24 Mar

A Step Back For Troops With PTSD

                                       

UPDATE: Welcome Michael Yon sycophants. Yet another example of a man who has lost it by creepily digging into my past writings. He’s like an obsessive stalker and just “can’t quite me.”  

Anyone that has followed my blog knows that I am passionate about helping to remove the stigma of PTS and PTSD. When I was first diagnosed (after years of denial), I still didn’t really want to accept it. Honestly, I broke down into tears because now I would have to wear that label like a scarlet letter. I still had the mentality that it was a weakness.

For the benefit of those that are new to my writings, let me try and sum up for you what led to my diagnosis. I was a part of the ground assault into Iraq. From about the time I crossed the border into Iraq at 2359 on March 19, 2003, I took part in sustained and heavy combat operations. Just a few days into the war, I was injured, but ambulatory and was treated with pain medication. Part of my duties involved searching dead bodies after the battle for intelligence. I saw innocent civilians used as human shields – and killed as a result. I saw people obliterated into a cloud of red mist and chunks of meat. I saw guys that had been executed at point blank. I’ve had people die in my arms as I tried to save them, both friendly and enemy. I even saw puppies feasting upon the remains of dead Iraqis. I never took pictures of dead bodies if I could help it, but I did try to at least capture this particular scene without showing the gruesome details:

Bottom line is that I experienced sights and smells that no human being should ever have to experience. They will never leave me. I smell them when I’m awake and see them when I sleep. But, I started a blog to deal with those experiences in a positive way. I refused to let PTSD get the best of me and did the best to cope with in my own private way. Eventually, I could no longer hold it in. Many people around me, including my wife, were urging me to seek help for something I didn’t want to admit was there.

Since 2009 when I went public about my private hell, I’ve worked hard to help General Chiarelli in his effort to remove the stigma of PTSD within the force. Troy and I had him on our show to talk about these efforts and for the first time, I admitted I had a problem. I vowed to seek help and did just that.

I can honestly say that the Army, at least, has made great strides in removing this stigma. There are programs all over the place that Soldiers can use to seek help. If one doesn’t work, the Soldier has more than a few other options to choose from. If you ever hear a Soldier say that the Army doesn’t care or doesn’t do anything for PTS sufferers, he’s either lying or just ignorant. I’ve been through numerous programs, picking pieces out of each one that helps me cope with my inner demons. Perhaps one of the best I’ve used is called the Strong Star program. Nothing else was helping me deal with my feelings of survivor’s guilt and anxiety like this program did. Group therapy helped me get out the things that I couldn’t discuss with anyone else but were eating me alive from the inside out.

The problem, as I see it, is that while the Army has done a GREAT job of removing the stigma of PTS within the force, it doesn’t do much good when we are outside the sphere of influence of the Army – the civilian sector. Because of our wonderful media *snark*, there is a prevailing wisdom that PTS causes troops to go nuts, kill people, rob banks, beat their spouse, etc. That is just outright false and even if an element of truth lies in those actions, it’s such a small minority as to be inconsequential. We know what we’re doing. PTS and PTSD does NOT make me want to rob banks. Yeah, sometimes I get the urge to want to put a lethal stranglehold on some people, but no sufferer is so “out there” that they can’t process and filter those thoughts out of their minds. We are responsible for our own actions, just not necessarily our own emotions.

So, with our media doing such a great job stigmatizing PTSD troops as deranged freaks, the general populace hears “PTSD” and get scared. I experienced this first hand during my battle with the Huntsville School System in Alabama. When I got upset at how my kids’ school was dealing with the issue of mandating school uniforms, I got upset. Parents didn’t have a voice in the decision and when I tried to assert my parental and taxpayer rights to register a complaint, I was angry not because the school had completely usurped us as parents, but I was angry because I had PTSD. School officials were quick to feign “fear” and imagined “threats” in my opposition. I began getting shadowed by school security and police officers every time I visited the school. The rest is well known what happened.

