Showing posts with label PTSD Patrol. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PTSD Patrol. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

why I always do the videos from my garage

From PTSD Patrol
(Today's video is a long one to explain it to people who discover this on the new site. You may learn something too.)
You can read the post here on PTSDPatrol blog.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

How can music help you heal PTSD?

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
November 29, 2020

Oh, give me the beat boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away
Beginning to think that I'm wastin' time
I don't understand the things I do
The world outside looks so unkind
So I'm countin' on you to carry me through
If you haven't guessed by now, the feature video on PTSD Patrol is Dobie Gray Drift Away.

Hopefully by now, with all the music being shared, you've noticed how you mood does change, even if it is just for a little while. This is why music therapy works on PTSD. It takes your mind away from your problems and helps to teach your body to calm down again.

This is one of the best songs to explain that.
Remember, it is your life...get in and drive it. #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

go to PTSD Patrol for the rest of this

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Suicides end when others break their own silence

Miracles after attempted suicides prevented

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
May 17, 2020

Stories collected from Wounded Times

In 2007, Owen Wilson attempted suicide and it was big news, and spread around the world. At the same time, we were facing 948 attempted active duty suicides, along with 99 who lost their lives. It was also the year when many survivors faced charges. A female reservists was facing charges after she survived. She tired again, and again, she survived. The charges against her were dropped and her story showed that her mental health crisis had been pushed aside by her superiors.
"I Sat around numerous times with a .44 in my mouth. But for some reason, I just couldn't pull the trigger. I don't know why." said a 57 year old veteran who had attempted it three more times.
Not long afterwards reports of veterans attempted suicides had grown more than "patient count" in the VA. The eyeopener in this piece of news was the age groups who topped the numbers from 2000-2007. 20-24 year old attempts went from 11 to 47 per year. 55-59 year old attempts also went up from 19 to 117.

By April of 2008, the reports on attempted suicides were increased to 1,000 per month in the VA system.

And then something amazing started to happen. Veterans were talking about their own pain so that others would understand it is not all doom and gloom. 

Two years later, veterans were trying to do whatever they could to change the outcome and encourage veterans to seek healing instead of suffering. That is what Jeremiah Workman did as the recipient of the Navy Cross.
He went on to write "Shadow of the Sword: A Marine's Journey of War, Heroism, and Redemption"
read more here

Monday, March 23, 2020

Isolated veterans to have story time on PTSD Patrol

update and confession on the other delay.

update project delay due to camera issues.....

Story time coming to PTSD Patrol

PTSD Patrol
Cross Posted on Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 23, 2020

Four years ago, I wrote Residual War. It was the first fiction book I wrote as a way to tell some stories that were factual mixed with stuff my mind came up with.

Residual War: Something Worth Living For (Volume 1) Paperback – October 2, 2016
Heroes do not think. They react to someone in danger. The Army was Amanda Leverage's life and she was willing to die to save the two lives she ended up blaming for spreading misery and suffering. She never needed to think of why she was willing to die but needed help finding something worth living for. She found it within a group of outcast heroes with their own history of selfless acts being punished for what they did wrong but protected for what they did right. PTSD, survivors guilt, homeless veterans, dishonorable discharges, flashbacks, nightmares and yes, even suicides were part of their lives but so was redemption.
Since I was supposed to be starting an Out Post for female veterans, here in New Hampshire just before the COVID-19 virus hit, it has been very depressing for me. I was offered room at the local American Legion to meet, but it is too dangerous for everyone now.

Experts say that the worst thing a veteran with PTSD can do, is to isolate, but now it is more dangerous for you to be out, and even worse to be in crowds. I needed to think outside the box on this to give you some comfort and fill up some of your time. I'll be reading this book on video, with a bit of a twist to it. I am setting a timer of 3 minutes. Whenever it goes off, whatever word I am on, that will be the end of the video.

We will then play a game as to what that final word means to you. If the word is "and" reply back withy something like "me and" or "and then" or whatever you think about. Should get some interesting replies on that.

It will pick up on the next word in the next video. You can cheat since Amazon has it for free on Kindle and apparently, for whatever reason, you can also read it on their preview page for free.

I am also opening up my YouTube and Facebook pages so you can share your thoughts and to answer questions from 12:00 pm eastern to 1:00 when the first video goes up this week. You can always email me at too.

