Sunday, February 11, 2007

Shock at the Brutality of a Soldier

An ex-soldier with mental health issues handed himself into police admitting that he had murdered 4 members of his family.
The police made much of their surprise at how calm David Bradley was during interviews; "As he described this horror to us, it was as if we were interviewing him about shoplifting. "You'd think he'd been caught stealing sweets in a supermarket, rather than him talking about killing the four people closest to him.
My own surprise is that we expect soldiers to be brutal in combat but to leave that behind on the battle field when they return to civilian life. It is a fundamental dichotomy at the heart of soldiering, and inhuman of us not to anticipate the impact of the scenes soldiers witness. As well as mental disturbance, ex-soldiers are vulnerable to substance abuse, and the perpetration of domestic violence.
Where are the support systems, are there any?



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