Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Massachusetts - Always Consistent

MENTAL SCREENINGS FOR RETURNING SOLDIERS is being suggested by lawmakers, according to today's "BOSTON GLOBE". Massachusetts officials are considering mandatory mental health screenings for National Guardsmen returning from Iraq. There is already full mandatory mental-health screening nationwide for full-service members of the Army, Air Force and Marines and usually involves only answering a questionnaire. This concern follows the case of Daniel Cotnoir, the 33-year-old Marine sergeant charged with firing a shotgun into a crowd of raucous partiers outside his Lawrence home this week. He is suspected of suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, which occurs following the witnessing of a life-threatening experience such as military combat. Symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks, depression and estrangement.

Will the liberal commonwealth continue with its consistance and require drug testing and screening for citizens returning from Columbia and the Caribean? Will there be terrorist screening for Muslims coming in from Saudi Arabia and Syria? We will wait and see. Meanwhile, Massachusetts, may begin to wonder why returning soldiers and their families choose to return to a more "southern" state to continue their lives; a place where the government demonstrates a more welcoming attitute towards them.

Just for the record, the disorder that is described as "post-traumatic stress" is not a disorder visited only upon soldiers. Fox News recently reported "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Widely Diagnosed". When Massachusetts finally realizes that fact will its legislature require the entire population to undergo mental screening?

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