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.
- The statement “Brannan Vines has never been to war” is an evaluative claim but despite her civilian status the writer chose to include that to make readers (civilians) connect and understand her. The second sentence takes us in awe on the abilities she has, but when you think of the title, “Is PTSD Contagious?” we begin to assume the reason she has these abilities is that maybe she gets abused by someone or something.
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. 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.
- This is also a factual claim despite the uncertainty of the numbers we do know her husband, Caleb served in the military and has PTSD. And indirectly, his going to war and his current situation is a factor to his families’ “warrior” like skills which makes it a causal claim.
Like Brannan’s symptoms. Hypervigilance sounds innocuous, but it is in fact exhaustingly distressing, a conditioned response to life-threatening situations. 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.
- This is a definition claim, even though it states the symptoms we have a general idea what PTSD is after reading that. Now “imagine there’s a murderer in your house… Imagine your nervous system spiking,… And imagine feeling like that all the time.” it’s a fact that anyone in this scenario will be in fear. And living in fear continually is unpleasurable. This is also a comparative claim.
The Vineses’ wedding album is gorgeous, leather-bound, older and dustier than you might expect given their youth. Brannan is 32 now, but in her portraits with the big white dress and lacy veil she’s not even old enough to drink.
- This claim tries to vaguely tell us the length of the couple’s marriage, and how aesthetic they were before PTSD.