The movie “In the Valley of Elah” broaches the very serious issue of post traumatic stress disorder.

In the flick, Tommy Lee Jones searches for his missing son and speaks with a member of his battalion about a strange photo.

The solider describes an incident about how a Humvee Jones’ son was driving hit a kid in the road because military protocol states that the envoy must not stop. 

“You ask me, we hit a dog,” the coping solider said. “We killed a dog. I don’t know what that [picture] is, no fucking idea.”

This anxiety syndrome affects people who have experienced a traumatic event, such as fighting in a war. The afflicted have difficulty adjusting back to normal life.


With the five-year Iraq war anniversary upon us, the measurements are peaceful provinces, not peaceful minds. We look at the dead and wounded, but overlook those with PTSD.

This is a cause for concern, especially after the atrocity of Walter Reed veterans hospital in Virginia.

Sometimes this disorder takes months or years to show, often with grave consequences: crumbling families, murder, drug use, suicide.


At the beginning of the movie, Jones corrects a mistaken high school groundskeeper, who raised an upside-down flag outside of the school. Jones subtly tells the man an upside-down flag is a distress signal.

At the end, Jones’ goes back to school after learning about his son’s murder to raise an upside-down flag.

An interesting blog post:

Other interesting acronyms 

FARC: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, who are setting off a regional dispute with Ecuador and Venezuela.

ELF: Earth Liberation Front, who might have torched five houses in Seattle for their impact on the surrounding wetlands.



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