Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Iraq War veteran with PTSD learns to cope with life day by day

Iraq War veteran with PTSD learns to cope with life day by day
Gannett Tennessee
Written by
Becca Andrews

MURFREESBORO — Jessica Peterson looked over at her husband of only a few months, alarmed by what he had just said.

“I understand why people kill themselves,” he said.

He glanced back at her from the sofa in the living room of their Murfreesboro apartment, expressionless.

“I’m not saying I’d do it, but I understand why people kill themselves,” said Chris Peterson, a veteran of the Iraq War.

Suicides throughout the military, including the Army, reached an all-time high of 349 in 2012, according to a U.S. war study reported in USA Today. Army suicides this year are tracking higher than 2012.

Peterson, a U.S. Marine, served two tours in Iraq during fours years of active duty. His Middle East experiences left him scarred in ways he didn’t realize until he came home for good. Now, he is coping with post-traumatic stress disorder and taking life day by day.

“Iraq was a culture shock,” he said. “We’re trained to look at these people as animals. You know, you like a dog, but you’ll shoot it if it attacks you. We got over there, and to see what poverty really was, I was blown away.”

Peterson saw the best and worst of humanity. He experienced extreme hospitality and hostility. After a group of Marines rescued a citizen’s son and brought him home, the son’s father offered his daughters to the Marines.
read more here

No comments:

Post a Comment