The Rules of Engagement: Meet PTSD- Part 1, by Autistic Prepper

PTSD is an acronym thrown around quite a bit. Principally, this mental diagnosis term of posttraumatic stress disorder was assigned beginning in the early 1980s, primarily to those who had experienced traumatic events, such as war. Let’s meet PTSD and talk about the rules of engagement surrounding it and those who carry its burden.

Why I Wrote An Article

A while back I wrote an article about adult autism, an issue I’d never seen addressed in prepping literature. A perceptive reader wondered what the condition had to do with prepping. It is relevant for two reasons. First, it’s a reminder that autistic children become autistic adults. Second, it’s to remind us that all kinds of people will be present in a post-apocalyptic situation.

Some of the survivors will be what society calls “normal”, while others will be a bit different. Autism is one difference. Another difference, commonly found in the military veterans who will be so valuable in a survival situation, is PTSD. Most survival groups will be eager to have veterans, but most won’t be prepared to deal with the psychological impact war has made on the veterans’ minds and behavior.

Meet H

Meet H, my husband and the all-round smartest man I’ve ever met. He can almost keep up with me. By any criteria, he’s someone you’d want in your survival group. He can take apart and put together any gun. He’s an expert with explosives and once defused a WWII mine in our den. It’s not just theory that he knows but the action and strategies of war, and he can keep his head when others are doing a Linda Blair imitation.

He’s the best shot I’ve ever seen. Like most Southern men, he’s been shooting since childhood. What Grandad didn’t teach him, Carlos Hathcock did. Yes, my man is the ideal member of any survival group. But he comes with baggage those around him must never forget: he has severe PTSD.

The Remarkable History of PTSD

If you read literature about PTSD, you’ll find something peculiar. The condition has been clearly recognized for over a century. Freud identified it in train crash victims and later studied it in soldiers from World War I. He also realized that it did not arise from childhood incidents, like many neuroses, but from adult trauma.

During WWI it was referred to as “shell shock” and given little attention. The government wanted everyone to think war was great, heroic, and really fun, because that’s how you get the populace to pay for wars and send their children off to die in them. By WWII, it had become “battle fatigue”. But physicians still gave it scant attention. Their main concern was getting the psychologically damaged soldiers back to the battlefield as soon as possible.

Never Trust the Establishment—Government or Medical

After WWII, there was nothing. During the Vietnam War and for many years after, there was no research, no recognition of the problem, and no treatment provided for veterans. A psychological condition that had been identified by the world’s foremost psychiatrist decades earlier simply vanished.

Vets who went to the VA with PTSD symptoms were curtly dismissed. H went to the VA in Nashville, where a doctor told him he was fine and to go home. Needless to say, he never went back. He was lucky, in a way. Many vets experiencing flashbacks were diagnosed as psychotic and drugged into oblivion, which did nothing to help their real problem.

Why Vets Weren’t Treated

Why weren’t vets treated? The reason is quite simple. Most of the psychologists of the 60s, 70s, and early 80s were left-wing liberals who sat out the Vietnam war in Canada or college. They considered Vietnam vets “baby killers” and thought they deserved any suffering they experienced.

I expect the upcoming crop of snowflake doctors will behave the same way. There will be little support for our current troops, unless we, the people, and the vets themselves demand it and provide it.

Deep Throat Said It Best: Follow the Money

It was only when the medical community realized that papers could be written, speeches given, and grant money obtained that PTSD began to receive any attention. There were some willing to follow the money available to those who gave PTSD some attention.

Veterans Formed Groups

A further incentive came from the vets themselves. They realized the establishment wasn’t going to help them, so they began helping themselves. Veterans formed groups across America where they met to discuss their problems and, surrounded by others who understood, to talk freely about their darkest hells. The medical establishment immediately perked up, because people can’t be allowed to heal themselves without physician and pharmaceutical assistance. That’s where the money is.

The vets soon learned that they understood each other much better than any college-educated draft dodger. I once gave H a book about PTSD, hoping it might help him, and even me, understand the condition better. He read about two pages before furiously hurling the book across the room.

He already knew the only people who understand are the ones who were there, and I realized the things I needed to know could only be learned from the same source.

Different, Yet the Same

Every vet is different in terms of the severity of PTSD symptoms and what external stimuli may precipitate symptoms. There are also differences in the degree to which PTSD interferes with daily functioning.

