It is the unseen battle wound, but one that can no less impact a veterans life for the rest of his or her life. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sure, you've heard of it, but to really hear what it's like to live with it is something quite different.
From the Vietnam War, to Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield, to Operation Iraqi Freedom men and women here in the east are suffering from P.T.S.D.... Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Don Overton Heads up a local support group for vets suffering from the stress disorder. You could say he's got a double whammy. During the time he served in Desert Storm/Desert Shield he lost part of his hand and his vision, but he says the worst injury he received was the invisible battle wound also known as P.T.S.D.
His battle isn't necessarily the same as other veterans who suffer from P.T.S.D. The disorder affects veterans in different ways. For Benjamin Story it's going to bed. Richard Rogers can get to sleep, but has nightmares. Bobby O'Daniel's P.T.S.D. is triggered by everyday occurrences.
O'Daniel, Rogers and many others who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder say a lot of the negative feelings come from things they've seen and their greatest fears exacerbated.
In reality, what they really couldn't stop was their need from isolation. Each one says their initial response to P.T.S.D was to shut the blinds and simply become an introvert.
While not everyone who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a war veteran, there is a growing number of young men and woman from our military who come back from war either being diagnosed with P.T.S.D. or not knowing what's wrong with themselves. The good news, there is help for all veterans. In our area it comes in the form of conversation.
In Greenville on Monday night at 6 P.M. there is a support group meeting for people who suffer from P.T.S.D. Meetings are held at the Vietnam Veterans Building at 2805 Cemetery Road in Greenville. For more information contact Bobby O'Daniel at 252-414-2024.