PTSD and Women Soldiers

Module 3 Discussion Assignment

Details Chapter 3

Read the following New York Times article before responding to discussion questions:

Cave, D. (2009). Women at arms: A combat role, and anguish too. The New York Times. Online at: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Article Summary: PTSD and Women Soldiers

The focus on PTSD and American combat veterans has been primarily on men. That is because, technically at least, women had never served in combat. But current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan give new meaning to the term “combat.” No longer are soldiers just marching in battalions or serving on ship. They are walking or driving down city streets (in Iraq) or patrolling mountain ranges and caves, or driving down forsaken mountainous dirt roads, waiting for the next improvised explosive device to detonate underneath them or a rocket-propelled grenade to assault them from above. No, you don’t have to be labeled as being in “combat” to face horrific dangers in these wars.

Women are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from PTSD as severe as their male counterparts. But we don’t hear about it much in the news (though, the Veteran’s Administration does recognize it and treat the women, of course). That is, until The New York Times ran a special story on women war veterans and PTSD, part of a series of stories about women at war. The article concludes that women cope with PTSD differently, in part because their families, friends, and the public don’t expect women to have been in “combat” or subjected to conditions that could produce PTSD. Another factor is that when individuals with PTSD are women, people will likely have little patience with them if they burst out in anger or punch a hole in a wall or otherwise act out with aggression, as some men with PTSD do. Gender roles are different for men and women warriors. In addition, while deployed, women don’t have many other women for emotional support–they are outnumbered by men. Men and women share the same types of feelings but express them differently. Often what a woman in distress needs is another woman who shares her communication style. Sadly, studies have found that women veterans seeking compensation for PTSD as a war-related injury are held to a much higher standard than men. “You weren’t in combat,” “You didn’t kill anyone,” are some of the excuses that women veterans have heard from the military and the Veteran’s Administration. As the story reports, at least 3,000 women with diagnosed PTSD have been refused compensation by the VA.


Cave, D. (2009). Women at arms: A combat role, and anguish too. The New York Times. Online at: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Discussion Questions:

1. Locate a recent article on PTSD and American combats. The FSW library (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. is a great resource.

2. Summarize the article in two-three paragraphs.

3. In your conclusion, explain if you agree or disagree with the article and what would you propose to help veterans suffering from PTSD? Use the article summary above as a formatting guideline or example.


Before you begin, remember to review the class Discussion Board Guidelines.

Your original post, in response to the discussion prompt above, should contain a minimum of 125 words, not including restatement of questions or reference sections. Utilize critical thinking, and support your work with additional resources as applicable.

In addition, read and respond to the post of one peer/classmate. Your response must be 100 words, substantive, and expand the discussion.

Finally, any content that is paraphrased, summarized or quoted in your discussion post or response must be must be cited using APA format. For more information on APA format, review the OWL Guide: APA General Format

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