Check back tomorrow for the official announcement on PTSD Patrol when the first video will go up!

Please share this since word of mouth has been the only way this site was able to be viewed over 4 million times!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

What if Jesus did not ask for help?

Even Jesus Needed Help

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 6, 2020

Is needing help to heal PTSD still a sign of weakness to you? Too many believe it is, yet they do not consider it to be a wise thing to do. There is not much that can be accomplished by someone without someone else to help them, believe in them and be willing to stand by their side.

If you are suffering right now because you were willing to sacrifice your life for the sake of others, and struggling, there is something you need to be reminded of.

What if Jesus did not ask for help? The Son of God did ask for it many times.

First He asked Peter and Andrew.

Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee. He saw two brothers. They were Simon (his other name was Peter) and Andrew, his brother. They were putting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Follow Me. I will make you fish for men!” At once they left their nets and followed Him.

And He asked again
Going from there, Jesus saw two other brothers. They were James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were sitting in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus called them. At once they left the boat and their father and followed Jesus.
And He asked again,
read it here

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Time for more owls to teach crickets how to scream about healing PTSD

Crickets found microphones to share good news you can use. You can heal PTSD!

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 29, 2019

If you think that what you have heard about veterans committing suicide is useful information, think again. The only ones benefiting from it are the people raising funds for doing it. Everyone else is being reminded that others have given up, instead of learning how to fight back.

The help they needed to heal has been available for almost 4 decades, but the noise on social media is all about raising awareness that veterans are committing suicide while passing around a fictions number as if it is supposed to mean something. The only number that really means anything is the ONE who could not be reached in time to save them.

LADY MACBETH "I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry. Did not you speak?"

Time for more owls to teach crickets how to scream!

With my work on PTSD, it usually comes up at the strangest times. When I was with my family for Christmas, we got into a conversation about when my ex-husband tried to kill me. Not a very pleasant subject for what was supposed to be a joyous day, but it turned out to be a lesson on healing.

When the police took my ex out of the apartment somehow I knew it was just the beginning of a nightmare. Shock wore off and I went into survivor mode fully prepared to fight whatever he had in mind.

I had nightmares and flashbacks, mood swings and everything else that goes with surviving traumatic events like that. The thing that I could not overcome was paranoia.

My ex always drove muscle cars. I used to love that sound but it became torturous.It is the sound I heard when he violated the restraining order. It is the sound I heard when he would follow me on the road. It is the sound that caused panic whenever I heard it coming from another car.
read it here

Sunday, December 15, 2019

If you are right, giving up is wrong

If you are right, giving up is wrong

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 15, 2019
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” ―Dale Carnegie

When you know you are right about something, you fight to prove it. You do not give up on what is important to you. At least that is the way it is supposed to work, but sometimes, no matter how hard or how long you try, fighting can drain whatever hope you have left. But fighting is what keeps us moving forward.

When I moved to New Hampshire, I brought a truckload of misery with me. I did not notice I packed every rotten thing that happened there 1,600 miles away.
read it here

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Real help vs others helping themselves

Getting wrong kind of help worse than none

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 3, 2019

If you are wondering why I could not post on this site for a while, it became impossible to be upbeat and share anything encouraging when we were being tortured for trusting the wrong people.

There are people we think we can count on to help us get to where we want to go. It can be devastating to discover we were wrong.

My husband and I decided to sell our house in Florida so that we could move closer to our daughter in New Hampshire. We turned to "friends" we had known for 15 years to sell it. Worst mistake of our lives!

I found a buyers agent to help us in New Hampshire. Catherine Allen was a stranger turned into a blessing. Our house was not getting much attention and she took a look at the listing. Catherine said the pictures were the biggest part of the problem and so was the price.

When I told our "friend" what Catherine said, that was the last time she took my phone call and would not respond to emails. I had no clue what the hell was wrong with her but what made it worse was what it did to us personally knowing that "friends" would treat us like that. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

It is the reason I became a Chaplain back in 2008

The deepest dashboard

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
June 23, 2019

Why do responders suffer a deeper level of PTSD? Is it because they are exposed over and over again to traumatic events? Or is it because they have the "one time too many" hit them?

