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Hyperbole - "Talkin' Crap!"

By Dr Mike Colson

NLCS Game 7 quote by Fox Sports Anchor Joe Buck; “[This batter]…. Is the best home run hitter in the NL history when there are runners on base after the 7th inning.” What? Is that a real statistic? Does anyone rally track this stuff? And…is hyperbole and hype killing us?

Of course, the answer is a definite…maybe! For PTSD sufferers, this kind of rhetoric has a way of driving us nuts. Take for example the “experts” we listen to in the media attempting to develop long-winded answers to Iraq/Afghanistan and the War on Terror. We all know that most are not veterans. We also know they quote others without conducting their own research. But they are sure they’re right. They’ll bet their life on it. And, laugh off their comment in some disingenuous on-air interchange.

Hearing this can cause the under medicated PTSD sufferer to slowly start twisting in the wind, feel the bile rise in our stomachs, and then explode into a hive of expletives. It is my belief that we react like this because we are honest truth brokers. We have a well-develop Bv)) S&!t meter that causes us to react strongly to people, events, and agendas that skirt facts and miss the critical aspects of complicated arguments.

The fact that some people call us heroes for our service always seemed to be a burr under the saddle of guys returning from combat. Why? Probably because the guy who saved the cat from the neighbors tree, the kid who gave some of his paper route money to charity, or the million dollar athlete who takes time for a photo op at Habitat for Humanity are all hero’s too. Somehow, the blood and gore of war and the night vision of combat seem oddly incongruous to normal people living out their brightest moments.

Hyperbole and hype cause the greatest damage by simply being false. It is my belief that they reinforce this falsehood by setting the hero bar low, rape the English language to justify magnified minimalism, and create a world of the blind huddled near an elephant’s ass. In the bargain they cheapen national service, a veteran’s commitment to serve beyond self, and the willingness to lose a life for a national ideal. Here’s a fact from the U.S. National Census that will startle some of you:

“Military members make up 2/100’s of one percent of the American population.”

That statistic makes my next statement perfectly clear. Raising our hand and swearing allegiance to the U.S. Constitution and then standing in harms way is not equivalent to a guy who just shows up for work on time to simply do their job. That is not hype…but fact. Be proud…and get the help you rate for being one of the few.