A Common Problem: Nightmares

Nightmares are probably the most common PTSD symptom. These episodes are harrowing for the vet, because they recall the most terrible experiences of war. They’re not a pleasure for anyone nearby either. I have heard my husband calling for his best friend as he relived being shot. I’ve heard him shout warnings when the enemy breached the perimeter. I know he’s suffering, and there’s nothing I can do to help.

Nightmares may also be related to certain times of the year when particularly bad experiences occurred. These dreams may reoccur with annual regularity.

One strategy H used to help quell the nightmares was to go as long as possible without sleeping. Sometimes he stayed awake two or three days before falling unconscious from exhaustion. In a state of total physical exhaustion, he didn’t dream.


Flashbacks, when the present slips away and the past takes its place, are another common symptom of PTSD. They are completely different from psychotic episodes in which a person sees or hears what isn’t there. A flashback usually involves mentally replaying a traumatic event so completely that visual and auditory senses are activated.

Often Triggered By Insignificant Events

I try to protect my husband from anything I think might cause a flashback. However, it’s hopeless, because they’re often triggered by insignificant events. He picked up a glass of orange juice at breakfast and a tremor went through his whole body. Later, he told me he had gone back to a time in Vietnam when he was drinking from his canteen.

He was putting things into the car and again there was the tremor. He’d relived loading a truck in DaNang. On a beautiful day we were driving through a lush countryside and a hill, green and beautiful, rose right in front of us. Too much green, I thought. His shaking confirmed what I feared. He’d been on too many jungle-green hills, and they meant death.

Today, many “professionals” advise those with PTSD to avoid things that may trigger a flashback. I assume these geniuses don’t drink orange juice or put groceries in the car.

Cinematic Flashback Triggers

TV, movies, and news reports can all bring back bad memories. It was my idea to see Hacksaw Ridge because H regularly watches WWII movies and documentaries without a problem. But the first scene of men being carried on stretchers was too real. He left the theater and only returned when he was sure that scene was over.

Many people say Full Metal Jacket is the best movie about Vietnam. I judge movies by H’s reaction. After seeing it, he emerged from the theater laughing and saying that Stanley Kubrick needed to be in a real war for a few hours. Hamburger Hill, on the other hand, brought only a few grim words. “I had to clean up something like that once,” he told me. I didn’t ask any questions.

Noise Triggers

Unexpected loud noises are common flashback triggers. If H knows a loud noise is coming, he can mentally prepare and tolerate it. But if the noise is unexpected, it will invariably cause an exaggerated startle response or a flashback. A cannon salute at an event he attended sent him running under a culvert. Fortunately, one of his vet friends was there to care for him and lead him out.


When I think about reactions to loud noises, I always remember Paul, who was part of the self-help group H helped start. I only met him a few times. The first was right before the Fourth of July. We were standing in the driveway when some early firecrackers went off. Paul hit the ground.

I saw him again not long after. He was cheerful, smiling, and said he was much better. Within months he committed suicide. There are a lot of names on the Wall that aren’t on the Wall.

See Also:

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 77 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
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  7. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
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Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
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  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
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Round 77 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. Thank you so much for this essay! I am not close to anyone with PTSD and did not understand the issues. I think support groups with like minded folks are helpful for many issues. Very good reminder! Thanks!

    1. As a combat vet, I cannot express this any better. This author deserves 1st place in the writing contest.

      God Bless Her and her family.


  2. I had a Flashback 47 years after an incident in Vietnam, when I thought I was way past that stage. When I was buying my beloved dog, my grief brought me back to the firefight that saw my buddy shot dead right beside me. For 47 years I had NEVER said his name out loud to ANYONE. Later, when my wife asked me who was ‘Vinnie’, I was completely shocked. When I asked her why she asked that question, she replied, “When you were outside burying ******, between your sobbing, you kept repeating, “Vinnie, don’t leave me. Don’t leave me Vinnie.”
    For the very first time, I talked about Vinnie.

