Vets, PTSD and We, the Church
Re-posted blog from Mon, 29 Sep 2008
Today I read a story about a 31-year-old Army Ranger who fought al-Qaida in Afghanistan on a snowy peak called Robert’s Ridge…after the chopper he was in fell to fire. He lost three of his men, won a purple heart and developed PTSD, post traumatic stress syndrome which has afflicted 1 out of every 5 soldiers returning from the war.
PTSD signs include emotional detachment, nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance of people, places or things associated with a traumatic event. Suicide is double the general population.
He ended up so fearful he said he needed to take control. In doing that he turned his back on God which led to “almost losing everything and almost completely broken.” His wife said he seemed lost. He thought about suicide.
What pulled him through? He said, no particular technique or event. “It was just a combination of close family and close Christian brothers coming together.” Calling him, being there.
What does this have to do with us?
This morning I talked with a friend who received a call at her church yesterday. The single mom didn’t have gas to drive to her substitute teaching job, the cupboards were down to one day to feed her children and the dog hadn’t eaten in two. Her church wrote a check to help the immediate situation.
In a world where so few people have family, they are calling on the churches. Our churches, we the people, need to be talking to those around us and in tune to their situations, more than ever.
It is the combination of all of us asking God how we can be part of the solution and helping one another that we will all survive the economic disaster we are in. Instead of pulling in from fear, or pushing God away…now we need Him more than ever. WE need His love and concern to extend the arms of Christ, the body of Christ… to be there when it is our turn. Today, let’s look around courageously, knowing there is enough for all of us…if we share the load, and share the goods—the time, talents, food—He has given us.
2 Corinthians 3:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor…”
** If you’d like to be a bridge to healing for a vet visit www.pstdhealing.org or email