PTSD Throughout the History of American Warfare

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

War is horrific. Those who choose to fight for the freedoms we share risk not only loosing their lives or suffering bodily harm, they face emotional turmoil of having their friends shot in front of them and dealing with the emotional scars that living in wartime condition create. In honor of the veterans who have served our country, here is how PTSD was handled throughout US history.

USA Betsy Ross Aged Flat FlagRevolutionary War: In the 1700s, PTSD was called nostalgia. A French surgeon described it as having three stages: 1) “heightened excitement and imagination,” 2) “period of fever and prominent gastrointestinal symptoms,” and 3) “frustration and depression” (Bentley, 2005).

Not much was written about the effects of the war on soldiers. But they had to have suffered emotionally. These men fought for the freedom of their country in conditions where they didn’t have the resources needed to keep them warm, dry, and fed. Many died from starvation and exposure. Yet after the war, when they returned to civilian life, they were forgotten. The new nation couldn’t even afford to pay them.

War of 1812: Again, not much was known about PTSD during this time, but the White House burning to the ground and British soldiers marching into America had to affect these soldiers.

Civil War: The Civil War is when the condition of PTSD first started to be recognized as Soldier’s Heart. Many soldiers returning from battle after the war suffered the effects of soldier’s heart.

World War I: In World War I, PTSD was called Shell Shock. Life in the muddy trenches caused desperation and emotional turmoil. Many soldiers suffering from shell shock were executed for cowardice instead of treated for an emotional condition. Others were institutionalized as insane and were taught skills like basket weaving to support themselves. After the war, many soldiers suffering from this were encouraged to keep it hidden because of the attitude toward it.

World War II: In World War II, Battle Fatigue was a recognized condition by psychiatrist. Over a million men who suffered from it during the war were pulled away from duty for treatment and rest. The attitudes toward it were still not favorable, and those suffering from the condition were considered weak. In one account, General Patton slapped a man suffering from battle fatigue and called him a coward.

Korea and Vietnam: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual I (DSM-I) by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1952 included a diagnosis for “gross stress reaction,” which was thought to be related specifically to combat-related trauma. However, “Gross Stress Reaction” was dropped from the DSM-II in 1968, for reasons that remain unknown (Andreasen, 2004). Soldiers from Vietnam were treated for Gross Stress Reaction, but their systems became worse when they returned home and were disdained for their service. Vietnam vets with PTSD were diagnosed as having Vietnam Combat Reaction, a severe form of PTSD.

Desert Storm and the War on Terror: PTSD, Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, is understood better now than it used to be, not only by mental health personnel who treat the disorder, but by the public. Soldiers go through a lot and need to be supported through the physical and emotional damage combat causes.

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10 Ways to Thank Veterans for their Service

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Veteran’s Day is November 11th. What better time is there to honor our veterans. Here are the ten ways to thank veterans for their service.

10. Visit a national park  that commemorates veterans.

9. Fly the American flag.

8. Volunteer at a VA hospital.

7. Honor veterans in your church with special services.

6. Take a veteran or soldier to lunch.

5. Thank a veteran or soldier for his or her service.

4. Carry banners thanking the troops during parades and special events.

3. Find a family of a soldier who is deployed and help however you can.

2. Donate to Honor Flight Network  or another charity helping veterans.

1. Pray for active military and for our veterans.

History of Veteran’s Day

While Memorial Day honors those who have died in service to the United States of America, Veteran’s Day honors all American veterans who fought in wartime. It is a national holiday held every year on November 11th when we as a nation, say, “Thank you for your service.” Here is a little history about Veteran’s Day.

On November 11th, 1918, an armistice was declared, and World War One, declared the war to end all wars, ended. Armistice Day was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson and celebrated the following year on November 11th. The first Armistice Day was celebrated with parades and a brief pause of activities at 11:00 am, the time the aggression ceased.

In 1921, on Armistice Day, an unidentified soldier killed in the war was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Unknown soldiers were also buried in London and Paris. Congress declared the day a national holiday. On June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution to commemorate November 11th with “thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and understanding between nations”. In 1938, it became a legal federal holiday known as Armistice Day.

Because of all the veterans that fought in World War Two and the Korean War, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954. Veterans Day became a day to honor all American veterans who fought for our country.

