Today on Veterans Day, we honor the generations of brave men and women of this nation for their contribution to the world and country. For me, it is a time to pay tribute to our fallen heroes, and the thousands that continue to fight to preserve our founding principles and freedom. I remember the times my husband would be returning from a tour. I was filled with pure excitement and pride watching the USS Ranger aircraft carrier lined with sailors return home to San Diego. We celebrated their homecoming with parades, ceremonies and other festive celebrations. Each return was followed by a readjustment period for the family, but thousands of these brave soldiers would soon suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).
PTSD stories in the local and international news seem to be increasing at a steady rate. This past Thursday’s gunfire rampage occurred at a time of stress for the armed services already plagued by two wars. Obama’s visit honors the thirteen Americans that became the newest casualties of war, this time on American soil. Devastatingly, the tragedy occurred at Fort Hood in Texas, at the exact place set up to help soldiers overcome combat stress issues, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Despite the fact Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, practiced for six years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, which included a fellowship in disaster and preventive psychiatry. It is said he was “pretty upset‚Äù about his upcoming oversees deployment, said to be in Iraq.
The weekend following, Colorado experienced an unexpected local act of violence at a sports bar in the resort town of Vail. The shooting ended in the tragic killing of a Carbondale man, according to The Denver Post article. Again, the suspect is a Vietnam War veteran who is on disability because of his “delayed severe and chronic symptoms‚Äù of PTSD.
I believe one of the best ways we can thank our veterans is to become a community that is educated and active in programs that provides consistent help to our brave veterans. With programs like Operation Healthy Reunions and upcoming movies like “Brothers‚Äù starring Natalie Portman, Tobey Maquire, and Jake Gyllenhaal that illustrates just a small piece of the broken puzzle we try to put back together with returning soldiers and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I believe we are heading in the right direction. To find out more information on symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and where you can find help go to my previous article “PTSD and Returning from the War Zone”.