COMMENTARY: Observations and random thoughts – PTSD and mental health….issue.

by Aug 13, 2019OPINIONS




It seems like I’ve been away for a looonnng time, and I have, but not really. I’ve been dealing with a loss that jarred me to my core and made me come to grips with the fact that, no matter what you say, or do, you really can’t prepare yourself. You can’t. But, we have to move on because that’s what we have to do. But, it was good to be home and see family. I realized that even though I got older, and rounder, they have gotten older too. But, it seems that we didn’t age that badly, for me it must be the green and red chile.

This country has entered into some strange and unknown, and uncomfortable, terrain these days. We have shootings on an almost weekly basis and maybe we’re getting numb to it but, that’s not it. I’m talking about the fact that middle and high school kids in this country, America, are suffering from the same kind of PTSD that our military vets return with from being in the combat zone. We send our young people off to war knowing that many will return with wounds that aren’t visible and are perhaps untreatable. Now, thanks to the NRA and the legislators that hide within the deep pockets of this self-centered group, it’s open season on our school children. They are now targets because, “it’s a Constitutional right that Americans should be able to own any type of weapon available.”

This logic, if you can call it logic, is so blatantly stupid and so patently ignorant that it offends me to the point of boiling rage. All the NRA does is play up to the “little boys who need big toys” BS. There is an NRA spokesperson, a woman actually, that scoffs at the kids that have been assaulted by assault weapons. She’s such a good little GOP female, she does what she’s told. And she refuses to back down from that point of view. Even the other good GOP female, backed off of her commentary that a Parkland HS kid who watched his friend die from gunshot wounds, “was looking for attention.” After hearing that statement come out of her mouth I had to go buy another TV because they don’t seem to be able to absorb a glass of iced tea hurled at the screen. Cheap Samsung products. This is getting expensive. I should attach a Bungee cord to my glass while watching the news.

I have a question that’s based upon the times and current events and it involves us and our tribal government. Are we a Sanctuary Rez? I’m curious. I see the noise surrounding sanctuary cities all of the time, Santa Fe, NM is one, so, I ask again, are we a sanctuary Rez? Is there such a thing? We talk about our sovereignty but then we’re required to pay the State of NC a high tax to operate our casinos. Oh, it’s called revenue sharing or other malarkey but really it’s just a tax, or as I view it, simple extortion. Hmmm…off topic, again…OK, what is the policy of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the EBCI tribal government if Trump’s Gestapo, AKA ICE, decides to set up and stage a raid on the Rez? I’m very aware that we have a few people that possibly fit an ICE profile living here. We have more that fit a DEA profile but’s another story for another day. Do we allow it? Should we allow it? Better yet, can we stop it? In such a situation can we intercede and roll up ICE operations or do we bend over and meekly allow them to act with impunity on our land? All Native nations need a well-armed, well-regulated, well-trained militia for times like these, that’s what the 2nd Amendment really says and in plain English, that’s what it really means, a tool to stop federal government overreach. And mark my words, one day we’ll need one of these militias.

Ok I’m done. With a sad heart I write this last paragraph. On the 14th of July my little brother Mike decamped from this world and walked on. It may be odd for people that knew Mike to hear the word little associated with him because in many ways he was larger than life, but he was one of my little brothers. We all kinda camped at the hospital during the week I was there and I want to sincerely thank the staff at Cherokee Hospital for putting up with all of us. All of you deserve a raise and a bonus. You do what I could never do. I can only put up with a few Ledfords at any one time but they put up with a boatload. Again, thank you.


Ledford is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians currently residing in Albuquerque, N.M.