intro of me, my grandfather in the 257th CEB & PTSD
#1

Dear Marion and all, Here is the story in a nutshell. I need your cite and the members help. I am a 47 year old psychologist in a county prison in NE Pa. I have worked in mental health for 24 plus years behind walls and over the last 20 have seen more and more vets entering the corrections system with PTSD. Since 9-11, they have become more and more and younger and younger. Here is where story ties to your web cite. My grandfather was in the 257th CEB from march 1941- oct 1945. Before the war according to my grandmother he was happy go lucky, care free, talked to everyone, was the life of the party etc. He was stateside until 1944 and went into the eto in 44. He wrote until early 1945 and then dropped off the map until he called from ft indiantown gap in oct 45 saying that he was on his way home and would be home the next day. He was supposed to be home 1 day and showed up three days later to Northampton, PA. We he returned according to my grandmother, he was different, he did not talk much, he shook like a leaf all the time, he chain smoked, drank cup after cup of black coffee, and had a stare like he was gone (that 2 thousand yard stare famous in thomas lea's painting). He returned to the Bethlehem steel and said nothing to say about what happened to my grandmother until the 60's. She told me in the 80's (he died in 1980) he told her in the 60's he was at Dachau, but she promised him never to tell anyone what exactly he said or saw. What I see in many of these young vet kids eyes who come to the jail is the same thing. I am working on my dissertation, have 70 pages of documents coming from the national archives on roster, action reports, etc on the 257th 1944-1945 wise, but i could use any kind of help you, the members, or your cite can help me with. The dissertation will be on topic of resilience and ptsd, those who worked through it and those who did not all these years later. If i can understand what helped these ww2 vets to work through the problem, maybe it will help these younger vets who seem much more messed up, confused, volitile. I owe this not only to them, but to my grandfather, who clincially had all the symptomology (isolating, drinking, shakes, the stare, etc.) but i was just too young and not clinically trained at that time to understand. Anyway this it it. Thanks for all letting me in your cite and with any help you or the cohort in the cite may give. Scott.

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#2

Welcome Scott. We touched base last night via email, but wanted to welcome you publicly here. I hope we can provide some insight, which will be helpful to your dissertation.

 

M1

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#3

I hope several of you will jump in and share some of your stories, and thoughts and opinions. Our new member Scott, is looking for some honest, from the heart responses, especially from any veterans or family members who may be able to shed some light on this subject.

 

Thanks in advance,

Marion

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#4

Hi Scott,

I'm sorry that it took so long to reply, but I have been computerless at home since last week.

I was a Social Worker for many years and was suprised to find that Civil War soldiers also suffered from PTSD. I read a book several years ago called "Shook over Hell", about PTSD and Civil War Era. It's by Eric Dean and can be gotten through your library interloan. He spoke to my Civil War Roundtable.

One theory that I have is that the previous generations had more experience with death before going to the front to the front than the newer generations. There was a higher child mortality rate. People also did not survive as long and were waked at home. Today, I have friends who are in their 50's and still have both parents alive as well as a grandparent.

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