E03: Critical Reading—pdqlover

Section 10

Today she’s fielding phone calls from a woman whose veteran son was committed to a non-VA psychiatric facility, but he doesn’t want to be at the facility because he, a severe-PTSD sufferer, was already paranoid before one of the other resident loons threatened to kill him, and anyway he fought for his fucking country and they promised they wouldn’t abandon him and he swears to God he will have to kill himself if the VA doesn’t put him in with the other soldiers.

– The author is explaining that the son does not want to be in a regular facility with non veteran patients and he has served for the United States and he struggles with PTSD and wants to be around his fellow soldiers. He feels as though the USA needs to obey his request.

Another veteran’s wife calls from the parking lot of a diner to which she fled when her husband looked like he was going to boil over in rage.   

– Assuming that the husband is suffering from PTSD he might have saw, heard or had a flashback about something from war that made him upset and begin raging.

Another woman’s husband had a service dog die in the night, and the death smell in the morning triggered an episode she worries will end in him hurting himself or someone else if she doesn’t get him into a VA hospital, and the closest major clinic is four hours away and she is eight and a half months pregnant and got three hours of sleep, and the clinic’s website says its case manager position for veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan is currently unstaffed, anyway.

-The dog may have died from not being taking care of. The wife is eight months pregnant and the husband sounds like he needs to get help from a VA hospital as soon as possible.

-The clinic’s website may be telling a lie because the are over loaded with patients already. The clinic may be having a hard to finding someone to fell the position because they know the job is hard work.

The phone never stops ringing. If it does for 14 seconds, Brannan writes an email to help get whatever someone needs, or publishes a blog post about her own struggles.

-Assuming that she never gets a break from the phone line, sounds like that is what she does her entire work shift. Which means that there are a lot of veterans that are suffering with PTSD and need help.


he’s been “sleeping or hiding,” Brannan describes it, 20 or so hours a day for a few days. He leans forward to put his glass of orange juice on the table; it takes many, many long seconds for him to cover the few inches; today, like most days, he feels “like a damn train ran over me.”

-PTSD is making him do things differently such as sleeping 20 hours a day. It is also effecting is motor skills. The images in his mind or flashbacks he has about war affect his entire day.

“Breathe,” Brannan says to nearly every woman who calls, though when I ask her if she follows her own advice, she says no. “If I stopped, and started breathing,” she says, “I would be too sad.”

-Telling each woman who calls to breath is stating that when they all call with urgency and wanting to receive help immediately.

So she doesn’t. If she’s not saving lives on the phone or blogging, she’s offering support via Facebook, where thousands of Family of a Vet users and nearly 500 FOV volunteers congregate and commiserate.

-She wants to help Vets and their family in any way she can, she knows what they are going through because she is dealing with the same situation.

“I am now more hypervigilant than my husband,” volunteer Kateri Peterson posts to her Facebook page, and people comment things like “I know that even if my husband is having a decent day I am still in that alert mode and he is asking me to please relax and for the life of me, as hard as I try, I just can’t, I am still on the lookout.

-She is more hypervigilant than her husband because she cares for her husband and family and doesn’t want anything to happen to them.

-Her husband is asking her to relax because he does not want her to stress about his condition of PTSD. He does not want to put the burden of her.

On a private Facebook group, Kateri tells the story of how her family was at Olive Garden when she started sobbing into her Zuppa Toscana. Just the general overwhelmingness of her distress, of that awful overstimulating hypervigilance, the sort of thing you develop sometimes when you live with someone who looks out the living room window for danger literally hundreds of times a day, or who goes from room to room, room to room, over and over to make sure everyone in each one is still alive.  

-Stating that PTSD is a very serious and stressful condition to go through for that individual veteran and their family.

E03: Critical Reading– Splash305

Section 15

“There are trials where patients take MDMA (ecstasy’s active ingredient) while talking about trauma to promote more positive and less scary associations with the events.”

  • Trials, suggests they have done this test more than once to find different results.
  • MDMA, found that using a drug helps patients be more comfortable talking about their experiences.
  • casual claim: helps promote positive talk of the trama

“Some of the most interesting research involves beta-blockers, drugs that suppress the adrenaline response.”

  • some is indicating that not all the research is interesting and involves the beta-blockers.
  • some also indicates the amount of adrenaline responses it suppresses.
  • categorical claim: telling us it suppresses adrenaline responses.

