast compared to say WWII. Anyway, I would be interested in hearing more about your forum idea.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So the issue is really how many different topics can we see on the subject?

                        Or is it more likely to be a few that would fit in general warfare?
                        “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I know that we have more than a few members experienced in military/battlefield medicine, to one degree or another. Several more in the civilian sector, as well. I'd be interested if Piedpiper 6 might have a general overview of what he might envision in such a forum - that being from a historical & real time point of view.

                          I'd be interested in knowing what others might envision, as well.

                          MountainMan, Curt, medivac, others...

                          Could it sustain itself on its own?

                          On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

                          ACG History Today

                          BoRG

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As the initial request has been withdrawn, I read through the posts twice to get everything in context.

                            A subforum on 'Military Medicine' would greatly interest me as I am hoping to trade the US Navy time for med school. My best guess for where it should go is 'Wars and Warfare.'

                            Thanks for considering this guys!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Admiral View Post
                              I know that we have more than a few members experienced in military/battlefield medicine, to one degree or another. Several more in the civilian sector, as well. I'd be interested if Piedpiper 6 might have a general overview of what he might envision in such a forum - that being from a historical & real time point of view.

                              I'd be interested in knowing what others might envision, as well.

                              MountainMan, Curt, medivac, others...

                              Could it sustain itself on its own?

                              See my previously posted comment in this thread, right above your previously posted comment...

                              It's too narrow a specialty and too few people actually know enough about it to make it worthwhile.
                              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                              Comment

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