I agree with Kate about what she says about the soldier’s story in The American Life. Because the soldier was subjected to those types of environments during war he was unable to separate the two realities of being in war and being at home with his family. Also I thought it was hard to envision him putting a knife to his wife’s throat. Immediately I thought of the movie “Brothers” with Toby Macguire and Jake Gyllenhaal. Toby played a U.S Soldier about to be deployed away from his family and Jake was his sort of reject brother. Toby went to war, was captured, tortured, and deemed dead. Jake developed a relationship with Toby’s wife. When we found out that Toby wasn’t dead and was rescued from being held captive, he started to lash out at his family, including his kids, wife, and brother. At one point in the movie he almost killed himself and his family. I do think that the institution of war has a significant effect on the minds of our soldiers. Being subjected to that much violence and being in stressful situations can cause anxiety and things like PTSD.
Much like the Podcast, the Finnegan article about Travis Twiggs had some of the same concepts. I believe the article said that he did 4 tours in Afghanistan. For anyone I think one tour is enough but this man did four. In the article his wife stated that he would often get flashbacks of instances he experienced in the war, which caused him to lash out, much like John in the podcast. I also see another theme which Kate pointed out and which we spoke about last week, which is hyper-masculinity. For these soldiers they are taught to be tough, hard, individuals and if they aren’t they are told they aren’t worthy of the job they do. I believe this puts a lot of stress on these people causing them to do things out of their nature to prove that they are competent. When these men come home they continue to identify with that masculine approach. Thus making it hard for them to revert back to the lives they once had.
I don’t think for anyone it is an easy to come home after you have served in the military for long periods of time. I think when they come home it is awkward for them to face the reality that they once had because they have been away for so long. I couldn’t imagine being a part of a family where our family member who was subjected to the violence and politics of war couldn’t separate the two realities. It defiantly takes a strong individual to cope with that type of suffering because it is a type of suffering. The internal battle of separating war from your present reality is suffering. During this course we have struggled with defining what suffering really is. I think suffering can be both mental and physical. For these soldiers its not just enough to go to war and subject themselves to all that it has to offer. Don’t get me wrong I defiantly appreciate all that they do but sometimes we don’t take into consideration that in protecting us they have to deal with unimaginable things and in turn almost suffer themselves so that we can have a life.