PDA

View Full Version : Killing 'Really Addictive:' Veteran's Essay Leads to Ban From Campus



Gingersnap
11-24-2010, 03:39 PM
Killing 'Really Addictive:' Veteran's Essay Leads to Ban From Campus
College Bars Iraq Veteran Pending Psychological Evaluation

In an essay for a college English class, Charles Whittington Jr. opened up about his feelings about his time in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Killing becomes a drug, and it is really addictive. I had a really hard time with this problem when I returned to the United States, because turning this addiction off was impossible," Whittington wrote in the essay for his class at the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville, Md.

"I wrote this essay and the teacher gave me an A for it, and she encouraged me to publish it in the school newspaper," Whittington said. "Two weeks later, it was published."

After reading it, college administrators called Whittington into a meeting.

"They said he's barred until he gets a psychological evaluation," said Deborah O'Doherty, president of the Maryland chapter of American War Mothers and a friend of Whittington's family. She attended the meeting with Whittington. "They also gave him a no-trespass notice and kept bringing up the Virginia Tech shooting."

"I was really frustrated, because they didn't give me a chance to explain," said Whittington. "I wrote the paper to talk about the reality of what other soldiers go through and it was therapeutic for me."

Hope Davis, a college spokeswoman, said, "The violent and inflammatory content of Mr. Whittington's article raised some red flags we felt we needed to address in this post-Virginia Tech era. We have an obligation to maintain a safe and comfortable learning environment for the diverse population of nearly 74,000 students we serve." She said some students did complain, and most were veterans who expressed concern the essay would portray all veterans in a bad light.

O'Doherty said Whittington offered the college administrators a psychological evaluation he had when he left the military a couple of years ago, but the administrators said it's too old and they want him to go to a Veterans Administration hospital.

Whittington said he has now gone for an evaluation, and believes it will show he is not a threat to anyone.

Medical experts say Whittington's experience is extremely common among veterans, who feel the adrenaline rush of being in combat and then have difficulty adjusting to life without it when they leave the military. While they have different opinions about whether the college reacted appropriately to Whittington's essay, experts agree that many people don't understand what combat veterans have had to endure, which often leaves them unfairly stigmatized.

College administrators would know about the emotional effects of close combat if they were well educated enough to read the large body of English literature written about this very issue. :rolleyes:

ABC (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/veterans-college-essay-killing-barred-campus/story?id=12214399)

noonwitch
11-24-2010, 04:09 PM
College administrators would know about emotional effects of close combat if they were well educated enough to read the large body of English literature written about this very issue. :rolleyes:

ABC (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/veterans-college-essay-killing-barred-campus/story?id=12214399)


Thanks for your service, dude, but get off our campus.

If I were an administrator, I would have wanted to meet the vet after reading his paper, not to give him a hard time, but to commend him for his service and for his ability and willingness to share his experiences with others. Heck, I might even have bought him lunch.

Gingersnap
11-24-2010, 04:40 PM
Thanks for your service, dude, but get off our campus.

If I were an administrator, I would have wanted to meet the vet after reading his paper, not to give him a hard time, but to commend him for his service and for his ability and willingness to share his experiences with others. Heck, I might even have bought him lunch.

I want to know why the effects of combat aren't better understood by so-called intellectuals.

Anybody who skies black diamond runs, or does whitewater rafting, or does rodeo, or hunts, or does anything physically challenging and physically dangerous knows how crazy/fun/terrifying these things are. Combat has to be like that only times 100.

It's not that these guys want to kill people as a hobby, it's that surviving a potentially lethal situation and winning is inherently rewarding. I know that and the closest I've been to combat is playing Medal of Honor.

Kay
11-24-2010, 07:44 PM
Thanks for your service, dude, but get off our campus.

If I were an administrator, I would have wanted to meet the vet after reading his paper, not to give him a hard time, but to commend him for his service and for his ability and willingness to share his experiences with others. Heck, I might even have bought him lunch.

Exactly. And the fact that he is writing it out on paper to deal with it, rather than keeping it bottled up inside is a positive thing.

CueSi
11-25-2010, 09:04 AM
I want to know why the effects of combat aren't better understood by so-called intellectuals.

