Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go back in time and change the bad things that happened in your life? Do you think the men and women who served in the first and second world wars would volunteer to fight again? Would the men and women who fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars go back if they had the chance?
When the Second World War ended, Service Personnel coming back were treated like hero’s. There were parades in the streets, bands playing and crowds of people waiting for the ships to drop anchor. At the time people were just happy to be alive and home again. Nobody was prepared for the consequences that would be suffered by many combat veterans.
During World War I, it was called “shell shock” , or in some cases, it was referred to as “lack of moral fiber”. Throughout the Second World War it was still referred to by these names as well as “battle fatigue”. In World War One, the French, British and American armies are reported to have executed, by firing squad, troops that had shown symptoms of these problems.
While World War II raged on, medical experts began to realize that these troops were not cowards at all, rather, they were human beings who had reached the end of their emotional limits. More was learned during the Korean War and by the time the Vietnam conflict began, Mental Health systems had fallen far, far behind in treating trauma-related problems. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder produced a generation of alcoholics, drug addicts, veterans with anger management issues and elevated suicide rates. These veterans were soldiers who had been taught to kill, lay traps, maim other human beings and perform their duties without complaint. They learnt how to survive, but no one taught them how to return to live in a society where nobody understood what they had endured.