A letter from a participant in the Iraq Vets PTSD Study:

A letter from a participant in the Iraq Vets PTSD Study:

I was a soldier…

and served my country faithfully for seventeen years.  During that time, I lost three wives, two children to watch grow, was sliced with a knife 4 times. I suffer from nightmares of burnt bodies, and I suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress.

After my medical discharge in 2003, I returned to West Virginia to find that my now ex-wife had become addicted to crack. I had no home, car, or anything to call mine.  Friends tried to help but unfortunately my pride would not allow for that.  While attending my first semester at Marshall University, I slept on benches for two months until I saved enough money to secure an apartment.

While in the service, I was a Staff Sergeant and held the positions of both squad leader and platoon sergeant.  After my separation, I was lost and unsure of the future.  I was depressed and at one point suicidal. My dreams are of burnt bodies talking to me and to this day the smell lingers in my mind causing me to vomit.  I don’t sleep for fear of dreaming and sometimes when I do fall to sleep; my final thought is will I wake in the morning or will all this finally be over.

Recently I participated in a study administered by Dr. Linda Geronilla (Marshall University) funded by the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare, that uses Energy Psychology to help.  I see the improvement within myself.  I have learned to control the vomiting, I’ve increased my sleep, and the anxiety attacks have lessened.  I hope that other vets will find help and do so faster than I did.  It took a long time for me to realize that asking for help does not make me weak.

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