In 1975, Gerald Ford signed legislation to keep the observance of Veterans Day on November 11th unless it falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Then it is celebrated on the previous Friday or following Monday. An official wreath-laying ceremony is held every Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery while parades and other celebrations are held in states around the country.

The History of Veteran’s Day

0214-4th-july-1100020942-10182013While Memorial Day honors those who have died in service to the United States of America, Veteran’s Day honors all American veterans who fought in wartime. It is a national holiday held every year on November 11th.

On November 11th, 1918, an armistice was declared, and Word War One, declared the war to end all wars, ended. Armistice Day was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson and celebrated the following year on November 11th. The first Armistice Day was celebrated with parades and a brief pause of activities at 11:00 am, the time the aggression ceased.

In 1921, on Armistice Day, an unidentified soldier killed in the war was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Unknown soldiers were also buried in London and Paris. Congress declared the day a national holiday. June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution to commemorate November 11th with “thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and understanding between nations”. In 1938, it became a legal federal holiday known a Armistice Day.

Because of all the veterans that fought in World War Two and the Korean War, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954. Veterans Day became a day to honor all American veterans of wars.

In 1975, Gerald Ford signed legislation to keep the observance of Veterans Day on November 11th unless it falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Then it is celebrated on the previous Friday or following Monday. An official wreath-laying ceremony is held every Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery, while parades and other celebrations are held in states around the country.

The Veterans Administration and the History Channel are working on a project called “Take A Veteran To School Day”. Veterans visit school to talk about their experiences with the students. You can find out more about this project at this link.

List wars and military actions in which Americans have fought:

18th Century:

  • US Revolutionary War (1775–1783)
  • Chickamauga War – part of Indian Wars (1776–1795)
  • Northwest Indian War – part of Indian Wars (1785–1793)
  • Whiskey Rebellion (1791–1794)
  • Quasi-War – part of French Revolutionary Wars (1798–1800)

19th Century (pre-Civil War):

  • First Barbary War (1801–1805)
  • Tecumseh’s War (1811)
  • War of 1812 (1812–1815)
  • Creek War part of Indian Wars (1813–1814)
  • Second Barbary War (1815)
  • First Seminole War – part of Indian Wars (1817–1818)
  • Texas-Indian wars (1820–1875)
  • Arikara War – part of Indian Wars (1823)
  • Winnebago War (1827)
  • First Sumatran expedition (1832)
  • Black Hawk War –  part of Indian Wars (1832)
  • Second Seminole War – part of Indian Wars  (1835–1842)
  • US Exploring Expedition (1838–1842)
  • Second Sumatran expedition (1838)
  • Mexican–American War (1846–1848)
  • Cayuse War part of Indian Wars (1847–1855)
  • Apache Wars part of Indian Wars (1851–1900)
  • Bombardment of Greytown (1854)
  • Puget Sound War –part of Indian Wars  (1855–1856)
  • First Fiji Expedition (1855)
  • Rogue River Wars part of Indian Wars (1855–1856)
  • Third Seminole War part of Indian Wars (1855–1858)
  • Yakima War part of Indian Wars (1855–1858)
  • Filibuster War (1855–1857)
  • Second Opium War (1856–1859)
  • Utah War (1857–1858)
  • Navajo Wars part of Indian Wars (1858–1866)
  • Second Fiji Expedition (1858)
  • First and Second Cortina War (1859–1861)
  • Paiute War part of Indian Wars (1860)
  • Reform War (1860)

19th Century (Civil War – 1900):