After decades of research, it became clear that for responders, it is more about the strength of their emotional core that makes causes the hardest hit.

It is the reason I became a Chaplain back in 2008. I trained to respond to responders knowing that the very thing inside of them causing them to take on those jobs, also caused them the greatest harm.

Oh, no, not all bad news, because that same emotional core holds the power to heal.
This video was done for National Guards and Reservist...the IFOC gave me an award for it because they were using it to help police officers and firefighters. It is called PTSD I Grieve for that reason.
read more here

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Moving is hard but staying is worse

Moving parts

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
June 16, 2019

Today is a hard post for me to put up. We are leaving Florida. After 15 years, hundreds of events and countless veterans coming into our lives, it is time to move back north.

Our daughter moved a few years ago and the last trip we took up there, it finally felt like Christmas for us. I miss our family and all the memories we had, as well as the change in seasons.

The heat and humidity down here is not good for someone with my health filming for hours in the sun most of the year.

That said, my life is like any vehicle with moving parts. There are changes as we all get older and we need to be prepared to stop being comfortable complaining about them. 

Each of us know when it is time to change but the trick is actually doing it.

My husband needed to let some people we know about the move before I went public with it. In this video, the move is mentioned, so I figured it was the best time to let readers know why things have been a bit out of whack for a while.

Between getting this house ready for sale and trying to find the area we want to move, it has been really draining my energy.

editors note

In this post and the video, Sgt. Dave Matthews and I are reading and discussing parts of the book For The Love of Jack, His War My Battle.
read more here

Sunday, June 9, 2019

PTSD Patrol For The Love of Jack

PTSD Patrol post went up late today because I was being interviewed for my book, For The Love of Jack.

If someone you love needs you to fight for them, this is the way to start being able to do it!

When your battle begins after their battle was supposed to end

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
June 9, 2019

The PTSD Patrol video is late today because I was doing an interview with Sgt. Dave Matthews for KLRN Radio show Remember the Fallen. It is heard on Thursdays at 8:00 pm eastern time.

We were talking about my book FOR THE LOVE OF JACK. This is part of the interview. If you want to hear the rest, you'll have to wait until  Thursday.

Next week, I'll have more of this.
go here to see the video

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Be encouraged by what you imagine to be possible with PTSD

You can break through to the other side of PTSD

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
June 2, 2019

It seems as if the stigma of PTSD is still being passed on to the point where veterans still do not understand it.

You are limited by what you imagine to be true instead of encouraged by what you imagine to be possible.

Imagine having a happier life! That is possible.

Imagine being able to overcome all the negative thoughts you have and replace them with achievable goals. 

It takes work but that work will only begin when you understand what PTSD is.

Post means after.

Trauma means wound.

Stress comes after surviving the shock of what happened.

Disorder comes when your mind and body are trying to adjust afterwards.

Any shame in surviving something that could have killed you?

No one walks away from that kind of trauma unchanged. The secret is, that you can change again. YEP! You are only stuck where you are because no one told you that you are in control over where you go. 

Just like getting into the vehicle you drive, (or getting on if you have a motorcycle) you control where you go from this point on.

You chose the destination and how you get there.

#BreakTheSilence comes when you are able to finally figure out that there is nothing within you that caused PTSD. IT HIT YOU! Any shame in being hit by a bullet? Any shame in getting blown up by a bomb? NOPE!

Time to stop finding all the excuses for using your right to remain silent because all that does is keep you suffering instead of healing.

Let's put it this way. Would I still be doing this after 37 years if I was ashamed of any of you?
read more here

Sunday, May 12, 2019

PTSD Patrol golf cart getaway

PTSD Patrol: Drive time toward divine

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
May 12, 2019

First, I want to say, Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there. We know what it is like to feel joy when our children are happy, and what it is like to grieve when they are hurting.

Right now there is a battle going on all across the country, but you may have only heard about one side doing more harm than good. They may have had good intentions, but much like warning Jesus gave about "fruits of their deeds" facts have proven raising suicide awareness equals what the Pharisees were doing.

Yet, while their intentions may have begun from God speaking to them to act, they chose to seek the glory by publicity stunts, having fun and doing pushups, instead of lifting up the spirits of the wounded and waiting for hope.

