Plenty of Time When We Get Home
The NPR program 'Fresh Air with Terry Gross' had (another) terrific program today. The story of a military couple dealing with PTSD was gut-wrenching, inspiring and important to hear. We have devoted significant time at our conferences and in finding resources to help those minister to returning veterans. The Fresh Air program illustrated just some of the issues that a faith community supporting returning veterans might encounter, although not in that specific context.
I went from kind of a very, very high functioning individual to a high functioning individual. A lot of people see me and [would] be like, "Oh I could never tell you had a brain injury." But I know. I know what I used to be like. I know how I used to be able to pick things up, learn something new and stick with it and be able to master it quickly. I don't have that ability now. -Brian McGough
[From Fresh Air: Kayla Williams and Brian McGough met in Iraq, in 2003, when they were serving in the 101st Airborne Division. She was an Arabic linguist, he was a staff sergeant who had earned a bronze star. In October of that year, at a time when they were becoming close but not yet seeing each other, he was on a bus in a military convoy, when an IED went off, blowing out the front door and window.]
It was interesting to hear the interplay between them as Brian and Kayla as they worked together, sharing the bits of information each had, giving us the information they had pieced together over time. They also didn't shy away from stating difficult truths to the audience:
“I decided rather than go on I would rather be dead and I asked him to kill me. And he put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger. It was not loaded, and he threw the gun away and called me crazy and I left." - Kayla Williams
We talked about how to minister to those in the throes of PTSD during our four-part webinar series in November. If you missed it, you can still watch the presentations. The time to do so is now, before you really need it. Take the time to learn about the unique needs of our returning veterans and know where else you can turn for help.