Their are many debates on blogs about Canada's mission in Afghanistan. Some are serious, some are glib. Few ever discuss the toll it takes on our soldiers.
We sometimes talk about the injured and often speak of those who have lost their lives, but how often do we think about the mental stress that these young women and men are under?
I confess to not even being able to read some of the horror stories coming out of that region. Imagine what it must be like to witness them and then upon returning home, be expected to go back to life as usual?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as other disorders are to be expected. That we now have a name for this condition and recognise that some soldiers will suffer from it, is a step in the right direction. It seems, among the military, there is still a stigma attached to it though.
This comes as no surprise, really. I would presume, being able to "deal" with what ever comes your way is a part of basic training. I wonder if we do enough however, to prepare them for the reality of the horror and how they may be affected? It must be a difficult balance.
Surely Romeo Dallaire's courage on this issue should have broken down some barriers? It seems though, that we still have some problems. I've read quite a bit on the subject as it relates to the US military, but it's rare to see anything in the Canadian media.
This is an insightful piece and one that has me hoping that the Canadian Military is moving on this, now.