American Ideals Processing: "Criminal or victim?"
Many returning soldiers from the battlefield come home with "side-effects" and scarred memories that can follow them the for rest of their life. But how much do these "side-effects" really affect these soldiers new civilian life? Staff Sgt. Robert D. Carlson shows during an incident that resulted in a sentence in prison that these effects can be more severe than not. The Staff Sargent had punched his wife several times after firing gun rounds in his home. When the police arrived, he was pointing the gun at himself, which he had cited later to be his original intention: suicide. It is no surprise that things like this could happen. Many soldiers come home to PTSD and other mental problems that lead to things like alcohol abuse and violence. However, now after being in jail for 2 years, Carlson, like many others wonder if his, and countless other jailed former soldiers like him, punishment fair. The article states that instead of receiving mental health help, the Staff Sargent received only a weekly group seminar. And so, many people wonder how we can help these former soldiers to maintain a healthy life, and if crime and punishments are needed, providing the appropriate mental care.
This topic related to two of the American Ideals in particular: Opportunity and Liberty
Opportunity and liberty because of the fact that there are so many soldiers sitting in jail right now, who need mental treatment. They are so scarred by the pressures and mental strain of war, that really all they need is some help. Staff Sgt. Carlson said himself that he still, after two years of being in prison, doesn't fully understand what he did and why. These soldiers are being robbed of the many life opportunities (like family for example) and the liberty to be a true civilian. Many of them have kept us save for years, and yet they are denied the life they deserve because we can't give them a little medical help.