Why are we throwing Traumatized Vets in Jail for calling 911? Joe Bangert is being jailed for doing exactly what he was trained to do: calling for backup when he feels threatened.
No question about it: Joe can be a civic nightmare. When he's upset, things get messy, rules get broken. But that should come as no surprise. We have studies going back 100 years connecting wartime experiences with traumatic injuries that lead to criminal behaviors.
They use drugs or alcohol to manage their nightmares, red-line their Harleys to feed their addiction to adrenalin, keep guns under their pillows to feel safe, and when they have flashbacks, muscle-memory takes over and they default to combat survival skills. Rages at the terrible images that colonize their minds get misdirected at innocent bystanders, often the people who love them the most—all known symptoms of PTSD, all predictive of trouble.
Ten years later, those old soldiers are being joined by younger veterans, in equally daunting numbers, who are similarly haunted by their memories and overwhelmed by the symptoms of their psychic injuries.