  3. Thank you for that article. I would humbly suggest there is something that can be done to help someone who suffers from PTSD. It’s called the comfort cycle. It’s purpose and practice are described in the book “How We Love” by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. There’s also a companion set of DVDs that I highly recommend but they are $180. In the DVDs, Milan and Kay give an example of how to do the comfort cycle. I can speak from personal experience that it works very well. It takes time to process all the emotional wounds but eventually a determined couple can work through them all together and be healed. It’s a beautiful thing. God bless.

  4. it took months of patience and quiet companionship with my oldest son until he finally opened up about the friends he had lost in the sandbox and other prior experiences with witnessing some of the genocide earlier in his career during a deployment to Bosnia Herzegovina.

  5. it took months of patience and companionship with my oldest son for him to open up about the friends he lost in the sandbox and to share some of the experiences he had in Bosnia Herzegovina during the aftermath of the attempted genocide of Muslims by Milosovicz.

  6. re:
    Counseling and counselors

    For five years, I dated a university grad student in the psych program. To be a counselor requires years of dedication. My sweetheart was extremely committed to the goal of becoming a counselor.

    Once, I invited my beloved to the range to learn to handle firearms and to meet other shooters (folks a lot like me). My sweetie refused, horrified at the suggestion. Body language and eyes going rabbit told me that discussion would go nowhere.

    My first thought at that reaction… how will you be able to treat survivors of violence if you refuse to acknowledge the existence of violence, refuse to meet gentle people capable of extreme violence in defense of their loved ones.

    My sweetheart graduated and became an excellent counselor, and I would recommend counseling to anybody anytime. However, your priest or your spouse or the folks at work may not possess the training or aptitude to successfully assist you.

    Your first choice of a licensed professional may not be the best. Ask around at the range…. discretely.

    If you have a broken ankle, you would probably see a doctor.

    If you have sugar diabetes, you would probably see a doctor.

    Hurting hearts need healers, too.

  7. Very interesting and informative article. So much suffering without empathy. It breaks my heart. And now we are engaged in perpetual wars with no intent to win. Why aren’t Vietnam Vets demanding a stop to these wars for the government? If anyone should see the madness it should be them. I keep them in my prayers.

  8. I think you are wrong to blame this on the VA or on doctors. The reason they aren’t treated is because there is no treatment. Half the world has PTSD and the other half will have it before they die. Most will recover on their own, most will figure out how to deal with it and some will not. People with PTSD who do not figure it out or who won’t figure it out or who prefer the PTSD and the attention they get to figuring it out will continue to have it much to the detriment of those around them. It is part of life, death and suffering. If you think some expensive shrink can cure you than you simply don’t understand life and it’s problems.

    1. While I was expecting someone to disparage the article, I didn’t anticipate the vitriol.

      As a combat vet who was trained to ‘suck it up and drive on,’ I long thought seeing a therapist/counselor/psychiatrist was a bunch of ‘Nancy-boy BS.’

      When the walls closed in, and I could see only one exit, I called someone. The first person I met with was some new-age, lets hug a teddy bear and cry it out kind of therapist. A second visit to someone like that would have seen me eating one. I kindly told her that her M.O. is a non-starter, and asked her if she could refer me to someone else. She connected me with a different therapist. He wound up being great. He was a veteran, had experience inside big institutions, including the VA, and was a real guy to talk to. He saved my life.

      Honestly, the thoughts you presented here, amount to a big part of the reason why 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Just because one lacks understanding of something doesn’t make it evil/bs/junk science/etc..

      Not having everything well put together doesn’t make someone less a man, its just being human.

  9. I live on a ~1 acre homestead and I’ve been thinking about inviting vets over to relax in the woods and hang out with my free range chickens. After reading this article I’m thinking twice. Any tips or suggestions? How would I even go about ‘advertising’ this sort of thing?

    1. My advice; don’t! The ones who need the most help will put you at risk. Simple as that. The ones needing the least help can possibly be great friends and your experience will be rewarding. But, how will you know the difference?

    2. Nate, I love the idea, but I don’t necessarily see it as a good idea. The desire to do good by someone else is noble, and would be very well served volunteering with an organization that helps veterans. There are a lot of good groups out there, like AMVets, and DAV (Disabled American Veterans) who do good things in the vet community.

      Good luck, and thank you for wanting to put yourself out there.

