Brannan sent Katie to the school therapist, once. She hasn’t seen any other therapist, or a therapist trained to deal with PTSD—Brannan knows what a difference that makes, since the volunteer therapist she tried briefly herself spent more time asking her to explain a “bad PTSD day” than how Caleb’s symptoms were affecting the family.
This fragment from the article is a casual claim. The author states that Brannan’s daughter, Katie, was being seen by a school therapist who lacks the training dealing with PTSD. The author claims that Brannan knows the effects of having a therapist trained to deal with PTSD and how it makes a difference- noting her own personal experiences.
When I visited, Katie was not covered by the VA under Caleb’s disability; actually, she wasn’t covered by any insurance at all half the time, since the Vineses aren’t poor enough for subsidized health care and the Blue Cross gap insurance maxes out at six months a year.
The author makes a factual claim during this segment of the article. Simply, the author is claiming that Katie was not covered by insurance to visit a therapist. In the following sentence, the author affirms that the family is not poor enough to receive any affective aid and asserts that the insurance the family does have maxes out after an extended period of time. The listed claims can be proven beyond any reasonable doubt.
She’s never been diagnosed with anything, and Brannan prefers it that way. “I’m not for taking her somewhere and getting her labeled. I’d rather work on it in softer ways,” like lots of talks about coping skills, and an art class where she can express her feelings, “until we have to. And I’m hoping we won’t have to.”
Brannan makes a recommendation claim. Brannan comments that her daughter Katie has not been diagnosed with any psychological problems and would prefer to keep it that way, putting her daughter into art classes and keeping her in the loop of how to cope with her personal conflicts. Brennan invites readers to understand her course of action for her daughter by convincing readers with the outlets she provides her daughter.
Certainly she seems better than some other PTSD vets’ kids Brannan knows, who scream and sob and rock back and forth at the sound of a single loud noise, or who try to commit suicide even before they’re out of middle school. Caleb spends enough time worrying that he’s messing up his kid without a doctor saying so.
Brennan is making a comparative claim by suggesting that her daughter Katie is better than other children also undergoing the same conditions. Brennan compares her daughter to the thousands of other children who suffer much worse.
Brannan is a force of keeping her family together. She sleeps a maximum of five hours a night, keeps herself going with fast food and energy drinks, gets Katie to and from school and to tap dance and art, where Katie produces some startlingly impressive canvases, bright swirling shapes bisected by and intersected with other swaths of color, bold, intricate. That’s typical parent stuff, but Brannan also keeps Caleb on his regimen of 12 pills—antidepressants, anti-anxiety, sleep aids, pain meds, nerve meds, stomach meds—plus weekly therapy, and sometimes weekly physical therapy for a cartilage-lacking knee and the several disintegrating disks in his spine, products of the degenerative joint disease lots of guys are coming back with maybe from enduring all the bomb blasts, and speech therapy for the TBI, and continuing tests for a cyst in his chest and his 48-percent-functional lungs.
The first sentence of this paragraph is an evaluation claim. The author is making a judgment based off of Brannan’s character- saying she is a force that keeps her family together. The rest of the paragraph are factual claims because there is no doubt that these events occur.
She used the skills she learned as an assistant to a state Supreme Court justice and running a small newspaper to navigate Caleb’s maze of paperwork with the VA, and the paperwork for the bankruptcy they had to declare while they were waiting years for his disability benefits to come through.
The author makes a causal claim. Over the years being an assistant to a state Supreme Court and running a small newspaper, Brennan used those learnt skills to navigate her husband’s paperwork and the paperwork dealing with bankruptcy. This quite provided is a perfect example of cause and effect.
She also works for the VA now, essentially, having been—after a good deal more complicated paperwork, visits, and assessments—enrolled in its new caregiver program, which can pay spouses or other family members of disabled vets who have to take care of them full time, in Brannan’s case $400 a week.
This last section is a factual claim. Once again, the author is declaring what is now- the present. The author includes that Brennan is working for the VA and the benefits she receives, also giving a brief explanation of those benefits. The claim in not opinionated. It is simply black and white- painting a picture of what is true.
You do beautiful work here, King, and I don’t mean to dispute your various keen observations. I will say, though, that when you choose to quote such long passages, you inevitably scoop up far more claims than you take the time to describe in your analyses.
The first sentence, with its snarky little “, once,” is an evaluative claim by the author. Right? It indicates that Brannan gave the school therapist just one chance to prove she could be helpful and determined her to be unqualified on the basis of an experience she had had with a volunteer.
The author’s matter-of-fact presentation of what “Brannan knows” is another subtle way to undermine Brannan’s credibility about her own situation. Who’s to say whether asking Brannan to describe a bad PTSD day was a good therapeutic technique or not?
Again, bravo to you for your fine work.