I have been sadly aware of PTSD http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/post-traumatic-stress-disorder since this horrible war began, but nothing like when Chad was killed. I have watched some of his closets friends struggle with this (mostly in private) disease. I heard from a Veteran and friend today that he met several Gold Star Moms http://www.goldstarmoms.com/ that lost their sons (Marines) to suicide as a result of PTSD. That saddens me beyond words.
This friend of mine (to remain nameless as I didn't get his permission to use his name) is working to get a non-profit together to help these young men and women suffering with this disease. I know it takes time and a lot of red tape to get one started, but it's a start. It is truly a silent killer, I believe.
He did tell me of a couple of organizations that are out there currently to help such as RWB http://www.teamrwb.org/ and The Mission Continues http://missioncontinues.org/, but these guys can't do it alone. There are too many of our men and women suffering out there and we as a Nation need to be concerned and care enough to get involved.
Last night I saw a very cool story about a band "Band of Brothers" http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-57611639/band-of-brothers/ where a rock and roll legend, Roger Walters of Pink Floyd, saw a need and understood or believed that music can be a healer and pulled together a group of wounded warriors to great this band. These guys are amputees, double amputees, triple amputees, and so on. They either play an instrument or sing or both. I encourage you to check them out. It is an amazing story and will give you chills and maybe even cause a little "awesomeness" to leak out of your eyes when you hear their story and see what the healing power of music is doing for these guys. Thank you, Roger Walters, for having a vision and making a difference.
I wish I could take each and every military member suffering with PTSD http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/post-traumatic-stress-disorder and wrap my arms around them and tell them we are truly here for them. That is the very least we can do for these fine men and women who sacrifice and endure so much for us. Make it more personal if you have to. They have sacrificed, endured, and seen more horrific things than a person (especially with most of these being 18 to early to mid 20's) should have to experience in a lifetime for ME. They did this for ME and YOU! We should all be asking ourselves, what can I do for THEM!
I challenge you to get outside your comfort zone and be willing to offer a helping hand. It doesn't have to cost you anything, but a little time a hug or a smile or a conversation. I believe we are all capable of doing that.
Something I think about at times like this is when I hear or see people get so emotional when those commercials about sick or abused animals come on TV and yet they might hear a commercial or hear someone speak of PTSD and it's as though no words were spoken. That bothers me. I'm not saying everyone does this, but I have seen my fair share of those that do and that is difficult for me.
I pledge to be one of the ones that will step out of my comfort zone and offer a hand no matter what that might be if I am at all in a position to do so. It might just be a kind word or paying for a meal or better yet, just listening.
If you are a member of the military or have a loved one who is/was and are suffering from PTSD and you are reading this, you can reach out to me and I will listen and do anything I can to help you or steer you in the right direction. If you are a mom who has lost a child in this war regardless how, I am willing to listen and be a support for you.
These young men and women have burned a place in my heart that will never go away and as long as there are those suffering with this terrible disease or someone who has lost a child or loved one in this horrific war, I will always be here to listen and offer what I can.
Lord, please be with each and every member of our Military at home or abroad and give them the physical and mental strength to face each day. Lord, also be with their families and close friends that walk these steps with them and give them the peace and understanding they need to encourage and support them in this honorable job they have chosen to do on our behalf. Amen.