  10. Anon, I am assuming you are not a combat vet. Yes, I do agree with you, that all healing is from the inside out….but to lump all PTSD in to a general statement that ” Half the world has PTSD and the other half will have it before they die.” is just too great of a stretch! There is a BIG difference between losing your “Pet Poodle” and having your friends brains splattered all over your face!!! I think the idea of support groups is one of the best ways to address the problem. I am, by nature, into natural healing and have a healthy disrespect for the general medical establishment. However, having said that, for trauma intervention Western medicine is the best in the world. I think we all need to “walk a mile in their shoes” before we judge.

    1. “There is a BIG difference between losing your “Pet Poodle” and having your friends brains splattered all over your face!!!”

      You are 100% correct. And yet many people who have extremely traumatic things happen to them adjust quite well and some people who lose their “pet poodle” become basket cases. So do you think you can rate PTSD based on what caused it? Is one person’s PTSD not good enough for you whereas another’s is super serious? I don’t think you can make that distinction.

      Support groups are good for “some” people. Not everyone.

      “Western medicine is the best in the world.”

      Again 100% correct. But they simply cannot “cure” PTSD especially in someone who doesn’t want to cure it. It is like telling a drunk that all they have to do is give up drinking.

      In the end the problem is that those who can deal with it do deal with it. Those that can be helped by talking and sharing experiences etc. are helped by these things. What you have left are the hard core PTSD problems and they are damned hard to help. Generally the comparison between that level of the PTSD problem and the addiction problem is a good comparison. You simply aren’t going to be able to talk them out of it. It might be their psychological makeup, it might be the seriousness of their trauma, it might be because they like the attention they get from acting up. Either way it doesn’t seem to matter, they are hard to treat, hard to live with and will sap all your strength and sympathy until you decide to leave them just to retain your own sanity.

      1. Wow. They like the attention. Interesting theory. I’m sure every combat vet who has lost their spouses, their kids, their careers, and their lives is just acting out for attention.

        The attempt to equate vets with PTSD to drug addicts shows either a lack of intelligence, a terrific imagination, or a level of intestinal fortitude unseen in mere mortals. Maybe that fortitude is gall. Couldn’t say from here.

    2. I have a client who was sexually and otherwise abused by both of her parents, and her parents’ “friends.” Her mother, who was a poodle breeder, gave her a pet poodle puppy of her own when she was eight years old. After the child had deeply attached to it, her mother sold her puppy.

      It was the final disconnect. My client has never recovered, and was never able to connect with anyone again.

      Be careful of what you mock.

  11. You think PTSD is a problem now, wait till after TSHTF. You won’t have time to think about it then. You will be too busy living in it to be able to come to terms with it. You better learn how to use it to survive, or you won’t.

  12. On Wednesday, June 6th, 2018, President Trump signed into law HR 5674, the VA Mission Act. It will replace the Veterans’ Choice program currently in operation.

    VA Mission purports to clean up waste in the VA system and, more importantly, give vets the option of finding private doctors and other health care professionals that can better address the vets’ specific needs, including psych needs like PTSD.

    In theory this will open up a much broader and deeper pool of treatment and therapy options (as well as bring out all the hucksters, shamans and snake oil peddlers from under a brand new set of rocks).

    Let’s monitor and critique this new legislation and its fruits closely. I’m not a big believer in government “entitlements,” most just make slaves or zombies out of lazy no-accounts; but Veterans’ Benefits are the down-the-road fulfillment of an agreement made between brave, motivated young men and women and the government they supported. They are owed much better than they’ve ever gotten.

    1. I applaud anything which allows veterans access to care. Yet I also have a certain degree of trepidation. As a 70% rated veteran I’m eligible for emergency medical care in any U.S. hospital. Several years ago I had to go to the local ER (part of a very large hospital chain, 29 hospitals). I was a admitted and the tests began. I was tested for things which I had no indication of having and when those tests were normal they were ordered to be retested to be sure they were still normal. My stay should have been less than 1 day yet they tried to keep me in for an extra day to once again do another test. When the physicians assistant told me the doctor wanted to keep me overnight, check my heart enzymes a 4th time 3 times is the normal and check my cholesterol the next morning I asked for a transfer to a higher level of care which in my case was the VA.
      I then looked at him and told him when you call the VA they are going to laugh at you and refuse the transfer. They are going to say you have ruled out the concern for a heart attack and tell me to follow up with my provider.