It was the first time I doubted my decision to go public with my struggles with PTS. Today, I found another reason for Soldiers to hide their issues: the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

Today, I went to the DMV (formally called the Texas Department of Public Safety) to renew my driver license. In Texas, your license is good as long as you are on active duty UNLESS you reside in the state. I learned that earlier this week trying to get on post with an “expired license.” Because my license was technically expired, I couldn’t renew it online and had to go in person to renew. Renewals typically only require a short questionnaire and a few dollars forks over to the clerk. Some of the questions are very personal and have nothing to do with one’s ability to drive.

They make you identify your race – its not optional. Even though I left that block blank, she took it upon herself to label me “white.” Then there are questions about your psychiatric history. They want to know if you are taking psychiatric medications, or have seen a psychiatrist in the last 2 years. Well, I do both. I am on an anti-depressant and I see a psychiatrist as needed, but definitely within the past 2 years. I could have lied very easily, but I look at this as an official document and I don’t want to go to jail for falsifying a legal document. Besides, it’s only PTSD right? Wrong.

Upon reviewing the sheet of paper, I was asked additional clarifying questions.

“What medications are you taking?” Celexa, Vicodin, and Ambien at night.
“What were you seeing psychiatrist for?” PTSD.
“Are you still under psychiatric care?” Yes, but not on a regular basis.
“How often would you say?” About once a quarter I’ll go in for a checkup or more often if I need to.

I’m then handed asked to sign a piece of paper that someone will use to determine if I’m fit to drive. I was given a short pink piece of paper (so that it stands out in my file, of course) that asked more detailed questions about my PTSD. When was I diagnosed? Last time I saw a doctor? blah, blah, blah. But, this wasn’t the worst part.

I then noticed that she had gotten some paperwork that indicated I would be taking the driver tests for both my car and motorcycle. The clerk confirmed my suspicions when she asked if I wanted to just take the driving test or if I wanted to take both the driving and motorcycle test (I have both endorsements on my license). I told her I didn’t think I was required to take a driving test since it was renewal and asked I had to take it because I have PTSD. She said yes and that I would also have to retake the driving test for both car and motorcycle.

I then asked if I had brought my 90-year old grandmother in to renew her license if she would be required to take the exam and driving test. She said that as long as she seemed to be able to walk and could physically drive, she would not. “But, Soldiers with PTSD do?”

“Yes, sir. We don’t like it either, but have no choice.”

Do you think that this is going to help Soldiers come forward to seek treatment? They will be faced with a choice: lie to the DMV and hide their diagnosis or be treated differently than everyone else renewing their license! It’s a utter shame and counter-productive to removing the stigma and convincing troops to seek treatment. And I’m pissed! Not because I have PTSD, but because this is a discriminatory policy.

I immediately called my state senator and made them aware of this atrocity. His aide was equally upset and would look into it immediately. I trust him because he helped me submit legislation that would exempt active duty troops from paying additional sales taxes on vehicles purchased while assigned in another state.

If you live in Texas, I urge you to contact your state representative and senator and tell them what YOU think about this policy. Not US representative or senator, but your state one.

P.S. I passed both the driving and motorcycle tests, missing only one question each: one about the fines for underage drinking (which has nothing to do with driving) and one about amphetamine use fines. I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs, so I don’t know and don’t care. Those fines will NEVER apply to me. Tomorrow, I get to pretend I’m a child again and drive my car and motorcycle through a little obstacle course to determine how PTSD has ruined my ability to drive!

Here’s a video made for a local band here in Killeen. The lead singer is an OIF veteran. The band is called 7 Years Today.

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This entry was posted in Military and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Thursday, March 24th, 2011 at 2:05 pm
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27 Responses to A Step Back For Troops With PTSD

  1. Nan G says: 1

    How frustrating and unnecessary.
    I certainly wish you the best.
    Maybe you can get this discriminatory practice ended.

