Shooting does not reflect on all with PTSD

April 5, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.
Updated April 4, 2014 at 11:05 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

More than 2.5 million men and women have been deployed to a combat zone in the last decade. The actions of one are not indicative of the 99.9 percent who have honorably served but have invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

PTSD is a normal response to being put in an abnormal situation. This one individual might have had other external factors going on in his life that led to his actions. The label PTSD is not an all-encompassing factor, so before we further stigmatize all veterans with PTSD and TBI as violent, we should allow the investigation to be complete. We should not further alienate but embrace the men and women who served and help them reintegrate and again become high-functioning members of society.

Groups like the Military Veteran Peer Network and Honor 361 bring groups of Veterans together to share similar experiences and help each other through the difficult process of healing. Through social and physical activities with your peers, you can learn to cope with PTSD.

Together, groups of veterans are planning local events to unite us with those people willing to help in any way possible.

Twenty-two American combat veterans and active duty soldiers commit suicide every day. Combat deaths are almost 8,000. More than 88,000 have committed suicide. That should be just as big a news story.

Mike Allen, Victoria



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