Others, like members of Point Man International Ministries have been doing the work God called them to do since 1984, quietly and humbly. Much like the 72 others Jesus sent with his Disciples no one knows our names but those in need see the results of our work.

Yesterday at the Veterans Reunion in Wickham Park I was trying to find members of Point Man and walking around in 90 degrees of heat. Not good for someone like me and I was drained to the point where I wanted to just faint. I had a hard time finding the strength to more one more step.

As I was looking for their tent, I came across some friends of mine with a golf cart. My buddy Jonnie drove me around, but it became clear that I would not be able to find them.

We drove past a tent that caught my eye. I wanted to go and talk to the man in the tent. You know what it is like when you are tugged to do something you may not really understand why you need to, but I have learned to just surrender to that strong pull a long time ago.

Gareth Burkinshaw was speaking to another man, and I looked at the brochures on his table. As I was reading, I thought he was on the right road and passionate about providing the hope that is so desperately needed.  

I pretended to not listen to what he was saying to the man, until he took his hand to pray for him. Couldn't help it, I had a smile take hold of my face.

We talked for a bit and I was even more sure of the fact he was about doing the work of not just offering hope, but helping those in need find a way to heal. I asked Gareth if he wanted to do a video, and he agreed to meet a couple of hours later.
read more here

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Looking back instead of new direction is pointless

At the crossroad?

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 28, 2019

Acceptable stigma attached to PTSD is, the fact that whomever told you to be one hell of an idiot!

I'm going to let the post I put up last night fill in the gaps on this one. "War is bad for the brain" Two sides of death

read the rest here

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

PTSD Patrol 2 years of giving the keys to hope

PTSD PATROL 2nd anniversary

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 23, 2019

Getting road hogs with high beams off the road, was behind the creation of PTSD Patrol two years ago. It is one of the reasons why this post is not going up on PTSD Patrol. Doom and gloom needs to be left off there.

A group of us like minded workers of the harvest were tired of other people taking the attention away from healing so they could keep talking about failing.

That is exactly what raising awareness that veterans are committing suicide is doing. Talking about what failed for more veterans than they can even imagine.

The proof was right before their eyes, but they did not bother to even look. They did not bother to read the report they found so important they began countless fundraisers after snagging a headline.

The report they claimed was so important stated clearly that it was limited data from just 21 states...worse than not even half, because the states that were not counted, were among the largest veteran populations.

California and Illinois passed legislation to track veterans committing suicide long after the report was issued. Arizona will start to do it. 

The followup report with "20 veterans a day" was almost as useless. While the VA stated it involved all 50 states, including statistics from the CDC, the CDC reported that it did not have total numbers from states like Texas and Florida. 

As for the VA itself, less than half of the veterans in this country have sought benefits from the VA. The VA and states do not count veterans without "honorable discharges" as veterans, leaving them out of reports.

Now that you have a better idea of what is not known, add in these parts;
➣The majority of known veterans committing suicide are over the age of 50.
➣The known number of veterans committing suicide was 20 a day back in 1999 with 5 million more veterans alive at the time.
➣The percentage of known suicides has risen, in the veterans population as well as those currently serving this country.
According to the Department of Defense there were 504 service members who committed suicide in 2017. As of the 3rd quarter of 2018, there were 375. The total report should have been released the beginning of April, but as of this morning, it has not been released.

Recent news reports have revealed an increase to a ten year high.

Raising awareness about a subject they know very little about, has become a business. People making a great living off veterans no longer wanting to live. Worse is, they seem to find it acceptable to be profitable while "having fun" at the same time.

Road hogs with their high beams on endanger those behind them by clogging up the way for others to pass them by. They blind those coming the opposite way. Collisions occur because they want all eyes on them instead of on what will get other drivers on the right road to be glad they survived what caused PTSD in the first place.

This is my 37th year on this road. I had to learn how to read the road maps to know the way out, just as I had to learn the rules of the road. Along the way I encountered those who were prepared to lead and those who just getting in the way.

All of this matters because it is my life. It is all personal to me and that is how I started out. I needed to know for the sake of my family. Once I learned, I knew there were even more just as lost as I was. That is why I share the knowledge gained the hard way.

Much like a moped is different from a Harley, that is the difference between raising suicide awareness and actually doing the work to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Lives can be changed when we, not only offer hope, but give them the keys to use it!