      I went to the hospital because of heart concerns. I was checked for gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, pulmonary embolus and myocardial infarction. I was given a nitroglycerin tablet on arrival which eliminated my pain. Nitroglycerin tablets don’t eliminate pain from pulmonary emboli, pancreatic pain or gallbladder pain. Never the less they worked me up for that and billed the VA for same, They attempted to bill for a 2nd day to check my cholesterol. Cholesterol is always cheaper to have checked as an outpatient and rarely requires checking in a hospital setting.

      I can’t help but feel that I was viewed as a deep pocket with my VA access card. Increasing care for veterans will come at a cost. Less money for education, less money to help homeless veterans, less money for dependents, less money for disability. Most patients would not have seen the subterfuge. As a retired RN with 25 years in ICU and the ER I was aware of what they were trying to do. Would you have been?

  13. Latest count from Vietnam: 58,000 KIA, over 100,000 suicides after the war. I have heard much lower and much higher stats, but you get the point. My son came home from intense duty in the sandbox with PTSD, he seems to be completely healed but you never know. I credit his Christian faith and wonderful, loving wife (also a vet) with his overcoming.

  14. Every July 4 and 5, I go with other veterans to a “no fireworks/no firearms/no alcohol” retreat. Way far away. Quiet, safe. The organizer was an armorer in the military, so not opposed to things that go “bang”, just keeps that couple days as “bang free” as possible.

    The local people, former Navy corpsmen, treat us to meals in local restaurants, take us to the lake, and pray with us around the fire (and other places).

    I’ll likely always remember a former Army Ranger who did several tours in the sandbox. We sat and prayed with him through some flashbacks as he held onto his support dog. He was triggered by a revving car engine in the parking lot. During a flashback, there is nothing to “do” to fix it. Just be with, listen, pray (out loud, if he accepts that), and be patient. In that moment, your agenda goes out the window and you have a precious opportunity to open your heart to a wounded human being.

  15. You certainly open a “can of worms”. PTSD is not predictable and nobody knows if current treatments have any real or lasting benefits.

    I watched my best friend deal with it for decades and in the end he won by checking out. Problems are best avoided, but I can not turn my back on a fellow Vet. No good answers.

    My heart goes out to those who suffer, but you cannot deny that the are unpredictable and can be dangerous.

  16. Memorial Day lasts longer for me, as I age. I still witness the angry outbursts from my 88YO father, veteran of 3rd division in 1951-2. I used to keep a list of all the friends or comrades killed from 2001 onward, but stopped. But sadness and melancholia are different than committing violence. To my knowledge I was never shot at, but just rocketed, mortared, and IED’d during 2 tours in AFGN. I was ready to shoot but praise God never had to. To trained fighters, living in violence is more like riding a bicycle, but is most likely to be less than 1% of what we need to survive. The 99% involves living for a purpose. If you are living for God Almighty and loving others as we are ordered to do, there will be no blood.

    Trusting in God both helps me with the hypervigilance and keeps me doing my share, such as morning and bedtime security checks for the family. And trusting in God takes work. The Bible tells us to WORK at our salvation. And go to the word daily. Be proactive.

    It’s not so much the noise that triggers my reaction, but the low level vibration does, and rifle shots- even though I shoot regularly myself. And others who foolishly endanger people trigger me. But that is a good thing IMO, compared to those who express no need to prevent endangerment.

    God Bless

  17. 1st of the month in the small town where I live triggered one for me, busy on that day and a car stalled in front of me. That is all I will say.

  18. Informative article on how PTSD manifests itself. I work with two ex-soldiers who came back from SWA and now exhibit PTSD symptoms. It has many forms, and can start years after the harmful experiences. I don’t think the writer correctly identifies why treatment has been so slow coming. Funding for the VA comes from the politicians in Congress. Congress is happy to buy tanks and guns, but once a Soldier has served their usefulness to the politicians and elite they are mainly good for photo ops and good PR. Their healthcare costs are just a large expense. It also seems like since the Military went professional and all volunteer the politicians have been all too willing to send Soldiers into battle as the politicians and elite don’t have any family or friends at risk anymore.