    My dad was a great driver who never got tickets.
    But he had whatever PTSD was called after WWII and Korea.
    He never talked about it to me but it happened after he was tasked with ”clearing caves” on Pacific Island shores.
    He (and the others who did the same work) cleared those caves with flame throwers.
    Even though it was a ”him or me” situation it didn’t seem right to him to use a flame thrower on people, even the enemy.
    So, years later it haunted him into prolonged silences.
    He was an incredibly stoic man after the wars.
    Apparently (I have no personal knowledge) he was very fun-loving and outgoing before his service.

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  2. John Cooper says: 2

    CJ–

    What Texas did you just wasn’t right (or “raht” as we say here in NC). I hope your Senator can get this unjust law changed.

    I’m 64 now, but I figured out where the “mental illness” profession was coming from forty years ago. I was a nuclear power plant worker when they brought in the shrinks to insure all us workers were “mentally stable”. It was pure BS. Texas law (and similar laws elsewhere) is just a scam by the psychological/psychiatric industry and enforced by the state. It’s fascism, pure and simple.

    Have you ever noticed that those shrinks *never* find anything *right* with you…only something wrong? Then, of course, – once you’ve been branded by having some undefined “illness” that nobody can define – they prescribe their own services to “heal” you. It’s a fascist scam to control you.

    You should read some Thomas Szasz. Start with The Myth of Mental Illness. Also, be sure to read The Rosenhan Study, empirical proof that the “psychiatric profession” is unable to tell the sane from the insane.

    You are not insane, my friend. You are a hero, whether you think so or not.

    I was in the Army during Vietnam, but (thankfully) never saw combat. Having lived on a farm at one time and having butchered animals, I can imagine – in a lesser sort of way – the horror of what you’ve been through. Gutted animals can be dismissed in one’s mind as “only animals”; Gutted human beings are another thing altogether. One can’t forget something like that.

    My father in law saw that stuff in WWII, but would never talk about it. Thank you for telling us what you’re going through.

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  3. Nan G says: 3

    John Cooper gives some great advice.
    Read Thomas Szasz.
    His books are right on the money.
    The Myth of Mental Illness is carried in most libraries.
    It is a classic.

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  4. Yippie21 says: 4

    CJ, I’m a fellow Texan and a vet ( from the 80′s) and just want to say thanks for airing this. File this under unintended consequences. I’m sure there was a great rationale when this policy was drawn up. In reality, it shames and makes others rationalize hiding their troubles. I’ll make the call you ask for.

    I appreciate and honor your service. I like reading your posts here at FA. I pray that your mind is eased and your awful memories blurred so that you may walk umongst us and feel normal and valued. Alas, that is easier typed and expressed than reached. I cannot fathom the demons you have to bear, but know I am grateful that you bear them with strength and clarity and have sought out the help that was available. I’m grateful that I was lucky and not called on to bear witness to the harshness and finality of war. So I honor you and pray for you and your family. I pray too for the thousands who also bear your burden.

    Thank you.

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  5. Randy says: 5

    That is exactly why reserve component troops do not truthfully complete the post deployment medical forms.

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  6. Dawn says: 6

    I am married to a Vietnam vet with PTSD. So far we have not had a problem with this. He does get depressed and is on medication. My Dad used to cry about WWII, so does my uncle. Dad was in the Pacific theater (why do they call it that?) – War with Japan. /He did not talk about until after my Mom died in 2004. My uncle was not in that war, but had to pull the bodies out of the caves and dispose of them. He was in Vietnam and Korea. My Grandpa was in WWI. I think they called it shell shock back then. He did not talk about it until he was in his 80s too. Sad the effect war has on the men we love! Thank you for your service, your courage and your honesty. Please continue to educate people.

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  7. MataHarley says: 7

    Thank you for bringing this again to our attentions, CJ. A subject near and dear to our FA hearts after our loss of ChrisG. I know all of us would appreciate any and all additional posts you put here as constant reminders they we, at home, need to watch the backs of our soldiers once they leave the trenches.

