Thursday, May 22, 2008


Badly hurt vets battle uncertainty over intimacy

Many troops shy away from asking how their injury will affect their sex life

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - When B.J. Jackson lost both his legs to an Iraq war injury, his doctors talked about a lot of things, but they didn’t mention how it might affect his sex life.
Jackson’s less-bashful wife brought it up. But even then the couple didn’t get the answers they sought.

Jackson and his wife, Abby, say it’s time to get the issue out in the open in both military medical settings and at home. And they got a lot of agreement at a conference Wednesday, billed as the first of its kind, that focused on wounded troops and intimacy with their partners — in the bedroom and outside it.

This is no minor matter.

About 3,000 of the 30,000 troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered major physical impairment, said former Sen. Bob Dole, who served last year on a presidential commission that examined the treatment of wounded war veterans. Dole, who lost full use of his right arm to a combat injury during World War II, was among the speakers at the conference.
Call for compensationVets who have lost a quality-of-life function, such as sexual ability, should be given quality-of-life compensation in addition to other payment, he said, because the magnitude of their disabilities will fully sink in as they age.

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Anonymous said...

This topic is another which has been researched on male veterans for decades now. While the end result can be also be seen in family dysfunction, erectile dysfunction research is included in research on diabetes, kidney and bladder diseases, prostate cancer, and heart disease etc... When their military service has ended, veterans keep on serving society with their involvement in research and study groups for the advancement of medical technology for everyone world-wide. Except in the area of prosthetics, most of the time veterans involvement in medical research does go unnoticed while drug companies become multi-billion-dollar industries with drugs like Viagra. Too many veterans have died as just another number in a research project.

I have mentioned this only a few times because it only results in denial and disdain; the -- wounds which go untreated because the topic is taboo and has gone unstudied – only results in denial and disdain. I remember as a teen meeting an all American new veteran who was still a teen himself at just nineteen. It was summer and he worked outside in construction, he always wore farmer jeans without a shirt in the heat. One day when they broke for a break, I took a snapshot of him and his very shy strawberry-blond haired girlfriend. That winter I found out the picture wasn’t perfect, to make a long story short; since his return home from war he was never able to have sex with his ex-fiancĂ©. His battlefield scar was self hatred, disgust and guilt from being involved in a rape of a non-American female. He was just a kid when this happened and was so drunk, but he did sober up much at the end, he could not get off and vomited all over the girl. Today would his feelings be considered a form of PTSD? With the women overseas now, wouldn’t the rape of an American military sister in arms demand even more quilt? Many months later when I did learn of his suicide, I gave the snapshot to his old fiancĂ© and explained his situation. She thanked me for learning he never stopped loving her, but couldn’t understand why he never told her what happened. I’ll never know if giving back the snapshot was the right thing to do, but this young girl’s mom was only full of distain for me for opening up old wounds for her daughter. Will I once again get nasty comments back here in this comment section of this newspaper for mentioning something taboo which is a reality that must be dealt with?

by Pat Smith

Bill Corcoran said...

You appear to know a lot about this topic and I appreciate your input.