While many are aware that there is a significantly higher incidence of als in people who have served in the military, few are aware of why. The reasons for the higher incidence are not all that complicated though, and by understanding the underpinnings of als and seeing how military service fits into the picture, one can readily grasp how the higher incidence comes about.
Als is a created situation, one where a person consciously and unconsciously makes choices based upon beliefs colored by life experiences and progresses toward a point where the intentions and consequences of those choices come together to create a cascading neurodegeneration. The way the military fits into this is that joining the military can be one of those als creating choices. Joining the military fits into the type of belief system common among people who develop als, it involves a person’s experiencing things which can reinforce the type of conception of reality that typically underlies the creation of als, it involves experiences which themselves can directly contribute to neurodegeneration and it has other psychological effects which can underlie the creation of als in multiple ways.
So, the first thing that comes to bear here is also maybe the most important factor, and it’s not even really about anything that happens in the military. It’s all the about the matchup between the military and what could be called the typical als profile.
Being a problem with psychological, emotional and spiritual underpinnings, als is connected with certain types of personal traits. People who experience als often have experienced some significant emotional trauma during childhood. They often see the world as a place with good guys and bad guys. They tend to be stressed out people seeking to do things they perceive as right while overworking themselves in order to prove themselves, and they tend to deal with life problems by disconnecting or escaping. So what do traumatized, stressed out people who want to do the right thing, prove themselves and escape do? They often join the military as an escape to a venue that seems to involve opportunities to prove themselves by dealing with bad guys and where they can continue to live the type of stressful lives to which they are accustomed. It’s a pretty natural fit.
So that’s a big part of why there is a higher incidence of als in people who have been involved in the military. The lives of people who are on the road to als have a higher than average tendency to include military service.
But that’s not the whole story. Once these people who already were somewhat set up to create als join the military, more happens to make it even more likely that they will experience als.
One of the things that happens is that the experience of military service can reinforce the belief system that already had them headed to als. Believe in a world full of good guys and bad guys? So do many in the military. So your conception will be confirmed by others around you. Been traumatized to the point where you tend to disconnect to deal with things? In the military one can experience even more trauma and so feel even more compelled to disconnect to survive. Have the idea that the world is a stressful place where it is important to prove one’s self? The experience of military service is one that can confirm that conception of things.
So through military service, people who already had a conception of things that would underlie making the types of choices that lead to als can become even more convinced that that conception is accurate. So during and after serving in the military, they will have even more reason to make the types of choices that underlie the creation of als.
Beyond the indirect effect of reinforcing an als creating belief system, military service tends to involve things which can directly contribute to the creation of als.
For one thing, part of what causes als is physical trauma to the system and military service can involve lots of that. People who are in the military get multiple vaccinations, are exposed to all kinds of substances which tend to create harm to their bodies and they experience various kinds other kinds of physical trauma. Even after leaving the military, this physical trauma can continue if some of the substances remain in the person’s system and continue to be involved in the creation of physical problems.
Beyond the physical trauma, people in the military often experience extreme emotional trauma which, if left unhealed, adds to internal stress in some cumulative way.
So here we have these stressed out people who were already traumatized before joining the military and then their choices, including their following their desires to escape, lead them to more trauma and more stress.
Then there is something else.
As I mentioned, part of the reason they join the military is to have opportunities to somehow prove themselves, and on some level maybe some of them accomplish that. At the same time, however, these people who see the world as full of good guys and bad guys have signed up to be part of something that causes death and destruction and on some level, maybe unconsciously, they can become very conflicted. They wonder if they who have been handling weapons and causing destruction are themselves actually bad guys and they can consciously or unconsciously hate themselves for what they have done while in the military. This self hatred can manifest as and contribute to the creation of disease.
A typical thing that happens in people who have served in the military, or on police forces, is that the als degeneration starts in their hands, the hands that held and operated weapons. What has happened is that their inner conflicts, their self hatred, their desires to protect the world from themselves, manifest as illness in a form that renders them incapable of doing these things any more.
Some people start to experience the als neurodegeneration during or soon after military service. In these cases the direct effects of military service, effects such as physical trauma, are probably more significant in the creation of the problem.
For others the neurodegeneration starts long after they have left the military. In these cases, military service is more just one of a cumulative set of experiences and choices that add up to the creation of als.
So that’s how it works. People who were already set up with ideas and ways that would likely lead to them experience als take themselves further in that direction by joining the military and further traumatizing themselves, affirming the als creating world view and adding to the accumulation of factors and patterns that eventually add up to als.