Mankato psychologist George Komaridis has worked with returning veterans since the Vietnam War. He has listened to multiple generations’ nightmares and has done his best to help vets recover from physical wounds and emotional trauma.
But Komaridis also knows that there are some who traditional therapy and medications just can’t reach. “There is pain they can’t tolerate, and they’re going to do something because the pain is too much,” he said. That extra step has long involved alcohol, but today, it often means relying on marijuana. A recent American Legion survey showed that about one-fifth of veterans nationwide use cannabis for medical reasons — suggesting that modern treatments aren’t working for far too many.
Those who served deserve nothing less than a nation that explores every option to heal them on the homefront. That’s why the recent correspondence between Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., inspires outrage.