    Also, if you can keep us updated on the latest resources for those are are in trouble after returning home, we’d appreciate it. I haven’t checked up on ASK lately to see how they are faring with their efforts.

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  8. jj says: 8

    Just wait till combat vets can’t own guns because of their “mental issues”.

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  9. CJ says: 9

    At least when they try it, I can blame my “mental disorder” for the dead body lying before me for trying to take them!

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  10. CJ says: 10

    @MataHarley: It still brings tears to my eyes what happened to Chris. My wife just asked me what’s wrong and I was remembering the month Chris took his life. A lot of people don’t know this, but last June I almost made the same mistake he did. I laid there on the floor at the end of my bed, curled in the fetal position trying come to grips. I had lost three grandparents within a month of each other, I had stopped taking my medications, I was separated from my family because of the school issue, and others stresses all combined into a near-death feeling of desperation.

    I could have done it easily. I was literally within arms reach of two pistols, multiple rifles, and a shotgun – all of which I keep loaded for the unsuspecting idiot that thinks it’s a good idea to break into my house. But, I didn’t pick up a gun. I picked up the phone and called a friend. Then I called my mom. Then I called my wife. All my mom heard was her son crying on the other end of the phone and wondered if that would be her last conversation. Picking up that phone saved my life.

    Had I followed through on those absolutely selfish feelings I had, I would have died about the same time Chris did. I didn’t realize that then. The very next day, I went to the Chaplain and he escorted me to get help.

    I don’t hide what happened to that night. As a matter of fact, after a Soldier in our unit committed suicide I asked the Brigade Commander if I could address the troops. Fighting back tears, I told my story about what I had tried to do just three months prior. I explained the importance of picking up the phone. NOTHING IS THIS WORLD IS WORTH TAKING MY LIFE OVER! My mind played tricks on me, but in the end I was stronger. Since that meeting with troops, I’ve had four Soldiers come to me and I’ve approached two others I could tell were hurting. Who knows what may have happened to those Soldiers had I not been here to share that night?

    It’s been a rough two years and sometimes I wonder if admitting I have problems made them worse. It just made me more aware. One of my buddies from group – a Vietnam veteran – picked me up one day after a particularly rough session. I was still a little emotional having shared my worst combat experience for the first time openly. I apologized for crying like a baby and said something that I’ll never forget: “You don’t cry like a baby. You cry like a man! There’s no shame in that.”

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  11. oil guy from alberta says: 11

    DONT CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA. Tape a big 4by 4 piece of paper on the wall. Plan it out. In time you could replace Perry in Texas. You need some goals.

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  12. blast says: 12

    Thanks for this post.

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  13. joetote says: 13

    Great post C.J! My son-in-law and I were talking about this before he went back to Afghanistan last week. He knows so many who are suffering now. My heartfelt thanks for bringing this issue up!

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  14. John Cooper says: 14

    CJ–
    First of all, being “stressed” after seeing human bodies blown to bits and animals feeding on the carcasses is not “a mental disorder”. It’s not a “mental disorder” to find killing other people abhorrent, if that’s what you had to do. A real mental disorder would be seeing and doing that stuff and not being upset. I think it’s wise for the military to provide someone to help any soldier deal with the shock of combat, but one is taking a serious risk by speaking with a psychiatrist or psychologist. They should have warned you.

    Young soldiers don’t realize that once the professional head shrinkers have gotten their clutches on them, they are stigmatized forever. As you have learned, you now have a record of “psychological problems” which will follow you around forever. For example, ever think about getting your pilot’s license? One of the questions on the medical application is, “Have you ever in your life had mental disorders of any sort; depression, anxiety, etc”. Checking yes wouldn’t necessarily disqualify you, but you would have to spend a bunch of time and money proving that you are now “safe”, when there never was anything wrong with you in the first place.

    I’m not familiar with obtaining a CCW permit in Texas, but you can sure as hell bet that there is a similar question on the application. How absurd is that? You’ve been handling firearms for years while fighting for this Country, and when you return home, America thanks you by rescinding your constitutional rights and turning you into someone who “needs to be watched”. It’s really shameful and frankly, outrageous.

