Monday, November 14, 2016

Different Generations of Veterans Open Up About PTSD

Veterans open up about struggles with PTSD
Sonia Azad
November 14, 2016

Up to 20 percent of Veterans who served in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom; 12 percent of Gulf War veterans; and an estimated 30 percent of Vietnam veterans, in their lifetime. 
Ed Reith, Jess Johnson and Timothy Jackson are bound by brotherhood.

“Primarily, we're warrior mentality,” said Reith, who served in Vietnam. “You don't want to admit weakness."

The three men are veterans who are haunted by the troubles of healing after war.

“You can't concentrate,” explained Johnson, a cancer survivor who served as a combat medic during the Vietnam War. “All you're thinking about is your friend who died in your arms -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Johnson is intimately familiar with the horrors of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“I don't want to hear any noise, I want to be quiet, I don't want to meet new people,” recalled Johnson. “There's always a residual effect to post traumatic stress, but my ability to interact with people has improved tremendously.”

Reith, a retired staff sergeant, still fights tremors in his hands.

“Getting mad and throwing a knife through a table is not a normal reaction,” said Reith. “Getting mad and throwing a water bottle is not a normal reaction."
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