Memorial Day in the Rearview Mirror: Soldiers as Heroes, and Victims

Elspeth Ritchie was on the front lines dealing with the military’s mental-health issues as an Army psychiatrist, including several senior positions following 9/11, for nearly a quarter century. She has studied and tended to troops’ minds on assignments around the world, including in Cuba, Iraq, Somalia, South Korea and Vietnam. She

The Disappearing “Disorder”: Why PTSD is becoming PTS

For years, the U.S. military has referred to the constellation of anxiety, depression and anger many combat troops suffer when they return home as PTSD — Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But in recent months, senior Pentagon officials seem to have gone on a search-and-destroy mission to kill the DDisorder — and now prefer to …


There are a host of new therapies being tried in the struggle against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among U.S. troops back from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. The latest is transcendental meditation, or, as its advocates prefer, Transcendental Meditation™. Pioneered by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s, a peer-reviewed …

War Through “Enemy” Eyes

Members of the Zumwalt family have been proud members of the U.S. military since the Revolution. It was that tradition that led James Zumwalt to join his father and brother in the Navy, before transferring to the Marines. During his 26 years in uniform, the now-retired lieutenant colonel saw service in three conflicts — Vietnam, …

Different Wars, Same Reaction: Grenade-Throwing Heroes

The White House has announced that Army Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry is the second living post-9/11 Medal of Honor recipient (seven others have been awarded posthumously). President Obama is slated to bestow the light-blue-beribboned medal — the nation’s highest — at the White House on July 12. Petry earned the honor for what …

Memorial Day, in Real Time

Powerful piece from Rajiv Srinivasan, an Army platoon leader in Afghanistan last year, on the passing of a comrade:

The hardest part about writing this piece was not the recollection of the sights and emotions of a friend’s passing but deciding what to call him. Perhaps it will mean more to you if you reread the roll call, inserting the

Memorial Day, 2011

Memorial Day is a strange holiday when so many Americans are disconnected from the wars now underway. Did you know that over the past week, more than a dozen U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan? It’s easy for me to keep track: I get Pentagon press releases every time a U.S. soldier is killed, sprinkled in among those …

Soldiers Get Your $57 Bucks Ready for “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3″

On Nov. 8 Activision will release the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.” The company calls the video game series “the best-selling first-person action series of all-time.”

I’m not a video game enthusiast. I do, however, interview a lot of soldiers. They all play Call of Duty. They are fanatic about it. View the trailer and …

Spouse Training at Walter Reed Wraps Up

Here’s our final dispatch from Gayla Romanowsky, who has been filing to Battleland from the new Significant Others Support Group at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. Her husband, Dave, served in Iraq, where he earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Gayla attended the sessions, funded by the non-profit Walter Reed Society, to

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: A Gay Officer Witnesses Its End

What a fascinating time to be a gay man in the U.S. military. This time last year, I was sure the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy was here to stay for the next 2 to 3 years. I never thought by now I’d be in a unit where almost everyone has received post-repeal training. While not entirely satisfied with the training …

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