War is Hell, Civilian Life is Worse

This is the first post I’ve ever reblogged. It’s timely, or rather ‘past time’ly.

Steve Rose PhD

Kandahar Airfield“the story does not end on the battlefield. For most, the story has just begun.” – Jessie Odom

Many veterans struggling to reintegrate back into civilian life report that although war is hell, civilian life upon return is worse. Some veterans see combat as a high point in their life, wishing they could go back to an experience that should have been their worst. This social experience is a suicide risk for the roughly one third of veterans who do not make a successful transition to civilian life.

The social source of this suicide risk for veterans in transition can be illuminated by Elwin Humphreys Powell’s concept of ‘anomie’ in his book, The Design of Discord. Anomie occurs when an individual is unable to derive a sense of meaning or purpose from one’s social environment. According to Powell, a central area of life where actors find purposive action is…

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