  • American Civil War (1861–1865)
  • Bombardment of Qui Nhơn (1861)
  • Yavapai Wars part of Indian Wars (1861–1875)
  • Dakota War of 1862 – part of Indian Wars  (1862)
  • Colorado War – part of Indian Wars (1863–1865)
  • Shimonoseki War (1863–1864)
  • Snake War part of Indian Wars (1864–1868)
  • Powder River War –  part of Indian Wars (1865)
  • Red Cloud’s War – part of Indian Wars (1866–1868)
  • Siege of Mexico City (1867)
  • Formosa Expedition (1867)
  • Comanche Campaign part of Indian Wars (1867–1875)
  • United States expedition to Korea (1871)
  • Modoc War part of Indian Wars (1872–1873)
  • Red River War – part of Indian Wars (1874–1875)
  • Las Cuevas War (1875)
  • Great Sioux War of 1876 – part of Indian Wars (1876–1877)
  • Buffalo Hunters’ War – part of Indian Wars (1876–1877)
  • Nez Perce War – part of Indian Wars (1877)
  • San Elizario Salt War part of Indian Wars (1877–1878)
  • Bannock War – part of Indian Wars (1878)
  • Cheyenne War – part of Indian Wars (1878–1879)
  • Sheepeater Indian War – part of Indian Wars (1879)
  • Victorio’s War- part of Indian Wars (1879–1881)
  • White River War part of Indian Wars (1879–1880)
  • Pine Ridge Campaign – part of Indian Wars (1890–1891)
  • Garza Revolution (1891–1893)
  • Revolta da Armada (1893–1894)
  • Yaqui Wars (1896-1918)
  • Second Samoan Civil War (1898–1899)
  • Spanish–American War (1898)
  • Philippine–American War (1899–1902)
  • Moro Rebellion (1899–1913)
  • Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901)

20th Century Wars:

  • Crazy Snake Rebellion – part of Indian Wars (1909)
  • Border War (1910–1919)
  • Banana Wars (1912-1933)
  • Bluff War – part of Indian Wars (1914–1915)
  • Occupation of Haiti (1915–1934)
  • Sugar Intervention (1916–1918)
  • Occupation of the Dominican Republic (1916–1924)
  • World War I (1917–1918)
  • Russian Civil War (1918–1920)
  • Posey War – part of Indian Wars (1923)
  • World War II (1941–1945)
  • Korean Warpart of Cold War (1950–1953)
  • Lebanon Crisis (1958)
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion – part of Cold War (1961)
  • Simba Rebellion – part of Cold War (1964)
  • Dominican Civil War (1965–1966)
  • Vietnam War – part of Cold War (1965–1973)
  • Shaba II (1978)
  • Multinational Force in Lebanon – part of Cold War (1982-1984)
  • Invasion of Grenada – part of Cold War (1983)
  • Tanker War (1987–1988)
  • Invasion of Panama (1989–1990)
  • Gulf War (1990–1991)
  • Iraqi No-Fly Zones (1991–2003)
  • Somali Civil War (1992–1995)
  • Intervention in Haiti (1994–1995)
  • Bosnian War (1994–1995)
  • Kosovo War (1998–1999)

21st Century Wars:

  • War in Afghanistan – part of War on Terror  (2001–2014)
  • Iraq War – part of War on Terror (2003–2011)
  • War in Pakistan – part of War on Terror (2004–present)
  • Operation Ocean Shieldpart of War on Terror (2009–present)
  • Libyan Civil War (2011)
  • War on ISIL – part of War on Terror (2014–present)

History of Veteran’s Day

veterans-day-2009While Memorial Day honors those who have died in service to the United States of America, Veteran’s Day honors all American veterans who fought in wartime. It is a national holiday held every year on November 11th.

On November 11th, 1918, an armistice was declared, and Word War One, declared the war to end all wars, ended. Armistice Day was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson and celebrated the following year on November 11th. The first Armistice Day was celebrated with parades and a brief pause of activities at 11:00 am, the time the aggression ceased.

In 1921, on Armistice Day, an unidentified soldier killed in the war was buried at Arlington National Cemetary in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Unknown soldiers were also buried in London and Paris. Congress declared the day a national holiday.June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution to commemorate November 11th with “thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and understanding between nations”. In 1938, it became a legal federal holiday known a Armistice Day.

Because of all the veterans that fought in World War Two and the Korean War, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954. Veterans Day became a day to honor all American veterans of wars.

In 1975, Gerald Ford signed legislation to keep the observance of Veterans Day on November 11th unless it falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Then it is celebrated on the previous Friday or following Monday.An official wreath-laying ceremony is held every Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery, while parades and other celebrations are held in states around the country.

The Veterans Administration and the History Channel are working on a project called “Take A Veteran To School Day”. Veterans visit school to talk about their experiences with the students. You can find out more about this project at this link.

Also you can write a letter of support to one of our servicemen at this link.

Good Read for Veteran’s Day:

Soldiers Heart PaperbackSoldier’s Heart

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Soldier’s Heart is about a Civil War soldier with PTSD.

Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm. But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?

You can buy Soldier’s Heart at the following sites:

Amazon in paperback

Amazon in Kindle

Barnes and Noble in Nook