Civilian Neighbor: “Do you suffer from PTSD?”
Military Service Member: “If I did, I probably wouldn’t tell you. Why would you even ask that?”
This might be a common exchange between civilians and military service members. These myths about military life – and after the transition – are perpetuated by assumptions. For this episode of ClearedCast, Steve Leonard and I do a deep dive into military myths.
No matter which branch you’ve served in, no matter your military occupational specialty (MOS), and no matter how long you’ve served, American citizens might be prone to thinking every veteran has served our armed forces in the same capacity a character like a Rambo killing machine. Not every brigadier general is like Jack Ripper from Dr. Strangelove or Lt Dan from Forest Gump – and not all military service members are broken.
We even get into some creepy ghost stories about Fort Leavenworth.
During our conversation, we mention service members being broken. And while some do suffer from PTSD following military service, not all PTSD is the same and PTSD and serving do not always go hand in hand. Leonard tells us more about his experience with this common myth, and why he feels it continues.
A few others Leonard noted on a recent article included that all veterans exist in a perpetual state of combat and that they are all shooters. His MOS while he served started as a logistician, and later moved on to strategy. He notes, “That doesn’t mean we haven’t seen gruesome things,” but a homogenous approach to categorizing what military members did in the armed forces is a myth that we see today. He jokes about a neighbor who asks, “You were in the U.S. Army? So, you must know this other guy who was a Navy SEAL right?” Because they’re all shooters, right? FALSE.
Other myths we bust in this episode:
- Veterans liking when citizens thank them for their service.
- How veterans all have experienced the dark side of war.
- How all deployments are the same, no matter the location.
- How all military families experience marriage issues or unbalance.
- How military spouses are uneducated or unemployed.
- How veterans join the military because they’re out of options.
Leonard also touches on his motivation or call to service to join the Army, and how his own family made the best of any location by being together, “As you move around the world and change jobs every couple of years – the one constant is your family.”
Much of what the military does is covered in myth, not much based on fact and where assumptions are running amuck. If you have a military myth that isn’t on this list, shoot us note and tell us your story.
- Call 988 (Press 1)
- Text to 838255.
- Call TTY if you have hearing loss 1-800-799-4889.