“In one small study, trauma victims given beta-blockers within six hours of the incident had a 40 percent less likelihood of developing PTSD. ”

  • small study indicates they have only minorly tested these facts.
  • within is indicating they have only tested in within that time frame, but what about after the six hours?
  • 40 precent less likelihood gives us evidence of this claim.

“patients take beta-blockers while talking about trauma so their reactions are weakened and then presumably lessened the next time it comes up, so far with promising results.”

  • taking beta-blockers while talking about trama is claimed tp weaken reactions
  • also being claimed that it is lessoned the next time it comes up
  • so far is indicating that there hasn’t been problems yet but the more they test this the more different their results could be

“Researchers posit that TBI can make the brain more vulnerable to PTSD, or that it can exacerbate its symptoms of exhaustion, agitation, confusion, headaches.”

  • can indicates that it is a possibility but it isn’t certain or proven
  • this claim is categorical, it states different symptoms


E03: Critical Reading- phillygirl20

Section 11

  1. “She’s not a normal kid. She does things, and says things. She’s a grown-up in a six-year-old’s body in a lot of ways.”

Claim: She’s not a normal kid.

2.  “Brannan gave the packet to Katie’s kindergarten teacher, but thinks the teacher just saw it as an excuse for bad behavior.”

Claim: thinks the teacher just saw it as an excuse for bad behavior.

3. “Last fall, she switched Katie to a different school, where she hopes more understanding will lead to less anxiety.”

Claim: she hopes more understanding will lead to less anxiety.

4. “She certainly looks like a normal kid when she comes down from her room dressed for tap class. In a black leotard, pink tights, and shiny black tap shoes, she looks sweet as pie”

Claim: “she looks sweet as pie”

5. “One time, a bad guy in Iraq had a knife and my dad killed him,” she says, apropos of nothing.”

Claim: a bad guy in Iraq had a knife

6. “Brannan is stern but impeccably patient.”

Claim: Brennan is stern.

7. “That kind of small talk recently ruined a birthday party one of her classmates was having at Chick-fil-A. “

Claim: That kind of small talk recently ruined a birthday party

8. “Katie is sorry—God, is she sorry, you can see it in her face and guilty shoulders, but she seems to feel like she can’t help it”

Claim: Katie is sorry

9. “Once, she asked Brannan to take her to a hypnotist, so he could use his powers to turn her into a good girl.”

Claim: use his powers to turn her into a good girl

10. “She doesn’t know why Katie adapted this story about confiscating a weapon from an insurgent into a story about bloodshed, but she isn’t too happy about it.”

Claim: she isn’t too happy about it.


E03: Critical Reading- alaska

Section 1.

Brannan Vines has never been to war. But she’s got a warrior’s skills: hyperawareness, hypervigilance, adrenaline sharp quick-scanning for danger, for triggers.

  • We can assume that Brannan doesn’t want to go to war.
  • She has a good set of skills to make her aware of her surroundings.
  • These skills can be used by athletes, fighters, etc.


Skills on the battlefield, crazy-person behavior in a drug store, where she was recently standing behind a sweet old lady counting out change when she suddenly became so furious her ears literally started ringing.

  • “Crazy-person behavior” can be assumed that her PTSD has caught up to her and is making her freak out.
  • When she is standing in line her symptoms become worse.


Being too cognizant of every sound—every coin dropping an echo—she explodes inwardly, fury flash-incinerating any normal tolerance for a fellow patron with a couple of dollars in quarters and dimes.

  • Brannan is having trouble because she is too aware of the things around her so the noises make her freak out and become more agitated.


Her nose starts running she’s so pissed, and there she is standing in a CVS, snotty and deaf with rage, like some kind of maniac, because a tiny elderly woman needs an extra minute to pay for her dish soap or whatever.

  • “Deaf with rage” can be assumed that she is so angry that she doesn’t listen to the things around her only things that irritate her.


Brannan Vines has never been to war, but her husband, Caleb, was sent to Iraq twice, where he served in the infantry as a designated marksman.

  • Brannan’s husband has been to Iraq twice. So, we assume he has PTSD.
  • Caleb was in the infantry which was combat on foot.


He’s one of 103,200, or 228,875, or 336,000 Americans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and came back with PTSD, depending on whom you ask, and one of 115,000 to 456,000 with traumatic brain injury.

  • Caleb came back with PTSD.
  • He has had a traumatic brain injury in the military.


