A Soldier's Battle With PTSD
By Brandon D Freeman
Key Themes: PTSD, military, empowerment, self help, recovery
This is not a book for the faint hearted. I am not a doctor or social worker. But if you choose to really see inside the mind of someone with PTSD then this book is for you. Use this knowledge to help to recover someone from this terrible disease. Over 300,00 soldiers worldwide are affected by this. There is absolutely no one that hasnít been affected by these wars. Read and understand, if you can just reach one then you can reach a million.
About the Author
Brandon Freeman has served in every mechanized infantry unit the Army has since 1990. Is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War in 1990, and several security patrols in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. He has instructed at Infantry Officer Course and was an Army Drill Instructor. His last mission was Operation Iraqi Freedom 2.5 with an Infantry unit out of FT Riley Kansas. He has been married to his lovely wife of 20 years Jennifer, and has two adopted sons Bradley and Levi. Plus two teenage sons Tyler and Lou. He has served his country proudly from Korea to the gulf for twenty years, and now lectures on the price of Post Traumatic Stress, and Traumatic Brain Injury. So far thousands have been affected and Brandon and his lovely wife try to stem the wounds of the mind and body through healing and counseling.
I remember running through the woods on my grandpaís farm in the Ozarks. Sometimes he would let us take an old 22 with us and try to scare up some turkey, or maybe a squirrel or two. Of course we would never hit anything. Another time when I was thirteen my father, uncles and grandpaís all decided to take a hunting trip in Marysville Kansas on my grandmaís farm. I finally was old enough to go along. I had an old single shot twenty gage Winchester. You know the kind. You had to load it from the back when you popped it open and the gun smoke poured out of it after every shot. That kind. I used to love that part of the engagements with the pheasant and quail. I didnít care what I hit I just like to watch the shell fly out the back when I popped it open. The smell of gunpowder and seeing what I hit all dead and bloody made me proud that I accomplished something when I hunted. I looked forward to the days when I could take my own sons out and teach them how to shoot and hunt, the way my father and grandfather taught me. I still have a picture somewhere of all the guys in the family standing behind a big truck with all the kills they made that day of pheasant and quail.
Now I have pictures in my mind of dead people. Amazing how that works isnít it. From one innocent childhood memory of happiness to pictures of war and violence. I fast forwarded to the gulf war and hunting again. I was nineteen and just got back from the gulf in 1991. With my fiancťe Jennifer by my side we went with my family back up to grandmaís farm and I took the old 20 gage my father gave me when I was a kid. My grandma wanted me to go shoot the squirrels that were tearing apart her barn and eating her garden. Two things happened that day that I will never forget. First my mother being overprotective as she was, and clueless as ever, told me before I went out that I would have to take my father with me before I hunted I thought that, that was amazing that her son just returned from war, and she wanted my dad to go with me before I hunted. The second thing came to me as quite the surprise.
I was walking toward the creek were I usually found something to shoot all the time as a kid and their it was, big squirrels. Two squirrels munching on the corner of my grandmas barn. I clicked the shotgun open and loaded a round. I could probably get both of them if I aimed just right. I lowered the sight on both of them, put pressure on the trigger and then I stopped. Watching them munch on the barn. I lifted the gun again and put pressure on the trigger again. Then I stopped again. For some reason shooting them wasnít the same as before. In anger and hatred for that ridiculous emotion I was feeling at the time. I pointed the gun at the trash barrel near them and pulled the trigger. The loud blast scared off the two mischievous squirrels. Plus everyone in the house would think I was doing my job clearing away all of grandmas squirrel problem.
That very second in time I knew I had a problem. A rifle range at work was fine. Practicing to kill things was fine. We did it in the Gulf war. Heck sometimes in the Gulf we killed each other. It is the nature of the beast; however, I realized that I didnít like the feeling of killing anymore. That I had a real problem with doing it. Doing that to people or things changes people and it changed me. Little did I know that I would be leading men in Baghdad almost fourteen years later.
Our main patrol area in Baghdad was Abu-Graib, however, our unit served in Sadre-City as well. My platoon in particular served and did all our patrols in Abu-Graib. This is we're all my nightmares come from. Loss of sleep, changing of moods, a whole lot of emotional up and down swings, and a loss of sexual activities with my wife all consumed my thoughts when I returned from the war. Classic signs of PTSD.
For years I found comfort in internet sex after I returned this didnítí stop once I was a drill instructor for the Army. That eventually would be my downfall. I was charged with showing my genitals to a lower enlisted soldier over the internet from my cell phone. The only problem with this charge is at that time I was having major flash backs. I was out of control. I needed help. The choice I maid next ended me up in mental health hospitals for the next sixty days. When you get that low the only way out is an unquestionable act.
The circle of guilt that I call anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance filled my waking hours. I couldnít break free. This story is how I felt in my darkest hours and how I felt on a daily basis in the mental hospitals. You are about to enter my darkness.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 03 November, 2011.