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.