  19. In the end the problem is that those who can deal with it do deal with it. Those that can be helped by talking and sharing experiences etc. are helped by these things. What you have left are the hard core PTSD problems and they are damned hard to help. Generally the comparison between that level of the PTSD problem and the addiction problem is a good comparison. You simply aren’t going to be able to talk them out of it. It might be their psychological makeup, it might be the seriousness of their trauma, it might be because they like the attention they get from acting up. Either way it doesn’t seem to matter, they are hard to treat, hard to live with and will sap all your strength and sympathy until you decide to leave them just to retain your own sanity.

    Very true and then you have the “Professional Victims Club”, who’s only interest is a free ride and a check. Be very careful of those who want to talk endlessly about “all their problems”!

  20. PTSD as we now call it was first studied in the modern sense during and after the War of Nothern Aggression,as one of the first examples of total war not based on genocide it was new. The psychological damage is still not well understood because it is still regarded as based in weakness of the sufferer. The only type of “therapy” that seems to be universal is to talk about it with those with similar experiences(air out the wounds).
    This damage is not only pesent in veterns but anyone who suffers a life altering event(crime,accident,natural event). Someone growing up in a violent situation,experiencing a hurricane,flood,volcano,fire or accident may experince this and not handle it well or mask the symptoms for years or longer. Knowing what this is and understanding the processes will be neccessary knowledge when TSHF,the ability to get a traumatised individual up and moving,dealing with it in the short,medium and longer term may make huge differences in long term survival.

  21. Autistic Prepper: Sometimes you just hit a nerve!

    It is absolutely AMAZING the spectrum of responses to this impossible problem, each heartfelt, each reflecting the responder’s individual personality, point of view and life experiences.

    Hearing from all of you was a blessing. You’ve started two songs swirling in my mind.
    One is from Kansas:

    “All we are is dust in the wind.”

    The other is from The Youngbloods:

    “Some may come and some may go. We shall surely pass,
    When The One who left us here returns for us at last.”

    I hang on tight to the second one.

  22. THANK YOU! This was a great article, and very much needed, (just look at the list of comments). This and the 2nd part have my vote for the 1st place. This hit very close to home as I was diagnosed with PTSD about a year ago. I started the process of getting treatment after my Pastor and best friend sat me down and had a talk with me. Both of them are also vets so they saw the signs in me that they see in the mirror regularly. We get together and talk often, checking on each other like no Doctor ever can. But speaking of Doctors, my experience at the VA has been mixed, the Doctors are fantastic because every one that I’ve worked with is a vet their self. They get it and they care. But when it comes to the rest of the folks at the VA all I can say is they are very suited to work at any area DMV. Long lines, lack of caring and a general disregard for fellow human beings.

    One of the best things that has happened over the last year is that my wife came to a “Family Group” meeting. She didn’t say much but hearing the other spouses say what she was thinking and hearing other vets say things that she has heard me say made all the difference in the world. We both now realize, we’re not alone in this, others are making progress having good days and bad ones but working through it together. This has changed our lives for the better. Thank you again for bringing this important topic up, God Bless.

  23. my wife wrote this so I feel the need to flesh it out some. I did 2 tours in the nam both in I corp. khe sahn in 67/68 and dong ha/ quang tri in 69. my homecoming was hurricane Camille and the devastation it caused. back home no one would hire a nam vet so I lost my wife and son because I couldn’t feed them . l finally lied about being a vet to get a job . I was hungry so I had to swallow my pride lucky for her she had a good family that loved her. when my employer found out I was a vet I was canned. that was this namvets welcome home. finaly things swung around but I and some high school friends and fellow vets became sick of seeing our brothers living under bridges we started base camp inc to side step some of the red tape of the va system as it was then. we didn’t know we were the first in the nation to begin this program. we refused to let any vet or future vet be treated as we had been. todays wecome homes for our vets makes this 71 year old g.I. feel we oldies may have bumped our fellow citizens back onto the road to believing in the goodness of living in a representative republic rather than a socialist based / biased world. god save our vets .they are our shield wall protecting our freedoms.

  24. What a powerfully emotional and touching article for me… I too have know several men with varying degrees of PTSD-mostly minor in comparison. Thank you for sharing your story with us all. The battle is rarely completely left on the battlefield. A more poignant statement would be hard to come by : “There are a lot of names on the wall that are not on the wall”. God Bless and keep all who have given so much. Our service men and women are always in my prayers.

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