AHERO: ‘Here I am mentally stable while experiencing good epiphanies every day’

PENSACOLA–At the eighth annual AHERO Warrior Hook-Up Pensacola Beach, participants shared their struggles with PTSD and other health issues in a testimonial journal. With the permission of those who transcribed their struggles, we are sharing some of the journal entries in recognition of Suicide Awareness Month.  Readers can comment and maybe add to the story.

 


 

“I joined my military service in 2002 in the United States Marine Corps. I have saw my service from 2002-2007. I have been to Afghanistan in October of 2004. I have experienced IEDs, have had a TBI, suffer from PTSD, and I strive to live on. The suicidal thoughts leave my brain now and encourage me to participate in the AHERO program! It is one of the best experiences in my life! Here I am mentally stable while experiencing good epiphanies every day!”

 


 

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

For more on AHERO, visit here.

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2 thoughts on “AHERO: ‘Here I am mentally stable while experiencing good epiphanies every day’

  1. When I was serving with the 2nd Marine Division, we had this series of suicides throughout the entire division. I remember when this one kid, a PFC, shot himself through the mouth with his rifle. The thing that sticks out to me was the funeral. We hardly ever wore our dress uniforms, but our colonel ordered the entire battalion to go to the funeral in full dress. I can still see his mother walking out of church, her arms around his younger brother. His brother just looked stunned, but looked so much like his older brother. I can still see that moment as if it happened yesterday. Poor kid.

  2. The stigma behind PTSD makes it very hard for Veterans to openly discuss their experiences. The ones who really need to express and share are typically the ones who also need to be viewed as a strong leader or manager (they cannot live off of their disability or retirement alone, and need supplemental income). Transition from active duty to the civilian sector is hard enough without the trauma. I remember when I first gave a presentation on my “invisible disability” at NAS a few years back, it was very eye opening how many others in the room were facing the same backlash from leadership. When people ask what my disability is and what my injury is from Active Duty, I almost feel a sense of shame as I express the PTSD portion of my story. PTSD isn’t as sexy as injury from shrapnel or mortars or gunfire. And when that acronym flows from your lips, you can immediately see the shift in facial expressions. It’s a devastating disorder – not only from the debilitating standpoint of the actual side effects, but also from the repercussions you face from those who label you as someone with PTSD, ESPECIALLY in the workforce.

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