Colin F. Jones

NOT ALL

Not all who went to war have PTSD,
Three in four did not such action see,
And some saw action from a far off hill,
Though yes, they served in the battle still.
Some men on ships did not see a flare;
Some ships that sailed were not even there.
And some flew planes that never fired a shot,
Though all just did whatever was their lot.
So why do veterans pursue the mad-mans pin?
To become a TPI because they envy him,
Who in their hearts feel much guilt and shame,
For being rendered mentally hurt and lame.
Could it be the compensation they receive?
It depends I guess on what truth you believe.

Author’s Note: After WW2 soldiers receiving a war pension diagnosed as “shell shocked” (traumatic stress) were shunned by most, because they had mixed feelings about their ability to perform as a soldier. They were also considered to be “mad”.

When I became Secretary of the Coffs Harbour TPI Association, I discovered that those from WW2 receiving compensation were afraid and felt ashamed to reveal that they were TPI (Totally and Permanently Incapacitated) while the “new” Vietnam Vets, were quite open about their need to qualify for the “mad-man’s pin” (the TPI badge) based on PTSD. I was interested to find out why.

The brief explanation became very obvious – a TPI suffering from PTSD receives a pretty good compensation package, often wrongly referred to as a pension or war pension. If the recipient does not have a lot of money he also receives, as also does his wife, a benefit that amounts to about A$3000+ per month.

Quite a magnet for those determined to go through the hassles the real PTSD victim has to go through to prove his case.

This poem was the inspiration for the response, “Just Rewards” – ©Copyright June 8, 2004 by Nancy L. Meek