March 9, 2014 in Letters, Opinion

The demons of PTSD

 

I’m writing to thank Teresa Nevins for her letter “Failed another young man,” (Feb. 22). I’m extremely upset with the pastor’s comments at Jedadiah Zillmer’s funeral.

Zillmer has his demons and he couldn’t live with them. Every combat vet has their own demons. I’m a Vietnam combat vet. I served in Vietnam from July 1967 to April 1969. I went through both Tet offensives.

The Veterans Affairs has classified me as disabled due to post-traumatic stress disorder. I deal with it every day of my life and have for the past 45 years. It will never go away; you just have to learn to live with it.

But it’s still very apparent to me that a majority of people have no idea what goes on in combat and what it does to a person. All they know is what they see on TV, movies or video games, and they remain safe in their little worlds, while our vets put their lives on the line for real.

We deal with what we do in combat, with watching our brothers get hurt and dying in our arms. Those are scars that never go away, no matter how many sessions you go through or how much you drink. It’s why so many of us are in a self-destructive mode.

Maybe the pastor who spoke at the funeral should spend some time in combat. Maybe then he would have something else to say. But I don’t think he would do it, so maybe he should spend some time at a VA hospital or working with the vets. We need the help and he needs to learn.

Jeff Clark

Medical Lake


Get stories like this in a free daily email