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Do you know the worth of your vehicle?

Are you worthy?

Wounded Times and PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 21, 2019

(cross post today)

Today is Easter. The day of a life rising from the dead. A life given, so that others may live and be made worthy by faith in Jesus.

The night before, the people who heard the voice of Jesus must have been wondering why they thought He was telling the truth, when His life ended the way it did. They must have been crushed.

Yet the truth was known by a cave left empty and all He said was once again believed.

"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."
Albert Einstein

He died for others, but He also lived for others. He did not just come to die and rise, but to lift us up and know, that we were loved. God knew we were here and in need of help, as much as we were in need of hope.

Jesus did what He was sent to do. Did you? So many times we think maybe we were wrong about what we were sent here to do. We appear to be failures to others, yet, no matter what others think, we rise and do it all over again.

If you are struggling between what other say you should do, and what you know you need to do, I have something that may help encourage you to stay true to what you were created for.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13 New International Version (NIV)
I made the choice to follow where I was being led. I knew it would not be easy, but I did not know it would be so damn hard.

When I was training to be a Chaplain with the IFOC, David Vorce said that Satan was busy when we run up into road blocks. I just never thought those road blocks would be laid by people who were supposed to be "friends" of mine.

While I left the IFOC, I have not left the mission that I was prepared to do. I focused on first responders and veterans. I still do. After 37 years, it is in my DNA, so there is no getting away from it.

A few years ago, someone I thought was a friend, stood up during a large gathering after one of the members had committed suicide. She made this announcement. "22 veterans a day are committing suicide and I'm gonna do something about it."

It was almost as if she just woke up one day and decided that she suddenly had the power to do what I had been doing for over 3 decades. You know, like I had done nothing. Sick to my stomach, I could not even listen to the rest of what she had to say.

What I did hear, was an impassioned plea from one of the other members. "Please stop talking about it. It hurts my heart." She was a friend of the member who took his own life.

Well that caused the woman to become enraged and she snapped back at the grieving friend.

I drove home in tears. I couldn't figure out why that "friend" had not just dismissed my work, but pretended I was not even worthy of her learning anything from me.

The next day, I called the President of Point Man, Dana Morgan, and told him what happened. My heart was being ripped out, my ego was so beaten down that I doubted all the work I had done, but the worst thing was, my soul was so crushed, I was not sure if I was supposed to keep doing it or not.

It was hard enough to fight this battle, mostly alone, but it had been one betrayal too many for me.

Dana said he would ask the other leaders of Point Man to pray that I find the answer.

The next morning I felt a little better but, still unsure, I asked my boss at work if she would have her prayer group help me find the answer.

As I was talking about my own pain, I cried. When she started to ask me questions about veterans, I stopped crying. When I explained to her how they can go from being willing to die for the sake of others, to not wanting to be here anymore, that soul crushing feeling started to lift.

By the time I got home, the weight was gone.

I called Dana and told him that I had my answer. Thinking about myself, caused me great emotional pain. Doubt caused by someone else left me believing I was wrong to even try. Doing what I had done for so many years, filled me with peace. I knew that whatever would come, would be OK, because as long as I knew what God wanted of me, I could deal with it.

"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called." Ephesians 4:1
Dana asked me if I told my boss yet. I told him I would in the morning.

When she came in, I started to explain what happened, but she started laughing. The look of puzzlement must have been clear because she responded. "You don't get it. As soon as you started talking yesterday, I started praying."

I got my answer. No matter what comes, I know I am doing what I am supposed to do. While it would be so much easier to receive more help than I am getting, it does not stop me from doing it.

Maybe the lack of help I receive is so that I can share this extra burden with those who are going through the same type of thing.

It is really hard to see so many others beating their own chest and getting attention for a bunch or words that mean absolutely nothing.  They are all about themselves and not the cause they claim to be invested in.

When the end result is a worse situation for those they claim to want to help, it is then others figure out that they came to this "ministry" unarmed and their foolish ways were discovered.

Well, a few days after that encounter with the woman who almost made me give up, a younger veteran was struggling. He needed my help. I gave it and he started to heal.

Another veteran needed help. A wife of a veteran needed help. A wife of a firefighter needed help. More and more needed help and I was able to be there because people were praying for me and the mission I was put into position to do.

