I look at this photograph and I remember the times in training when I was on “long walks” and operations with my “buddies”. Then I think about the times in combat, when I would be the first one to volunteer for a mission and take on anything. I think about why I did some of the things I did in combat, like so many Soldiers. I think about the Soldiers that I know that perished, defending not the flag or any political stance they may have kept to themselves, but defending their buddies.
Now that I am out of the military and I have shared many late nights with those same buddies, who all have pain that they’re living with, I understand that I feel pain, but more importantly, my buddies feel pain. This is one of the driving factors behind the anonymous, social network and community at PTSDUnited.org. This is a place where I can care for and be cared for by my buddies.
The notion of not letting my buddies down started way back in training in 1997 for me. The notion carried its way through combat, struggles at home, and in all facets of life. I have always and will always NEVER let my buddies down – no matter what pain I feel, whether physical, mental, or emotional. This notion must be addressed and rallied around to support our buddies way beyond training and the battlefield. This notion must carry through the post trauma that so many of us live with in our daily lives. PTSDUnited.org is a place where I can be there for my buddies and they can be there for me.