G.W. Bush: Drop 'disorder' from PTSD

Veterans agree word carries negative connotation

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Former President George W. Bush is coming to the defense of veterans and plans on changing one of the terms used to describe a common war injury.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety that is caused after a soldier experiences extreme emotional trauma. Bush wants to the take the word "disorder" out of the name because he says it carries a negative connotation.

He said PTSD is an injury, not a disorder, and that word is hindering the soldiers who have returned home from getting jobs and living a normal life.

"There's what we call a civilian-veterans divide," Bush said. "The civilians think one thing and the military folks think another. And our aim is to get people to understand each other better."

Bush said 30 percent of returning soldiers suffer from PTSD. He said employers don't want to hire veterans who have what is called a disorder. He said the word sends the message that their condition can't be treated.

"The disorder aspect says it's not a treatable situation. So with removing disorder, that gives veterans like myself to see that there is help for us," a soldier named Kelvin said.

Many veterans agree with the former president, saying the word disorder has a negative connotation that has the potential to hurt wounded warriors even further.

"I know some people that came from Vietnam and can't sleep on the bed and sleep on the floor because they are scared," veteran Oscar Taylor said. "Because over there, you see a lot of stuff -- people getting their arms blown off. You go through a lot over there."

Bush also said 83 percent of veterans believe that Americans don't fully understand the challenges they face every day. He said that has to change.

Bush, who ordered Americans in the War on Terror during his term, said he feels obligated to help veterans integrate back into society.

"Anything that you can do to help a veteran, I think that it should be done," Marine Gregory Cohen said.

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