    Did the Army disclose that you were signing a deal with the devil when they sent (advised/offered) you to see a shrink? Hell no they didn’t.

    …and what’s the point in making a returning soldier take a driving test anyway? Does the DMV in Texas now have people on it’s staff who claim to be able to identify people with mental problems? I seem to recall that Loughman kid in Tucson – who was totally, nucking futz – was somehow able to drive just fine to his shooting spree. I guess his driving examiner mustn’t have noticed his “condition”. /sarc

    I freely admit my bias: Ever since my nuclear power plant days, I’ve developed an extreme dislike of psychiatrists and psychologists. Sure, the one(s) you talked to may have helped you work through a bad situation, but so would have a chaplain or even a drinking buddy. Psychiatrists are quacks. As a profession, they’re basically just rent-seeking witch doctors who – in controlled, scientific studies – have demonstrated their inability to tell the sane from the insane (See: The Rosenhan Study linked above).

    Shrinks don’t want to heal you, they want to control you, just like shamen and witch doctors in a primitive society. Apparently, many psychiatrists realize what phonies they are because they have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession. Did you know you were opening up your soul to a guy who is statistically closer to the edge than you were?

    Have you ever noticed that these “mental healers” never find anything right with you…only something wrong? The point, of course, is to induce guilt so they can control you. Then, of course, – once you’ve been branded as having some “illness” – that neither they nor anybody can define – they prescribe their own services to “heal” you. Usually they drug you up and then you’re doubly stigmatized. I’m sorry, but they’re not helping you – they’re using you.

    Their so-called “ethical standards” notwithstanding, almost nobody goes to see a psychiatrist voluntarily. Realizing this, the APA has lobbied governments at all levels for decades now to force people to use their services. First, they got “mental health services” written into state insurance mandates so now everyone has to pay for them whether they need them or not. In the late 70s, they got their services written into the NRC regulations governing the operation of nuclear power plants. They’ve forced their way into our school system and have managed to label a generation of completely normal kids with some phony “disorder” and put them on drugs. Do the parents of those kids realize that when their kids grow up they will always be stigmatized with some phony-baloney “disorder”?

    I am sad (but not surprised) to see that the APA has foisted their rent-seeking witch doctors onto the U.S. military – supplanting the counselling services formerly provided by chaplains and ones’ buddies. Of course the chaplains never prescribed drugs to “solve” a soldier’s problem.

    My only advice is this: “Don’t accept any guilt that you haven’t earned.”

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  15. Missy says: 15

    Can’t begin to understand the heavy burden you have been carrying and it hurts to see this has happened to you CJ. Being who you are, not only have you taken the bull by the horns for yourself, you have the strength, the heart and the keen insight to be able to help others of America’s finest individuals, your band of brothers. We can never thank you enough, you are among an elite group that have blessed this nation. Keep strong, we are proud of you!

    BTW, you should have least broke one of their pencils or ripped the corner off one of those pink sheets.

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  16. MataHarley says: 16

    @CJ, I’d wager I speak for a lot of us when I say we are beholding to you for reaching for a phone, and not your arsenal. Losing our magnificent military is a “thinning of the herd” that is NOT beneficial.

    It strikes me that there is a two pronged campaign that needs to be waged…

    1: Reaching discharged soldiers.

    And one of the things that I’d really like to know is how, in that highly distressed state, did you decide to reach for a phone instead of a gun? Was it because of a lot of exposure to those treatment program options you mention? Because you knew help was out there? May be hard to recall, but I’d sure like to know what the tipping point was that made you grab a phone. Another soldier needs that same information arsenal to help him or her thru their next moment of distress.

    2: Legislative changes.

    Obviously it’s counterproductive to punishing soldiers that seek help. One has to wonder if the DMV has rules for anyone with what someone classifies as a medical mental disorder… not only PTSD. i.e., is this equal application of discrimination against those under pyschiatric care? Or just targeting our military personnel?

