Stories by Penny Coleman

Penny Coleman is the author of Flashback: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide and the Lessons of War. Her Web site is Flashback. subscribe to Penny Coleman's feed

Posted on: Apr 21, 2011, Source: AlterNet

Joe Bangert is being jailed for doing exactly what he was trained to do: calling for backup when he feels threatened.

Posted on: Dec 28, 2009, Source: AlterNet

Medical marijuana may have a host of advantages over other treatments for traumatized vets, but the VA won't even study its efficacy.

Posted on: Dec 9, 2009, Source: AlterNet

Hey, all you quitters and whiners: If it’s bad and it hurts, you have to try harder, have faith, and above all, think positive!

Posted on: Nov 10, 2009, Source: AlterNet

This Veterans Day, let's get past the bunting and ribbons and look at our returning troops' real needs.

Posted on: Oct 21, 2009, Source: AlterNet

"Everyone has the potential to be a sex offender. It depends on how they have been conditioned."

Posted on: Sep 8, 2009, Source: AlterNet

Far too many soldiers end up behind bars while the rest of us are free to ignore the human evidence of what our military ventures really cost.

Posted on: Aug 11, 2009, Source: AlterNet

How the justice system has been manipulated to put astonishing numbers of vets with PTSD and other psychiatric injuries behind bars.

Posted on: Aug 4, 2009, Source: AlterNet

Veterans are more likely to get longer sentences than non-veterans for the same crime. How can we treat returning soldiers so badly?

Posted on: May 11, 2009, Source: AlterNet

Yesterday's attack was the deadliest by a fellow soldier since Bush's wars began. The trauma of combat may be the source.

Posted on: Apr 8, 2009, Source: AlterNet

Along the way, I ate Burger King in Peshawar, developed a debilitating drug habit and caught a 3-year prison sentence.

Posted on: Mar 19, 2009, Source: AlterNet

"When it got really bad, I dumped 5 tons of sand into my basement to remind me of Afghanistan."

Posted on: Dec 18, 2008, Source: AlterNet

The Army's new recruitment tool lets high-tech video game centers desensitize, condition, train and even enlist America's youth.

Posted on: Nov 11, 2008, Source: AlterNet

Obviously, the most immediate and reliable way to prevent soldier suicides is to get troops out of harm's way -- bring them home.

Posted on: Nov 10, 2008, Source: AlterNet

This outrage gives "supporting the troops" a whole new meaning.

Posted on: Sep 16, 2008, Source: AlterNet

Questions remain about how depleted uranium waste from the first Gulf War was transferred, and whether health risks were posed.

Posted on: Sep 10, 2008, Source: AlterNet

Vets are killing themselves in growing numbers, but the government sees suicides as a way to lower the official average processing time of claims.

Posted on: Jul 3, 2008, Source: AlterNet

The latest episode of the Department of Veterans Affairs' callous denial of veterans' suffering is a continuation of a long tradition.

Posted on: May 30, 2008, Source: AlterNet

A rare bit of good news for the anti-war movement goes largely ignored by the media.

Posted on: Apr 28, 2008, Source: AlterNet

An activist travels to the DoD's annual suicide prevention conference, only to find the military brass living in a parallel universe.

Posted on: Apr 20, 2008, Source: AlterNet

"How will I survive the wait and the not-knowing, and will I survive at all if my worst fears are realized?"

Posted on: Mar 25, 2008, Source: AlterNet

There are at least 60,000 of them, but they're not on the DoD's list of soldiers missing in action.

Posted on: Mar 15, 2008, Source: AlterNet

If America listens to what they say, the war would be over tomorrow.

Posted on: Mar 13, 2008, Source: AlterNet

Army studies say one in three soldiers will return from Iraq with significant mental health problems, but the system isn't there to help them.

Posted on: Jan 9, 2008, Source: AlterNet

The DoD is flirting with the idea of medicating soldiers to desensitize them to combat trauma -- will an army of unfeeling monsters result?

Posted on: Jan 1, 2008, Source: AlterNet

A testimony at congressional hearings in response to increasingly ominous reports of soldier and veteran suicides.

Posted on: Nov 25, 2007, Source: AlterNet

The military refuses to come clean, insisting the high rates are due to "personal problems," not experience in combat.

Posted on: Nov 11, 2007, Source: AlterNet

Americans have been effectively insulated from the human cost of our wars. That's not an accident; it's policy.

Posted on: Aug 27, 2007, Source: AlterNet

The military says that there's no connection between the stress of combat and spiraling suicide rates. But the widow of a vet who took his own life knows differently.

Posted on: Aug 21, 2007, Source: AlterNet

Modern American military training methods can turn off the switch that controls a human being's inherent aversion to killing.

Posted on: Jun 24, 2007, Source: AlterNet

The Department of Defense recently announced that it was hiring additional mental health professionals to deal with the stream of traumatized vets returning from the occupation of Iraq. A widow of an earlier war warns that the effort may be too little and too late.