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A Piece of My Mind
January 12, 2016

Old Soldier, Is It Like This?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; and The Medicine-Pediatrics Primary Care Center, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 2Bala-Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2016;315(2):135-136. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.14928

Some veterans tell their stories again and again, like well-rehearsed ballads. Others sequester their stories, raw and unformed, reluctant to recount them for many reasons,1 including the fear that sharing something so profound might cheapen or diminish the true depth of the experience.2 My father, aged 90, is the latter kind of vet. As patients have taught me about trauma, they have helped me understand Dad’s style and why he has finally told his tale.

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