Veterans are lambasting Sarah Palin's comments linking her son's domestic-violence arrest to PTSD

Veterans have taken to Twitter to candidly discuss their experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dispel stereotypes of the “dangerous veteran” after former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin suggested that her son’s combat tour in Iraq was partly to blame for his domestic-violence arrest.

Track Palin, 26, was arrested this week on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend and carrying a gun while intoxicated, police said, according to Reuters.

The arrest came just hours before Sarah Palin endorsed Republican front-runner Donald Trump for president.

At a rally in Oklahoma on Wednesday, Palin addressed Track’s arrest, citing his PTSD and indirectly blaming President Barack Obama for failing to adequately support veterans.

“I guess it’s kind of the elephant in the room because my own family going through what we’re going through today with my son, a combat vet … like so many others, they come back a bit different. They come back hardened,” Palin said at the rally. “They come back wondering if there is that respect for what their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to the country.”

She then said that she related to other families who “feel these ramifications of PTSD” and said it’s now crucial that veterans “have a commander-in-chief who will respect them.”

“They have to question if they’re respected anymore. It starts from the top,” she said. “The question, though, that comes from our own president where they have to look at him and wonder, ‘Do you know what we go through? Do you know what we’re trying to do to secure America?'”

But some veterans have denounced Palin’s comments and provided counter-narratives about their own experiences with PTSD.

Phil Klay, author of “Redeployment,” an award-winning collection of short stories on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, tweeted a previous op-ed he wrote for The Wall Street Journal on veteran stereotypes “in light of [the] recent ‘his deployment made him hit his girlfriend’ argument.”

“For a certain subset of the population, my service means that I — along with all other veterans — must be, in some ill-defined way, broken,” Klay wrote. “I suppose it is the lot of soldiers and Marines to be objectified according to the politics of the day and the mood of the American people about their war.”

Klay also pointed out that “the crime rate for veterans is comparable to, if not lower than, the civilian crime rate.”

Several veterans called out Palin directly. Paul Rieckhoff, who heads Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told NBC News that Palin should “resist the urge to politicize” PTSD.

More than 100 people, meanwhile, retweeted the first of several tweets from Nate Bethea, a veteran who is studying fiction writing at Brooklyn College. He explained the flaws in Palin’s logic:

Bethea explained that PTSD is not “a surge in uncontrollable violence,” but rather “the shame that comes from feeling defective.” He also said that his feelings toward PTSD have “nothing to do with” Obama:

Bethea also pointed to the Twitter feed of Brandon Friedman, the CEO of The McPherson Square Group and a former public-affairs official in the Obama administration who served as an infantry officer in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I absolutely hate that PTSD is trending because Sarah Palin blamed it for her son’s violent assault on his girlfriend,” Friedman tweeted.

He criticised Palin for politicizing her son’s PTSD and tweeted statistics about veterans with the disorder:

Many other veterans have tweeted similar criticism:

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