Imagine there’s a murderer in your house. And it is dark outside, and the electricity is out. Imagine your nervous system spiking, readying you as you feel your way along the walls, the sensitivity of your hearing, the tautness in your muscles, the alertness shooting around inside your skull. And then imagine feeling like that all the time.

  • The author gives you a scene so the reader can understand what is going on.
  • We assume this is how Caleb feels with PTSD.
  • Feeling like he is closed off and is having trouble with his head.

E03: Critical Reading-LifeisSublime

Section 8

“She hasn’t seen any other therapist, or a therapist trained to deal with PTSD—Brannan knows what a difference that makes, since the volunteer therapist she tried briefly herself spent more time asking her to explain a “bad PTSD day” than how Caleb’s symptoms were affecting the family.”

  • “or a therapist trained to deal with PTSD-“- this is putting emphasis on the fact that this child hasn’t been helped from a specialist she needs to see
  • “volunteer therapist she tried”- implying that Brannan has seen a therapist, a volunteer therapist
  • “spent more time asking her to explain a ‘bad PTSD day’ than how Caleb’s symptoms were affecting the family.”- this statement is referring to the kind of help the therapist was giving Brannan, asking her more about herself then the affect of what is happening, leading Brannan to believe this is affective in treatment and wants that for her daughter

“Katie was not covered by the VA under Caleb’s disability; actually, she wasn’t covered by any insurance at all half the time, since the Vineses aren’t poor enough for subsidized health care and the Blue Cross gap insurance maxes out at six months a year. “

  • “actually she wasn’t covered by any insurance at all half the time,”- again the author is putting more of an emphasis to Katie’s wellbeing by starting with the fact that she’s not covered and ending in not being covered most of the time
  • “since the Vineses aren’t poor enough for subsidized health care”- their family isn’t qualified for the lowest form of health care because they exceed the financial requirement
  • “the Blue Cross gap insurance maxes out at six months a year.”- this is implying to how much money it is to have Blue Cross insurance, the Vineses can’t afford it

“I’m not for taking her somewhere and getting her labeled. I’d rather work on it in softer ways,” like lots of talks about coping skills, and an art class where she can express her feelings, “until we have to. And I’m hoping we won’t have to.”

  • “and getting her labeled.”- Brannan is talking about taking Katie to a therapist and having her daughter diagnosed with PTSD, this could cause some problems for her child that she wants to avoid
  • “I’d rather work on it in softer ways,”- Brannan means taking her daughter to art class to express her feelings and learn coping skills to deal with her aggression
  • “And I’m hoping we don’t have to.”- Brannan doesn’t want Katie to go through all that comes with therapy: the label, the stress, interference with school and her childhood

“Certainly she seems better than some other PTSD vets’ kids Brannan knows, who scream and sob and rock back and forth at the sound of a single loud noise, or who try to commit suicide even before they’re out of middle school.”

  • “she seems better than some other PTSD vet’s kids Brannan knows,”- Katie isn’t as bad as she could be, there are other children from war vets who are worse than she is currently
  • “who scream and sob and rock back and forth at the sound of a single loud noise,”- what might happen to kids of war vets that are worse than Katie, the sound of a loud noise could trigger a reaction like screaming or crying
  • “who try to commit suicide before they’re out of middle school.”- implying that some kids have suicidal attempts because of their secondary PTSD from their parent

“Brannan is a force of keeping her family together.”

  • this statement is referring to Brannan being the person that keeps the family together
  • she keeps them on tract and gets done what needs to be done
  • she takes care of both Katie and Caleb

“That’s typical parent stuff, but Brannan also keeps Caleb on his regimen of 12 pills—antidepressants, anti-anxiety, sleep aids, pain meds, nerve meds, stomach meds—plus weekly therapy, and sometimes weekly physical therapy for a cartilage-lacking knee and the several disintegrating disks in his spine, products of the degenerative joint disease lots of guys are coming back with maybe from enduring all the bomb blasts, and speech therapy for the TBI, and continuing tests for a cyst in his chest and his 48-percent-functional lungs.”