Anybody who skies black diamond runs, or does whitewater rafting, or does rodeo, or hunts, or does anything physically challenging and physically dangerous knows how crazy/fun/terrifying these things are. Combat has to be like that only times 100.

It's not that these guys want to kill people as a hobby, it's that surviving a potentially lethal situation and winning is inherently rewarding. I know that and the closest I've been to combat is playing Medal of Honor.

Surprising, huh, Ginger? I mean, intellectuals were just as common on the battlefield as they were in the classroom. Officers like Stonewall Jackson and Joshua Chamberlain would probably be able to not just keep up, but wipe the floor with professors working today. Hell, prolly Maj. Odysseus prolly could keep up better. At one point, it seems a military education was part of a man's full learning experience. I want to say the advent of modern warfare in WWI changed things, and Vietnam made that divide permanent.

I mean, I only have a Bachelor's of Bullshit and even I could write a companion essay about roller coasters and how awesome they are and my minor obsession of riding a ride that makes others lose their lunch. Or mastering an aerial pole stunt.

I don't know what lilly livered admins are at this college, but at best, this is the most extreme case of 'wee-weed' up since the POTUS, or they just let their anti-military bias show .

~QC

marv
11-25-2010, 10:28 AM
I had one kill in Laos, but I don't feel addicted to anything.

But I see a flaw with an all volunteer military. Over time, it appeals more and more to the thrill seekers. Those are exactly the ones we don't need in our military. And that's why I favor going back to the draft - a citizen "john doe" military. The US did okay in WW2.

Odysseus
11-26-2010, 02:17 AM
College administrators would know about the emotional effects of close combat if they were well educated enough to read the large body of English literature written about this very issue. :rolleyes:

ABC (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/veterans-college-essay-killing-barred-campus/story?id=12214399)
You're assuming that modern academics are familiar with English literature, which would require that such things are still taught on our campuses.

I had one kill in Laos, but I don't feel addicted to anything.

But I see a flaw with an all volunteer military. Over time, it appeals more and more to the thrill seekers. Those are exactly the ones we don't need in our military. And that's why I favor going back to the draft - a citizen "john doe" military. The US did okay in WW2.

The volunteers that we get aren't thrill seekers, they're decent kids who want to have a career that challenges them, or get money for college. I'll take one of those over a dozen draftees any day. The first problem with a draft is that it radicalizes lazy/cowardly kids who don't want to fight. The reason that Charlie Rangel proposed a draft for Iraq was specifically to foment campus radicalism. No thanks. The second is that there are fundamental liberty issues with imposing a draft. It assumes that a government has the right to conscript people any time that it feels like it.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
11-28-2010, 07:55 AM
You're assuming that modern academics are familiar with English literature, which would require that such things are still taught on our campuses.


The volunteers that we get aren't thrill seekers, they're decent kids who want to have a career that challenges them, or get money for college. I'll take one of those over a dozen draftees any day. The first problem with a draft is that it radicalizes lazy/cowardly kids who don't want to fight. The reason that Charlie Rangel proposed a draft for Iraq was specifically to foment campus radicalism. No thanks. The second is that there are fundamental liberty issues with imposing a draft. It assumes that a government has the right to conscript people any time that it feels like it.

You get some decent people like my friend in the Navy. He's a great guy and he'll do something great over there.
But I've noticed some of my friends are joining simply because they can't get a job. Because of the economy.

Odysseus
11-28-2010, 11:56 AM
You get some decent people like my friend in the Navy. He's a great guy and he'll do something great over there.
But I've noticed some of my friends are joining simply because they can't get a job. Because of the economy.

The economy always dictates at least some of the enlistments, but even so, they wouldn't be considering the military if they didn't have certain character traits (patriotism, a sense of duty and responsibility, a willingness to take on tough jobs) that draftees may or may not have. And regardless of why they signed up, they still volunteered and took responsibility for their own lives. Even if they only do a couple of years, it was still their choice, and ultimately they know that, so when things get tough, they know that they are the ones who put themselves there. When things get tough for draftees, many will blame the system, the NCOs and officers, anything but themselves.