I am doing what I can with what help I have been given. Sure, I get upset knowing I could be doing so much more if I did receive help but that is not the reality I live with. 

We understand that it is hard to go without help, so we understand those seeking it from us. I know the worth of my vehicle even though others think it is a worn out antique.

We know what it is like to find the courage to ask for help, as well as, what it is like to not often find it for ourselves. We know what hardships and struggles are, what doubt feels like and above all, we know what would comfort us, what words would help us find relief.

That is the lesson I have a hard time remembering during times such as this, but I've been on this road to long now, that I can also remember what it was like when someone did show up to help me out, offer comforting words, or let me know I was there when they needed someone the most.

Know that whatever you do, you are doing if for the right reasons and the price you pay, helps you do it far better than if you had it all handed to you on a silver platter.

Any crown I've ever worn
I lay it down
Any praise I've ever gained
I give it all to You
For there's nothing in this world
That can compare
For You alone are worthy
You alone are worthy
You are near to all who call
Upon Your name
Ever giving, ever loving
You remain the same
For You open up Your hands
And satisfy
I give You all the glory
Give You all the glory
You are worthy oh Lord
Of all honor
You are worthy to receive
All praise
In Your presence I live
And with all I have to give
I will worship You
Honor You
Glorify Your holy name
I will worship You
Honor You
Glorify Your holy name
Songwriters: Darlene Joyce Zschech You Are Worthy lyrics © Music Services, Inc

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Will you fight for me this time?

When PTSD is your not fight it alone

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 20, 2019

I fight everyday for veterans because all of you matter, and so do your families. The only thing I want out of decades of work, is to not be needed anymore. After 37 years, it would be nice to know that you are getting all the help you need and no one needs me anymore. 

I give everything I have away for free most of the time. Sometimes I cannot afford the expense, so I ask for help. I asked when I started to give away the PTSD Patrol T-shirts but only a few people helped me. The goal was to change the conversation from heartache to empowerment.

Then I see all the new groups popping up getting press coverage and shared on social media a zillion times, raking in millions of dollars, yet there are more veterans than ever being failed and left to fight alone.

PTSD is my battle and I cannot fight this alone, nor should I be expected to still do it alone!

There are so many things I never get credit for doing. Coming up with the "new normal" living with PTSD back in 2010 is one of them.

Surviving something that could have, or should have, killed us, leaves the old normal behind and we get to adapt to a "new normal" of the way things evolved afterwards...AS SURVIVORS.

I do not know what combat is like. I survived 10 times during my life. All of them have been known to cause PTSD. While I did go through the stress reactions that become side effects of PTSD, it was not able to take hold. The nightmares, for the most part, were gone, along with flashbacks, mood swings, anger, paranoia and constant questioning as to why I was still alive evaporated.

That is why I understand what combat did to veterans. I got into an argument with a veteran many years ago, who decided to challenge me. He said "What do you know? You were never in combat!" So I ran down the list of things I survived and then challenged him to be able to tell me he understood what all of them did to me. 

Once we agreed to be two human survivors, he started to listen to what I had to say so that he could rejoice as a survivor too and heal.

I came up with "suffering in silence" because that was exactly what my then-future-husband and his buddies were doing in 1984. After two years of researching PTSD, I wrote about it so that others could learn about it.

I tried over and over again, until a therapy session in 1999, with a psychologist, started what would become, the book FOR THE LOVE OF JACK, HIS WAR/MY BATTLE.

I did not want fame back then, especially when I was writing about a very personal subject during a time when few others were willing to do so. I still do not want fame, but after 37 years, it is now a time to shout from the roof that we will be celebrating our 35th anniversary and my husband is still my hero!

Everything I have done on PTSD is because of him. The more I learned about PTSD, the more I loved him.

After 16 years since the book was published I am grieved more than ever. While I sit here thinking that maybe I should have just settled for our happy ending with this battle won, and returned to what most view as "normal life" the tug at my heart makes it impossible to do it now.

I reviewed a lot of the posts I put up about this book, along with many emails and I am even more convinced that had it not been for the way the publisher dealt with my work, more could have been helped.

Help is one thing that I have not been on the receiving end of very often. Yesterday I posted on this on Facebook.

