- 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
- This sentence contains a series of factual claims. Brannan could prove never being to war by accounting for her whereabouts with evidence and comparing the evidence to the known time and location of various wars. Caleb can be proven to be her husband by presenting documentation of their wedding, and the U.S. would likely have recorded Caleb’s service as a marksman.
- The claim is meant to support the idea that PTSD is contagious. The author’s logic is that Caleb contracted PTSD while at war and passed it to Brannan who had never been to war. The problem with the logic is that while PTSD is often associated with war it can have alternative causes.
- The use of consistent factual claims in the article is a technique to give the author’s words more credibility. With frequent provable claims readers may grow complacent and criticize the article less than it deserves.
2. It’s hard to say, with the lack of definitive tests for the former, undertesting for the latter, underreporting, under or over-misdiagnosing of both.
- In this sentence the author uses a pair of evaluative claims. The author has evaluated PTSD as difficult to diagnose making the exact number “hard to say,”. The tests for PTSD have also be evaluated as non-definitive by the author. The next two claims can be viewed as a mix of evaluative, quantitative, and recommendation claims. The author, Mac McClelland, has evaluated the testing and diagnosing of PTSD and traumatic brain injury as an insufficient number. McClelland could be said to be recommending that the testing and diagnoses should be a different quantity.
- The claims are meant to undermine criticism of the article by suggesting that too little data on the subject is available. If PTSD and traumatic brain injuries are not easy to diagnose then the ailments could be lacking definition. If readers believe these afflictions are nebulous concepts definite criticism will elude the author.
- Presenting these maladies to seem less defined seems to undermine the author’s point. If they lack definition, then why attempt to define their features? This sentence also contains an interesting phrasing by the author when she states that diagnoses for PTSD or traumatic brain injuries could be under or over-misdiagnosed. Is there an amount of misdiagnosing that is necessary, and we aren’t reaching that number?
3. And as slippery as all that is, even less understood is the collateral damage, to families, to schools, to society—emotional and fiscal costs borne long after the war is over.
- The author again begins with an evaluative claim. The claims are slippery because they paint the picture of a hazy topic. One that cannot be grasped easily due to a lack of definition. This is followed by a quantitative claim. The damage caused by these disorders is less well understood than the disorders themselves, and the damage is borne long after the war.
- These claims make the situation relatable for the reader. Most citizens never participate in war, but bringing it home will be easier to relate with for the reader.