Granted…in soldiers, the incidence of PTSD goes up with the number of tours and amount of combat experienced.
This short piece of the section sounds very casual and thus, be considered a casual claim. The reason I say this is because by definition a casual claim sounds more like a cause and effect. The cause that is brought to our attention is the number of tours and time served, and the effect is having PTSD. It looks switched around as sort of an effect and its cause but it is still getting the message through as a casual claim.
Caleb knows that a person whose problem is essentially that he can’t adapt to peacetime Alabama sounds, to many, like a pussy.
When reading this, I find this to be an Evaluative claim. The reason I say this is because the author is speaking sort of on Caleb’s behalf. Saying that “Caleb knows” and using words like “essentially” gives the author a chance to come to their own conclusion based on the data. While it isn’t hard data, it is still a situation that the author chose to break down and analyze to come to their own conclusion and use Caleb as a medium to help prove the point.
In two tours, he was in at least 20 explosions—IEDs, vehicle-borne IEDs, RPGs.
This one is very simple. It is factual according to the definition posted. It can be proven without a doubt.
When Caleb was finally screened for the severity of his TBI, Brannan says he got the second-worst score in the whole 18-county Gulf Coast VA system, which serves more than 50,000 veterans.
This is a combination of two claims. This is a comparison because it uses Caleb and directly cites the other group in the 18-county Gulf Coast VA system. The next sentence adds a factual element to it with the actual quantitative data. Without the last sentence it could just be considered a comparison but that little number added at the end in itself it s factual but only strengthens the case for the comparative claim.
Symptoms start at depression and alienation, including the “compassion fatigue” suffered by social workers and trauma counselors. But some spouses and loved ones suffer symptoms that are, as one medical journal puts it, “almost identical to PTSD except that indirect exposure to the traumatic event through close contact with the primary victim of trauma” is the catalyst. Basically your spouse’s behavior becomes the “T” in your own PTSD. If sympathy for Caleb is a little lacking, you can imagine what little understanding exists for Brannan.
Here we have two or three different claims used together, depending on where you decide to stop or start a “claim”. Lets start with the first sentence. Bringing in the symptoms of PTSD like “depression”, “alienation”, and “compassion fatigue” makes this a categorial or factual claim. I say this because it is bringing in actual symptoms but the fact that it names symptoms, especially more than one, gives it that categorial feel to it. Now the second sentence is also kind of two but also could just be one. What I mean is the author pulls a quote and the quote in itself is an analogy of some form so you could say analogy and also uses the quote to call it the “catalyst” which is an evaluation and assumption made by the author. So I’d also call it a sort of evaluative claim. Then that last sentence where the the author uses “if” and then “you can imagine” makes it sound like a casual claim. It is a cause and effect but also has a hint of evaluative. Basically this section is a “claim soup” with the way it uses different kinds to push its message just as effectively.
By coincidence, Bully, I had chosen one of your assigned sections as a model of claims analysis for classroom use. My dive into your sentence goes like this:
Consider these claims, some obvious, others hidden
— “finally screened” means that according to Brannan or the author or both, Caleb should have been screened long before. It suggests that the VA was negligent in delaying his testing.
— “the severity of his TBI” clearly contains the claim that he in fact has some degree of TBI. The fact that he hadn’t until then been screened for it means nobody knew for sure that he did, but the author makes that claim.
— “Brannan says” means that the author has not independently verified Caleb’s score or where it ranked against all other screenings.
— “the second-worst score in the whole 18-county Gulf Coast VA system” is offered as Brannan’s claim that her husband is suffering more than almost anyone. Considering her vested interest in promoting this perspective, we have to be at least a little suspicious of the ranking.
— “which serves more than 50,000 veterans” gives the impression that Caleb was hurt worse than 50,000 other veterans. But let’s be clear. Many of these 50,000 will not have served in combat at all. Many will not have had active engagement with enemy troops on the battlefield. Many of those who did see active fighting will not have been near explosive devices. So we’re not comparing him to 50,000 TBI sufferers.
Your beautifully-named “claim soup” analysis has a feel similar to the one I shared with you above. You don’t tease out the claims in quite the same way, but your observations of the overlapping relevance of several claim types is impressive and demonstrates a commitment to the process of close reading. Nice work!
On the comparatively trivial matter of punctuation, your work is marred by repeated instances of placing the commas and periods outside the quotation marks. Please fix here and everywhere forever. 🙂