As FDR so eloquently stated in 1932, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself".
Yesterday yet another tragic and unfortunate mass shooting occurred, this time in Wisconsin. Just a few short weeks after the Aurora, CO tragedy, the American people are once again faced with a question many of us wish we weren't asking ourselves: "Was the shooter a veteran?"
This time the answer is yes.
As I'm writing this, it's not yet known if the shooter was involved in any combat situations, but we do know he served in the peacetime Army during the 1990's. The 24-hour media machine is busy scrambling for facts and background info on the suspected shooter and his veteran status isn't lost on them. Sensational news stories involving vets with Combat PTSD create an atmosphere of doubt and skepticism. As a result, our heroes are placed in an unnecessary (and undeserved!) situation...as people we should fear.
However, regardless of what we see and hear on the news, it's important to point out that Combat PTSD is not synonymous with hate. It does not cause people to discriminate against race, ethnicity, religion, ect. The vast majority of heroes suffering from the effects of PTSD are calm, productive, upstanding members of society. They are not people we should fear...they are, in fact, the exact opposite. We must continue to advocate for our nation's heroes and their families and educate communities on what PTSD is...as well as what it ISN'T.
To the Sikh Community in Milwaukee and around the world...our thoughts and prayers here at Family Of a Vet, Inc are with you today and in the days and weeks to come.
Social Media Coordinator
Family Of a Vet, Inc