Cumberland Times-News


April 3, 2014

Fort Hood

What makes it happen, we don’t know

A TV show we watched not long ago told the

story of a decorated war veteran, a one-time

hero who had fallen on hard times. Troubled and

unable to succeed in life, he became an alcoholic

and alienated his family and friends.

Ultimately, something snapped. He reverted to

the day he was by himself in a building, holding

off the enemy in the hope that reinforcements

would come. Women were in the building, and he

hurried them out of the place as he once did

when he was a soldier, and shot every man who

came near. They were

the enemy. Ultimately,

he was killed by

police officers who

tried everything they

could think of to

bring him back to the

present day.

This was a rerun of

“Naked City” that starred Jack Warden as the

veteran, and it first aired in 1962.

How prophetic, considering that we have at last

become fully aware of what the horrors of combat

can do to men and women who were brought

up in a civilized society like ours, which places

the ultimate value on human life.

For most of America’’s history, our veterans kept

their darkest nightmares to themselves. But then,

we began to see what was happening to our Vietnam

Veterans, who also had to take the lives of

their enemies, saw their buddies maimed and

killed, and may themselves have been wounded

— often mentally, deep inside, in places where

nobody else can see. The number of Vietnam Veterans

who have commited suicide exceeds the

58,000-plus who died as a result of combat.

We now know it as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Margaret “Peggy” Melotti, who once ran the

Re-Entry veterans’ clinic in Cumberland — and is

regarded as a hero by many veterans — helped to

develop and write the protocol for treating PTSD.

This week, an Iraq War veteran who was being

treated for mental illness killed three people and

wounded 16 others before committing suicide at

Fort Hood, the site of a previous deadly mass

shooting. Why he did it, we may never understand.

The human mind — not space — is the final

frontier. What provokes actions like those which

resulted in this latest tragedy, we cannot say. We

continue to hunt for answers, but they are elusive.

Most veterans come home and are able to

resume a more-or-less normal life, even if the

demons are still present to some degree.

We must devote whatever efforts are necessary

to helping those who aren’t as fortunate. Considering

what they’ve done for us, they deserve it.

Text Only
  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Research cost of watershed plan before implementing it

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Prayers in the Park’ event slated Aug. 18 in Johnstown

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other groups get county funds, so should CHCO

    At a recent county commissioner meeting, members of the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization, Maryland Delegate LeRoy Myers Jr. and Pastor Alfred Deas of the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Cumberland attended to request from the commissioners $5 dollars of marriage license money be permanently allocated to the CHCO (“Cemetery group renews funding request,” July 25 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 29, 2014

  • No public funding for extremist organization

    Once again, the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization has asked the Allegany County commissioners for public funding (“Cemetery group renews funding request,” July 25 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 29, 2014

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why are fair officials targeting firefighters?

    The Allegany County Fair has been known for its Demolition Derby for a long time. Several years back the operation of the derby was awarded to the local Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department.

    July 28, 2014

  • Here’s a time when W.Va. law took precedence over Md. law

     There may be an applicable precedent concerning any assumption that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority (PHAA) can choose to ignore West Virginia territorial state laws.

    July 28, 2014

  • Citizens don’t want Terrapin Run; remove it from the plan

    July 28, 2014