    To triage priority, I’d say the first campaign is to reach those soldiers who many not know, or trust, the many avenues of help is most important. If so many take the path of Chris, the second campaign for legislative perspective is not needed. And I do wonder how many either do not trust, or remain unaware of these programs.

    But most importantly, I wonder how many of them feel they do not *need* these programs, and view it as a sign of weakness.

    But on that note, I find myself 100% in agreement with @John Cooper above. Frankly, I’d be more worried about you if you were not haunted by your experiences. Now that would be a serious mental disorder….

    Another observation, if I may. In this world of “social media”, it’s quite obvious that this rather cold and impersonal world is not conducive to those in a serious moment of big trouble. You didn’t reach for your computer keyboard and log onto Facebook. You didn’t Tweet someone. You didn’t email or Linked-In anyone. What you needed was a human voice, a body, a sound… something personal and real… in your moment of need. I sometimes am wary of this new version of social interaction.

    Lastly, I cannot say how proud I am to have you here. It is somehow fitting, and a sad tribute, to have you enter FA after our loss of ChrisG. I suspect he would be very pleased… as are we all.

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  17. blast says: 17

    Hey CJ, I normally don’t offer this type of info through the internet to people I don’t know, but have you heard of Rapid Eye Movement Therapy? I was not a candidate for this therapy since I have periodic seizures from TBI, but I heard a lot of good things about it a few years back

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  18. John Cooper says: 18

    Correcting my previous post, it was Loughner, not Loughman. Maybe I shouldn’t have used him as an example at all since he took a taxi to the Safeway on the day of the murders.

    Adding to my previous rant on psychologists: If they were truly concerned about the welfare of their patients, they would help people in need anonymously. As it is, all records are filed under your name, DoB, and SSAN. Not only that but the patient can’t view the those records or make copies unless the psychologist/psychiatrist agrees. The APA goes so far as to recommend that psychologists keep two sets of medical records to avoid the HIPAA rules requiring doctors to provide copies of their reports to patients.

    Also psychological records aren’t considered “medical records” under OHSA and many other federal programs. This comes into play when one’s employer claims that a worker is “mentally unstable”. The poor employee can’t even see the justification for that charge. The shrinks claim this is “for the protection of the patient”, but it’s really for the protection of the quacks and the employer.

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  19. rich wheeler says: 19

    CJ THANK YOU

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  20. CJ, hi, I stand with John Cooper allegations, and If I can suggest that you wont have that problem all your life, that is the point that is the most scary and why some commit suicide, If they only knew that civiliens with psyciatrists included, and bankers ,governments leaders presdents of companys and COUNTRYs, name it, have the problem, but they conceale it, while the military dont, and It would be hard to hide of course, but over the years, you will see some people or hear that they just snap,
    they had met a time of no return and their brain gave them the strong jolt, that brain is a marvelous being if I can call it so; the fact that you reacted is a proof that it will heal, but you have to be fair with
    that brain, give him some times to heal you, realyse how awsome he is, how pwerfull he can heal you,
    give him some soft musics the old timer bands ,he will like it when you lay down put that music only soft music and fall asleep on it ,oh you cannot sleep? okay give it time stay there awake, don’t get up, IT WILL TAKE the time that your brain decide, and slowlyer than the pills but you will be heal by your brain alone
    try it I hate to say let go so ever slowly the medication as time goes, very slowly never in one shot, give a year, it goes faster than you think,

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  21. CJ ,me again to say, that it’s good to write as you do on your post diffrent subjects, those militarys who try this, must write their whatever come to mind every so and so days, nobody is pushing ,do it on your own time but do it, even when it’s unbearably awfull, when the healing has come they just tear it apart and throw it well shredded,

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  22. Randy says: 22

    CJ, there is none of the guys I was in Iraq with who do not have some issues. Most play them down and few reported their issues during the medical portion of the out briefing. They just wanted to get home. Unfortunately, home didn’t solve all of the problems. Only discussions and support from others who were there seems to help.

