Many commenters on CNN’s website believe this article unfairly conflates PTSD and homicidal behavior. What do you think?
A man opens fire in a national park, killing a ranger who was attempting to stop him after he blew through a vehicle checkpoint.A second man is suspected in the stabbing deaths of four homeless men in Southern California.
Both men, U.S. military veterans, served in Iraq — and both, according to authorities and those who knew them, returned home changed men after their combat service.
A coincidence — two recent high-profile cases? Or a sign of an increase in hostile behavior as U.S. troops complete their withdrawal from Iraq, similar to that seen when U.S. troops returned home from the Vietnam War?
“You’re going to see this more and more over the next 10 years,” said Shad Meshad, founder of the National Veterans Foundation, who has been working with veterans since 1970. “… There’s a percentage that come back, depending on how much trauma and how much killing they’re involved in, they’re going to act out.”
Margaret Anderson, a ranger at Washington state’s Mount Rainier National Park, was shot to death on New Year’s Day. Police believe Benjamin Colton Barnes, who served in Iraq from 2007 to 2009, was responsible for the shooting. After a manhunt, authorities found Barnes’ body face down in a creek in the park.
According to court documents obtained by CNN affiliate KIRO, the woman with whom Barnes was in a custody dispute said she believed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from his deployment. Barnes was emotionally unstable, vindictive and anger-prone, the woman said, and owned many knives and guns. The woman said she was frightened to be in the same state with him, the documents said.
In California, former Marine Cpl. Itzcoatl Campo is accused of stabbing four homeless men to death. According to the military, Campo was deployed to Iraq during 2008…
Read more at CNN.