Mr. David Dorfmeier is the first born son of Don Dorfmeier. He is also a Vietnam veteran, retired Army Sergeant Major, and clinical therapist who has a personal and professional interest in working with service members suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The author has a master's degree in Psychology & Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado and has completed a two-year post graduate Marriage & Family Training Program at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In addition to a long career in the Army Reserve, Mr. Dorfmeier was also employed for 20 years with the Department of the Army as a civilian employee providing clinical counseling services to active duty soldiers and their family members. Following retirement, he served another four years as a clinical consultant working with the Department of Defense providing adjustment counseling to service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. His service awards and decorations include the Master Parachutist Badge, the Special Forces Qualification Tab, and the Legion of Merit.
US Army Air Corps patch
Once home, many repatriated prisoners of war, as well as other returning veterans, faced serious physical and emotional adjustment problems. Some, like Dr. Leslie Caplan, endured long periods of hospitalization for illnesses such as tuberculosis, which continued to cause high rates of morbidity for American POWs. Other returning POWs suffered from psychoneurosis, and drank to quell the intrusive thoughts and nightmares associated with their wartime service. Later protocol examinations, initiated by the Veterans Administration in the early 1980s, attempted to quantify the extent of these problems–and the results were shocking. Sixty percent of European Theater and 82 percent of Pacific Theater POWs manifested significant psychiatric symptoms of anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression
The United States government would later acknowledge that 130,201 US service personnel, 32,730 of whom were combat crew members of the US Army Air Force, had been captured during the war and held as enemy POWs. The majority of the 14,072 servicemen who died in captivity perished while interned as Japanese prisoners in Asia. However, these government figures are suspect and unreliable. As late as March 1945, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe had no idea of the correct numbers of airmen or soldiers who had been captured in their Theater of Operations. Moreover, a full accounting of those who died while in German captivity was compromised after the war for reasons of political expediency and further obscured by the fact that 78,773 service personnel from WWII were still listed as Missing in Action (MIA) as late as 1985.