  • “Brannan also keeps Caleb on his regimen of 12 pills-“- in addition to helping her daughter, Brannan makes sure that Caleb takes all the pills he need to take: for depression, anxiety, help with sleep, pain medication, medication to help with nerves, and stomach medication for nausea
  • “plus weekly therapy,”- Caleb is seeking treatment for his PTSD from serving in the military
  • “weekly physical therapy for cartilage-lacking knee and the serval disintegrating disks in his spine,”- Caleb also goes to physical therapy for some injuries he got in the war, he has a lack of cartilage in his knee and a couple of disks in his spine that don’t allow his to move in the right way
  •  “products of the degenerative joint disease lots of guys are coming back with maybe from enduring all the bomb blasts,”- this is making a claim that some men from war are returning with degenerative joint disease as a result of being around bomb blasts
  • “and speech therapy for the TBI”- a TBI is a traumatic brain injury, where speech can in fact be affected, like it has for Caleb
  • “continuing testing for a cyst in his chest”- this cyst could be cancerous so the continued testing could be to check if it is
  • “his 48-percent-functional lungs.”- Caleb’s lungs are only working 48 perfect out of the normal 100 percent

“She used the skills she learned as an assistant to a state Supreme Court justice and running a small newspaper to navigate Caleb’s maze of paperwork with the VA, and the paperwork for the bankruptcy they had to declare while they were waiting years for his disability benefits to come through.”

  • “She used the skills she learned as an assistant to a state Supreme Court justice”- Brannan has gained skills by working as an assistant to a Supreme Court justice, these skills help her better help Caleb
  • “running a small newspaper to navigate Caleb’s maze of paperwork with the VA,”- Brannan also ran a small newspaper which has helped her gain skills to keep Caleb’s paperwork with the VA organized/ better understand them
  • “and the paperworks for bankruptcy they had to declare while they were waiting years for his disability benefits to come through.”- the Vineses have declared bankruptcy in anticipation for disability benefits that Caleb is entitled to but hasn’t received yet

“She also works for the VA now, essentially, having been—after a good deal more complicated paperwork, visits, and assessments—enrolled in its new caregiver program, which can pay spouses or other family members of disabled vets who have to take care of them full time, in Brannan’s case $400 a week.”

  • “She also works for the VA now,”-  Brannan now works the VA which should help her with Caleb
  • “enrolling in its new caregiver program, which can pay spouses or other family members of the disabled vets who have to take care of the full time.”- Brannan now works in the caregiver program with the VA, this pays her to take care of Caleb full time
  • “in Brannan’s case $400 a week.”- Brannan gets paid $400 a week to take care of Caleb through the VA caregiver program

E03: Critical Reading — 11collegegirl

Section 3


  1. “Even doctors can’t say for sure exactly why he has flashbacks…”
  • Even indicates that they are comparing what they researched and could not find out to what doctors still are unable to find out about Caleb’s injuries.
  • Doctors- doctors is plural in this sentence, which means that he has been seen by more than one.
  • this claim reveals that Caleb has took it as far as seeing doctors to maybe get some type of answers regarding his injuring and they still cannot give him a positively correct diagnosis to his injuries because they just are not completely sure.

2. “Sometimes he starts yelling, and often he doesn’t remember anything about it later.”

  • Sometimes- adverb used to indicate an event or something that happens only occasionally.
  • Often- adverb as well, used to indicate an event or something that happens more frequently.
  • this claim is made to show how often or occasionally Caleb’s injuries affect his life on a daily and how sometimes because of his injuries, he cannot reconcile for them afterwards.

3. “They don’t know why some other guys in his unit who did and saw the same stuff that Caleb saw are fine but Caleb is so sensitive…”

  • They- from the word they, we can assume that the author is talking about more than one person and at least two people
  • the word “they” is referring back to the doctors who have tried to diagnose Caleb
  • the author is making a comparison between Caleb and the guys who were also in his unit
  • this claim reveals that the author is curious as to why the War affected Caleb but not others even though they saw and heard the same things.

4. “Whatever is happening to Caleb, it’s as old as war itself.”

  • this claim reveals that the author is comparing what Caleb is going through with his injuries to war
  • Old- in this case, the word “old” meaning that they are getting tired of something
  • the claim also reveals that they are getting tired of Caleb’s injuries, how long they have lasted and how no one can come up with a solution as to what is wrong with him

5. “Civil War doctors, who couldn’t think of any other thing that might be unpleasant about fighting the Civil War but homesickness, diagnosed thousands with “nostalgia”.”

  • doctors- is plural, which indicates that there was more than one doctors who could not think of any other diagnosis
  • the word unpleasant in this case means something that caused discomfort to the people in the service
  • nostalgia- another word for homesick
  • this claim reveals that the doctors were not only un educated regarding what may happen to soldiers in war, but unaware of the symptoms they may have due to the experiences they may go through

6. “But whatever people have called it, they haven’t been like to gasp or respect it.”