This was after sharing an extremely embarrassing situation that I needed help to recover from. I needed help to take back control of my book. Less than ten responded with help. It made me wonder if I matter at all after all these years.

Then I reviewed reasons why I should still fight for this book to be shared with as many people as possible. It came from emails I received over the years when I actually knew it mattered!

July 20, 2005

Dear Kathie,

Thank you for sharing your life and wisdom in For The Love of Jack. I must also thank you for sharing it through the internet.

I admit to you that I had not initially sought out this information. It was forwarded to me yesterday by my good friend Edward XXXXXX. I started the book last night, didn't sleep very well, too many thoughts on the matter at hand, woke up this morning, made a lighter and quicker breakfast fare than usual only so that I could get back to your story.

Being forty-eight years of age I do share most of your pre-Jack memories of Vietnam, especially the news reports at dinner time, it was a pretty horrific time in our lives. I'm ashamed to admit that Vietnam was a memory that I had set aside.

I had heard some talk of PTSD, it only came to light with 9/11. I had also heard of "shell shock" but again, it seemed like a distant memory of something that happened to people back in WWII. In my ignorance I thought that it was caused by a physical manifestation - like shrapnel or a head injury having been it's cause.

Your book enlightened me in more ways than you can imagine. I wish these living angels could sprout wings so that we would know them when we see them, so that we could revere and thank them and treat them with the fullest respect and dignity that they so deserve.

Then again, you should have sprouted a set of wings, too!

With love and continued healing and blessings to you and yours,
August 4, 2005

Hello Kathy - I was just about to contact you. Late Tuesday afternoon, Bobby XXXX, our PTSD Unit Case Manager completed his review of the book (I've inserted his comment below) We just wanted to allow our internal case managers an opportunity to review before placing online. Now, in terms of formatting, how would you like the book to be placed on the website? In Adobe or some other format? We are now in the process of revising our website and over the next two weeks will have a lot of new information going online, at that time, we will also place your book online. Do we need to have any formal agreements from you in order to do this? Anything else you want to let me know about? Just let me know. Thanks again Kathy.

Here is Bob XXXX comment

Hi Stephen, I put a little more into Kathie's book.It'll be especially helpful to significant others or those affected by secondary ptsd, up close or from distances. She makes it easy for the readers who need to grasp closure as well as those who quietly need to know.

December 20, 2005
Dear Mrs., Costos

I came across a Web-site and I enjoyed what you had written there. I am a Veteran Vietnam 1967-69. I know what it is like to be married to a Vietnam Veteran. I have two ex.-wife's neither of whom can say I ever abused them. I think the work normal is something Vets don't have. My last two wife's still love me either can sleep in the same bed with me. So they now sleep in the bed of someone else. I have a knew wife of a year and she has moved to the couch.

She I think she is afraid, I might died during the night. I do love her very, very much so I respect her need to sleep on the couch. I have got the works, heart problems, Sugar, PTSD a whole list. I go out and work everyday I can to take care of her and would not have it any other way. My problem I just don't no how mush longer I can hang in there.

I have been fighting with the Veterans Administration since 2001 to get help. Last Dec. I manage finally to get some help. I was homeless for three years after 2001. I would work and could only make enough money to eat and buy my smokes. I was refused care by four Veterans Hospitals during that time. So, I know what you have been through. I know in your heart your a good person. You not only tried, but you kept tiring. Most women just take the money and run!

Thank you Kathie for hanging in there with yourVet, heaven has a place for you waiting.

Thank you again, To be kind is ever so wise!
Your Friend,
The Rose

So, I read more emails, more on how this book helped them, as well as helped them help someone else.

I asked publishers to take this on and they said no. I asked marketing people who claimed they were willing to help, but they did nothing. I asked law firms, and they did nothing. It would be easier for me to just forget all about this, but not easier on the families needing to find it!

Now, I am begging for someone to help me! I cannot afford to get this book printed by myself and there is no way in hell I want to profit from it after all these years being tortured by the publisher. I have paid too high of a price already for trying to do the right thing for the right reasons.

If you can donate, any amount will help. If you cannot donate, then please pass on this on to someone who can. Keep in mind that it will not be tax deductible since this money is going to me so that I can have total control over purchasing and shipping the books out. I wrote this long before I was a part of any group other than families suffering in silence!