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War hero support truly lacking

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By John Pawlak

Sometimes, I find myself speechless, amazed at the depth of feeling and insight some people have for the world around us.
Okay, maybe not speechless. That would be too unbelievable. But amazed, yes.
Patrick Stewart’s father, Alfred, was a war hero, one of the last to be evacuated at Dunkirk in 1940. He parachuted into Crete and Italy and fought in Monte Casino (75,000 casualties).
Alfred was a soldier in the British army from 1925 to 1933. When World War II erupted, he rejoined and headed with the Yorkshire Light Infantry out to the front in Abbeville, France. He was injured, but went back to war in Britain’s parachute regiment, dropping into southern France in support of seaborne landings.
How can you not admire a person like that?
But when the war ended, Alfred brought the horrors of battle home with him. He began having outbreaks of violent tendencies. He became an alcoholic and his wife endured regular beatings from him.
Patrick grew up hating his father.
Over time, Patrick learned that his father had post traumatic stress disorder, which at the time was called “shell shock.” Years of intense battles with no followup treatment after returning home. He “looked fine” and that was enough to release him back to civilian life.


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