By Debbie Gregory.
On April 14, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced by Columbia University. Among the winners was Colorado Springs Gazette journalist David Philipps. Philipps won the Journalism Pulitzer Prize for “National Reporting.”
Philipps won the Pulitzer for “Other Than Honorable”, a three day series of articles published in May, 2013. The series followed three military Veterans, all of whom suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a direct result to their combat deployments. After surviving war, these young men returned home with their unseen injuries, only to get into trouble and get kicked out of the military. Separating from the armed forces under “Other than Honorable” discharges can disqualify Veterans from receiving benefits, including healthcare and education benefits.
If undiagnosed, mental and emotional injuries can cause sufferers to act differently than they would normally. Their coping mechanisms for completing functions necessary for survival can seem threatening or violent to others. TBI, PTSD, and other behavioral and mental health concerns have been some of the most common injuries sustained by U.S. military personnel in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Philipps’ Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles brought further attention to a major issue facing Veterans, the U.S. military, and the civilian population. While the American public won’t always agree with what is being said about those whoserve, it is imperative that they know more about TBI, PTSD and other war injuries.
Along with the esteem that comes with winning the award, Philips also received $10,000. Philipps was a finalist for the prize in 2010 for another piece written about military Veterans.
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Military Connection: Pulitzer Prize Awarded to Journalist Writing About Veterans: By Debbie Gregory