Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not reflective of what is wrong with a Soldier; it is instead reflective of what happened to him.
He was attacked at his very core — physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and socially.
Because he personifies strength, he is sent to protect us and our way of life. He endures the brunt of the wrath of our enemies. He goes to war so that that war does not come to our homeland — for if it did, our women, children, elderly, poor and depraved would be the victims of PTSD and all the other atrocities that are currently endured by the strong men and women who choose to be our forerunners in battle.
No, PTSD is not reflective of what is wrong with our American men and women. It is instead the silent scar that many return with, ever vigilant to the sensitivity that they feel inside and that they feel they have to further protect us from until they can receive proper treatment via Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy in order to silence the battle that still wages on inside every facet of their being.
PTSD is reflective of everything that we seek from that human being we sent off to battle our war for us; to save us from having to endure the inhumanity of man. That human being is still the strong and silent warrior that we need — only he now needs us; he needs our understanding, our compassion, and our appreciation for all he has been through, all he has seen. He needs treatment and he needs acceptance. He does not deserve to be labeled a loose cannon or a hopeless loss, not at all.
He needs time to take the fractured core, heal it, and reintegrate it and himself back into society — through love, understanding, compassion and appreciation. He needs and deserves to be valued. He served his time for our sake, and now we need to serve our Soldier returning from that hell by showing him that he has our support, he is in our hearts and we remember his personal sacrifice.
If you want to show a Soldier that you value him, practice compassion.
Martha Makar is a Navy spouse and a member of the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Emotional Dimension working group.