  • They, can either be related to the other war survivors with PTSD or the other doctors
  • this claim seems to reveal that people who deal with PTSD, have not been able to relate or understand what they are going through.
  • this claim reveals the authors personal opinion about people with PTSD

Critical Reading – rainbow987

Section 14

1.) James was so anxious and so suicidal that he couldn’t even muster the self-preservation to get into inpatient treatment.

  • So anxious and so suicidal – It is expressed that James suffered severe symptoms due to his debilitating PTSD.
  • Couldn’t even – This statement implies that the following action is insignificant and trivial, which the author did not have the right to assume.
  • The author implies that it is a simple task to gather the courage to enter inpatient treatment through the phrase “couldn’t even muster the self-preservation to get into inpatient treatment.” Therefore, this statement expresses the author’s opinion on the topic.

2.) With three kids, eight, five, and two, and Kateri’s full-time job—as a VA nurse, actually—she could no longer manage his emotional plus physical problems: rheumatism consults, neuro consults for TBI, plus a burning rash on both feet he got in Fallujah in 2004.

  • This statement implies that Kateri has a busy schedule.
  • Could no longer – Kateri must have attempted to handle her husband’s disability on her own for a period of time.
  • Rheumatism consults, neuro consults for TBI, plus a burning rash on both feet he got in Fallujah in 2004 – This categorical claim lists the emotional and physical complications that Kateri’s husband dealt with.

3.) Finally they enrolled him in a private clinical trial to get a needleful of anesthetic injected into a bundle of nerves at the top of his collarbone.

  • Finally – It took Kateri and her husband a while to begin this process.
  • Enrolled – Kateri’s husband most likely had to fill out some sort of application to get involved in the trial.
  • Private – The trial was probably not well known.
  • Clinical trial – The trial was experimental. Therefore, there was a chance it could not work.

4.) That’s when her symptoms got worse, precipitating another meltdown, this time at a steak house where she took him to celebrate his newfound calm.

  • Kateri’s secondary PTSD symptoms intensified after her husband’s procedure, which helped him.
  • Precipitating another meltdown – Kateri felt on edge while waiting to see if her husband would begin showing PTSD symptoms once again.
  • Kateri experienced these symptoms in an environment that is not typically considered stressful. Therefore, this could be sign that her secondary PTSD symptoms are quite severe.

5.) They’d “assumed the normal positions,” she with her back to the restaurant, he facing it so he could monitor everyone, and suddenly, a server dropped a tray out of her periphery, setting her circulatory system off at a million miles a minute.

  • Assumed the normal positions – The way in which Kateri and her husband sat in restaurants was a usual event for them.
  • The action of Kateri’s husband facing the restaurant so he could monitor everyone was so that he could be aware if something dangerous occurred.
  • Suddenly – The dropping of the tray was not expected and was potentially shocking.
  • Periphery – The server was not in Kateri’s direct line of view.
    The server dropping the tray made Kateri so nervous because she was anticipating her husband having a “meltdown,” as she called them.

6.) “He just ate his steak like nothing,” she says.

  • This statement implies that Kateri’s husband would have reacted differently while eating at a restaurant if a tray was dropped before his procedure.
  • Kateri expresses surprise.
  • The statement shows that the procedure worked, at least initially, by helping Kateri’s husband to stay come when the tray dropped instead of having a flashback.

7.) “When you’ve become hypervigilant, the place you are most functional is on the battlefield,” McGill’s Brunet explains.

  • Brunet states that when you are extremely aware of sensory details, which can bring on anxiety, that you are able to function in high stress situations, which is the battlefield.
  • This statement expresses the idea that Brannan’s husband, Caleb’s, mind is still prepared for war through hypervigilance.

8.) Caleb, despite his injuries and his admission that war was pretty excruciatingly awful, told me he wishes he could go back.

  • Caleb’s injuries are so severe that he can no longer serve in the military.
  • Caleb wishes that he could return to the military, which is surprising considering the daily struggles that he endures now due to the war.

9.) Kateri, despite wishing her system hadn’t learned to run at a heightened state, at this point is like a drug addict, needing stimulation to maintain it.

  • Learned – Kateri’s body has adjusted to her hypervigilance.
  • At this point – Kateri’s symptoms have progressively worsened and proved problematic.
  • Like a drug addict – By comparing Kateri to a drug addict, the author is implying that Kateri cannot function without constantly being at a heightened state of mind.