Thursday, November 1, 2012

PTSD Iraq veteran becomes filmmaker to help others

Veteran Pursues Career in Filmmaking
ABC News
Oct. 31, 2012

Michael Chan's life changed when the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center hit close to his lower east side Manhattan home.

"It was pretty horrific. You could hear the fire ambulances on FDR Drive," Chan said in ABC's Stand Up For Heroes series. "I thought to myself, you know, I want to make a difference. I knew on my 18th birthday, I would enlist."

"I think it was more of a shock at first," he added. "I didn't really understand what was going on. But I knew that I had to learn quick."

While many of Chan's peers were pursuing a higher education, he joined the Marines. Chan served two tours in Fallujah, Iraq, where he served as explosive ordinance security, combat security detachment for the U.S. Army, artillery support for the Al Anbar province and provisional infantry on foot.

Chan served in Fallujah from April 2004 to April 2008, during some of the hottest moments the area experienced.

"I guess we were mentally prepared, but at the same time, it's different when you're actually there in the fight," he said.

Since returning home from duty, Chan suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
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