First, let me start off by saying that I am so very thankful that men and women fought so hard for our freedom. To know so many soldiers died while fighting that battle, is devastating. I wish I could personally thank each person for being braver, stronger, smarter than myself.
Then I think about my dad. About my cousins. My grandpas. All who fought in war and survived war and I can’t help but be a little pissed. A cousin and my dad have been formally diagnosed with PTSD. One of my grandfathers left war as an alcoholic that plagued him until his death.
The most bravest people in my world left war with invisible wounds. Wounds that our VA hospitals are ill equipped to deal with. My dads PTSD was so severe at one point that we started consulting inpatient treatment centers. Guess how difficult it is to find a VA hospital for inpatient PTSD. Why isn’t millions of dollars are not invested into soldier PTSD?
It should be assume that everyone coming out of war has PTSD and should be treated accordingly. It has to become so routine in the healthcare system to treat wartime soldiers for PTSD that all stigmas attached to mental health, are gone.
My dad’s symptoms have improved so much. He was never able to go to inpatient treatment. He was placed on a waiting list and the director of the program told me something that will always haunt my dreams.
“We prioritize Gulf War/War on Terror survivors. Because suicide rates amoung this population is insurmountable”
Because men and women who come home from war now, come home with PTSD so severe that they choose to end their lives. They fight and make it home only to die at their own hand. And here I sit. In my safe, comfy bed. My heart hurts for them, for my loved ones, for those suffering.