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Figuring ViolenceAffective Investments in Perpetual War$
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Rebecca A. Adelman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823281671

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823281671.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

Economies of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury

Economies of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury

(p.137) Chapter 4 Economies of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury
Figuring Violence

Rebecca A. Adelman

Fordham University Press

This chapter explores the mediation of combat trauma and the reshaping of the people who have experienced it into receptacles for gratitude, pity, and anger. Building from a brief history of PTSD and TBI as diagnostic categories and objects of administrative calculation, the chapter explores how these conditions have become sites of affective investment. Reflecting on the ubiquitous mandate to ‘say thank you to the troops,’ the chapter historicizes the militarization of gratitude. This informs the subsequent analysis of the work of various charitable organizations for veterans. The chapter then analyzes the exacting standards by which the Department of Defense awards Purple Hearts for Traumatic Brain Injury (but refuses them for PTSD). In contrast to the DoD’s decidedly unsympathetic approach to PTSD, David Finkel’s bestselling non-fiction account Thank You for Your Service tracks how PTSD plays out, often violently, in domestic spaces. That book makes PTSD visible through intensely emotional scenes, while research efforts to make TBI clinically legible search for specific signs of the injury on posthumously donated brain tissue. The concluding section offers a different vantage on TBI, reflecting on veterans’ own efforts to make their brains visible to others.

Keywords:   care packages, gratitude, PTSD, Purple Heart, TBI, Thank You for Your Service, veterans, Wounded Warrior Project

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