THE EFFECTS OF PTSD
by Jake Alarid
A father and mother seeking help for their veteran son at a local veteran’s chapter, give a detail testimonial of their everyday experience with their sons Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Parent’s testimonial: Our son went to Iraq 4 years ago. He served four years in the United States Marine Corps and was deployed three times to Iraq. He has been home one year and he is not the same son we sent to the USMC. He married before he joined the service and by the time he was deployed to Iraq he and his wife were the proud parents of a baby son. By the time he was discharged he and his wife had three children.
During his deployment our son was injured when an IED exploded while he was in a personal carrier and his best friend was killed. Our son suffered head and body injuries but did not seem to be physically hurt and continued combat duty.
Today our son is home with his family and all the immediate family is concerned about his actions and reactions. His anger disposition is such that it affects his children ages six, four and two. He has not worked since he returned so his wife has had to work to help support the family. On a daily basis the children call grandma urging her to come over because daddy is upset and acting irrational. His wife has tolerated the spousal abuse and tries to work with him to calm his anger. He has flashbacks to some of the events that happened while he was in combat and has more than once stated that he and everyone would be better off if he was dead.
While we have tried for him to get medical treatment from the Veterans Administration he is in denial and rejecting any treatment because he feels that there is nothing wrong with him. Through the help of a local veteran’s chapter we have convinced him to go see a Veterans Service Officer at the Veterans Hospital to get help.
Fellow veterans, this scenario is happening every day all over the United States. Veteran organizations and community based organizations have to be more pro active in helping identify these veterans that need help before their actions become violent.
Recently we have learned through the media of veterans that have committed violent crimes. These veterans had exhibited behavior actions that could have probably been addressed and prevented a violent action. Some times what the media reports is out of character which does not address the real cause of these actions.
We need veteran organizations and community based organizations working together with local, state, and federal government to have workshops addressing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the effect is has on the veteran, his family and the community. Organizations that have yearly conferences should make sure that they address this issue at their conferences and that these workshops are announced ahead of time to attract the intended veteran and family.
When we send our troops to war, they serve with honor putting their lives on the line for our country. When they return home they deserve their benefits that they were promised when they enlisted.