An invisible enemy stalks battlefields and follows a number of warriors home after war’s end. At varying levels, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) afflicts an unknown but substantial number of veterans, as well as active duty troops. This issue of Semper Fi, the Magazine of the Marine Corps League, which we publish for the Marine Corps League, examines how PTSD has long remained shadowy and difficult to diagnose because its sufferers did not want to be perceived as “weak” or unfit for duty. The condition is emerging from the shadows as the Marine Corps and the other services work to change the cultures that have encouraged silence. At the same time, the Veterans Administration confronts a rapidly growing challenge to identify, diagnose and treat growing numbers of troops seeking help for psychological aftereffects of battle.
On a lighter note, Marine Corps chow has improved mightily since the days of WWII C-rations. While far from Mom’s kitchen, mess halls and field food services strive to sling more than hash and SOS for hungry Marines. Some Marine Corps League members also recall how they used USMC initiative and, um, reconnaissance skills to rustle up some unexpected treats.
Also in this issue, Semper Fi salutes the contributions of Women Marines, whose roles have expanded from mainly clerical and administrative to equal partners with their male comrades. We celebrate the life and career of one Woman Marine who is still involved with the Corpsムin her 90s!