Background of the Study
Conflicts have many forms. It may be as simple as a disagreement, a sibling rivalry in the family, a bitter feud among friends, a clan jealousy, a gang fight, or a war between nations. All conflicts and wars have roots and reasons that are sometimes elusive to understand or even know. From ancient times to present, quarrels may have started from simple or even trivial differences and disagreements. Often, these small disputes, when ignored, have even escalated to a clash between ethnic groups bent on wiping out each other entirely.
Earliest observations of war were mostly centralized on the study of great civilizations; thus, conflicts with barbarians and nomads were often merely set aside. Although Aristotle himself took into consideration that warring against such groups is categorically a just war, only a few Greek historiographers took pains to fully examine the war practices of these people without being prejudiced by ethnocentricity. Still, most had been influenced by Aristotle’s principle of the ‘natural mode of acquisition,’ which is sometimes defined as the law-of-the-jungle or might-is-right arguments, thus overlooking the question of motives or “why war?” Thucydides, however, believed otherwise, and compiled impressive annals of wars, explaining the observations of what was then perceived as merely barbaric or savage.
In the same passage, dominance had been noted to be the chief motive of wars. Also, even among barbaric and savage tribes, the code of honor and loyalty was prominent. The leader himself was bound by a code of honor, as in one of Tacitus’ accounts: it was a disgrace for the chief to be outdone in the show of courage by his followers. Likewise, the followers were bound to at least match the courage of their chief. It was also found that the followers were supposed to remain in battle even when their chief died to avoid being shamed. Some races were trained to scorn death. Removing the fear of death among many tribes was prevalent so as to inspire greater boldness in battles. This had been the task of religious and occult leaders. Most often in ancient times, consulting a medium or priest for divination of victory was considered mandatory before every battle. Usage of good luck charms, fetishes, emblems, and other paraphernalia was also a common superstitious practice in ancient and medieval wars.
It is in this manner that this study intends to look into the effects of conflict and wars on veterans of civil war most especially the soldiers who have sacrificed everything just to fight for their country.
This study is being proposed to analyse the effects of conflict and wars among soldiers who have been deployed in the battlefield. Specifically, this proposed study aims on identifying the traumatic experiences of the soldiers who fought in the civil war. In addition, this also aims on determining the psychological impact of the civil war to the soldier’s life.
In this regard, this proposed study opts to work on the following hypothesis:
“Soldier’s experiences in Civil wars have caused post-traumatic stress”;
“The Civil War experiences have a significant effect on the psychological condition of soldiers”.
For this proposed study, the researcher wills used Bonner’s “The Soldier’s Pen as one of the resources. Aside from these, the researcher will also use secondary data to determine the condition of those veterans of war. In times of war, certain roles are played in order to generate defence. These roles are basically played by national guards and reservists. The role of the national guards is an important element in defending the nation. Most military forces are for overseas military operations and cannot be depended on for local security. It is said that soldiers suffer intensive trauma during the occurrence of war, making it difficult for them to return after leaving. According to Jacobs (1999), those that had survived the traumatic events of war can suffer from the acute symptoms of distress such as self-accusations, intense agitation, suicidal ideation, high-risk behaviours as well as intense outbursts of anger. National guards and reservists who lost their comrades in battle have been recognized to make heroic attempts to save or recover their bodies. In some instances, soldiers react with rage towards the enemy. Some even withdraw and become loners; others express extreme anger in usual conflicts. As soldiers, they have to mask their emotions so as to appear tough and strong. Their tendency to delay the expression of extreme emotions can lead to severe outcomes.
Soldiers may feel guilty of blame themselves over the losses incurred during war, which is actually beyond their control. During the Vietnam war, several medics suffered immensely due to their inability to save the members of their unit. Officers felt a distinct responsibility towards their subordinates and suffered undue grief and guilt over the damaging results of war. Soldiers who had worked closely with common civilians suffer extensive shock upon witnessing the deaths of people whom they had learned to trust. Women and children dying are equally difficult to bear.
At this time, there have been no known studies of veterans treated for complicated and prolonged grief symptoms. With this, it is still necessary to conduct research about this to determine the issues faced by the soldiers even after the war is over.