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  23. JohnC says: 23

    I also suffered from PTSD but I ended up turning to alcohol for relief , when I stopped drinking and started working the 12 steps all of my symptoms have disappeared. YMMV but its worth a shot.

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  24. MATA, hi, there is a thought that come to mind, IT’s about those who are asking to come back, to retire after many years of service, I’m sure they don’t ask this just for fun, because the bond between them are so strong, they would stay, but deciding to retire is most of the time because they had enough, their brain is sending messages on a lower key and they get the weard feeling that they must go, so why don’t the top military in command don’t pay attention,to those call from a soldier not ready to open up his emotions to anyone, instead of sending them to more returned on the warzone that special kind of warzone give me the impression that the COMMANDER IN CHIEF IS WILLING TO WEAR OF THE TROUPS, I’T IS INSANE WAR TO LAST THAT LONG, they are soldiers gone there in a HELL ZONE NOT ABLE TO WIN BY KILLING THE ENNEMIES, force to be restrained, this is a psycological slawther of the troops, they are getting sick of it, with reason to be, NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS WOULD DEMAND SUCH FROM THE FINE MEN AND WOMAN WHO ARE THE TOP AMERICANS OF THIS NATION, they demand a releif so help them send those back to recover before they are BURNED UP, anyone would be BURN UP QUITE FASTER IF THEY WHERE IN THEIR SHOES,
    CJ sorry for the CAPS, letters, I did it again, but I cannot undo what I wrote and write it the same way, bye

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  25. dorothy healy says: 25

    I went to a pre- deployment this weekend with the Blue Star Mothers. One of the mothers in my group told me the unit deploying had been her son’s unit, (2 times to Iraq). They were going to A-stan this time. She told me not one of his friends with whom he deployed was not an alcoholic.

    my son is at Bliss now. I want to know how I can prepare to support him when he comes back a mess.
    My daughter witnessed a gang attack in a bar last Sept. SHE has PTSD. nightmares and sleeplessness. What is going to happen to my boy?

    This is why what you do is so important, C.J.

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  26. dorothy healy says: 26

    An you know something, CJ? It is your compassion for friend or foe, your humanity that signals that pain. America IS better than any other country.
    We have men like you.

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  27. Kalidorae says: 27

    Sorry to say your fight has only begun here. I am in the same boat, even though until today I thought I was alone. I renewed my license back in July and had to go thru the same crap as you with the forms and tests… A couple weeks later I received a packet telling me that I had to get a medical evaluation done to determine if I was safe to drive. I had 60 days to get this completed and after 50 days and 4 Drs telling me no because they didn’t do that or because they didn’t have enough time to see me to determine if I had any other problems I was able to get it filled out. It should be noted that none of these Drs said they had even heard of these forms. I was even taken around the Temple PTSD clinic (which is the main one for Central TX) and was told by all of them as well that they had never heard of nor filled this packet out. I think the latest Dr still thinks I did something to provoke this. Of course after fuming the hour ride home I had to call the TX Dept of Health, which is in charge of sending these packets out and then determining if the driver is fit, to try and find out how old this practice is and why if no Dr has heard of it why I was being singled out? Well the nice lady I talked to said that this has been going on since the mid 90s and that everyone that is diagnosed with PTSD must have to forms done. Okay, I asked her why is it that the main PTSD clinic in TX has never heard of these forms? Why did I have to go to four Drs to finally get one to even look at it? The only answer I got was ” I don’t know sir and many VA clinics will not even fill them out saying it is against their policy.” This of course did nothing for my mood so I asked who I could talk to that had a better answer than “I don’t know?” She told me to call DPS since it was their mandate.
    I made that call and after multiple transfers and being on hold I was told the same answer of I don’t know and maybe I should talk to Dept of Health since it was their packet and DPS never sees them. I honestly don’t know why I am bothering since there is not a single person that us going to be able to tell me anything ….

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