As many service members know, post-traumatic stress disorder is common among veterans of combat, but many who serve in the armed forces avoid speaking of their struggles with the condition. They fear that doing so will make them deemed unfit for service. A staff sergeant of the United States Army intends to change that.
The staff sergeant is the most recent recipient of the Medal of Honor. He also suffers from PTSD. During the battle of Kamdesh in October 2009, the staff sergeant rescued a wounded comrade from the battlefield. The man that the staff sergeant rescued died later that day while in surgery from his wounds. The staff sergeant received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama at the White House on Aug. 26 for this act. The staff sergeant says that he lost some of his hearing in the Battle of Kamdesh, but that he can still hear the cries of his wounded comrade.
The staff sergeant has made himself a spokesperson for PTSD. He urges those in the armed forces to seek the help they need to overcome the condition and live a life that can be satisfying and fulfilling. He is a living example of the fact that suffering from PTSD does not mean that a service member is cowardly. The Medal of Honor is reserved for those who display extraordinary bravery on the field of combat. PTSD is slowly becoming recognized as a condition that naturally proceeds from horrendous experiences.
Many veterans with PTSD have difficulty applying for benefits. A qualified attorney may help negotiate the complex system and appeal low disability ratings on behalf of their clients.
Source: Stars and Stripes, “Latest Medal of Honor recipient to focus on PTSD“, Leo Shane III, August 26, 2013.
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