By Rusty Dornin, Special to CNN
(CNN) - Roberto and Amanda Melecio share many of the same nightmares.
They don't like crowds, rarely trust anyone and both suffer serious bouts of depression. Married since 2005, they are both Iraq War veterans, and each has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
When Amanda Melecio came back from Iraq in 2005, she struggled to be the person she once was. "When I came home I couldn't socialize," Melicio says. "I have a lot of anxiety."
Her husband Roberto served as a scout and an Army combat engineer and disarmed bombs. "I was a human bulletproof vest," he jokes. He rarely sleeps and suffers from horrific nightmares. He struggles with his temper.
"We're not the normal couple. My wife and I are a rare breed." he says. "We happened to meet in the war."
While studies show women in the general population are twice as likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress as men, the rates for returning veterans are about the same - 20% for both men and women.
"We're definitely seeing more duel PTSD cases with returning vets," says Candice Monson, a clinical expert on how post-traumatic stress disorder affects couples. "It's largely a product of the changing policy of women in the military. While women are not supposed to be in combat, the reality is they are."
For Amanda, her own anxieties tear her apart. And being married to a man suffering the same afflictions has been a test at times.
"I've become very distant from him," she says. "We are like ticking time bombs when we fight."
Roberto Melecio agrees. 'It can turn into an instant firefight".
According to a 2010 Pentagon report, nearly 12% of married couples on active duty are married to another service member. But there are no studies or statistics on the numbers of married couples with PTSD in or out of the military.
Roberto experienced firsthand his wife's brush with combat. Amanda was the only woman and only American training Iraqi soldiers on a hot April day in 2005. She had became used to the to the "thump, thump, thump" sound of of mortars pounding near the camp, but the distinctive whistle of an incoming rocket sent her running for cover that day.
As she dove between two big storage containers, she screamed at the Iraqi soldiers, "Take cover, take cover." She was hit in the back, head, and neck by debris from the blast. When the attack was over, there was blood everywhere. She rushed to help the severely injured Iraqis, lining up three of them for medical evacuation.
Roberto was working at a supply job nearby. He heard the explosions and called her cell phone. "We got hit, we got hit," he heard her cry. He jumped in his pickup and drove "like crazy," knocking down fences to reach the camp. When he arrived, he saw Amanda had taken control of the situation.
"She had gathered up the group. She had saved three of them - if it wasn't for her, they wouldn't be around," he says proudly. "I'm not a hero, she is."
Amanda was awarded a combat action badge, which is rarely awarded to females, for her bravery following the attack.
"The amazing thing is that the women are doing as well as men in terms of being resilient from their experiences in the war zone," says Amy Street, a deputy director of the National Center for PTSD.
Experts say treatment of men and women with PTSD is similar, although the symptoms may manifest differently. Women tend to be more anxious and depressed, whereas men are more angry and have trouble controlling anger. Men are more likely to turn to substance abuse to cope with stress. Women are more likely to experience emotional numbing, a sensation Amanda Melicio says she knows only too well. She struggles to show affection to her 6-year-old son, Romello. "I can't be like, oh I love you, kind of mother," she sighs. "It's just different for me."
Candice Monson, who has studied many couples with PTSD, says this trauma bond can be a resilience factor for the relationship.
"We have a bond that's inseparable," says Amanda
The couple says most of their counselors shake their heads in disbelief that their marriage is still intact. One counselor, a former veteran, told them they would never make it. Something which angered them both. Roberto Melicio admits, "We've had our turbulent times, but we're working through them."
Roberto says he gets out in social situations more than his wife. "I have to have fun," he laughs, "I'm not being shot at anymore."
But it was harder for Amanda. There were no other female veterans in their community in New Hampshire. "I kept hearing about all this stuff for men, but I couldn't find anything."
In 2011, a Veterans Affairs counselor showed her a brochure for a sports therapy program in Idaho called Higher Ground. The program is one of a handful of recreational and sports therapy programs offering weeklong theraputic programs for male and female veterans. Amanda attended a women's only program with Roberto.
"Most programs only focus on the veterans, we focus on the supporters," says Bert Gillette, veteran outreach coordinator for Higher Ground. "They need to get out with their spouse and enjoy life. Many programs separate them and that doesn't do them any good."
For the first time Amanda connected with other female veterans. She snowboarded, with a vengeance and that boosted her self-esteem. "Higher Ground kind of helped us to realize that we are both individuals and that our symptoms are the same but we have different triggers. So we had to work together to figure that out. They helped our marriage by showing us we could do sports to find time together and have fun and not be so high-strung all the time."
Roberto had his own revelation. "I enjoyed watching them help my wife open up. While it was helping her, it helped me too because I realized what my wife was feeling".
He says it made him want to keep on fighting for the their marriage. "A relationship with these types of problems is not supposed to last, but it is."
"Calm down lover biscuits,it's not a rifle pointed at your face,it's my 10" schwanchenstuk"
New Endgland is a bit different. There is a New England snobbery which fogs its view of the rest of the nation. I grew up on the Cape where Native Americans and immigrants, old and new, escaped at least ten months of that snobbery until summer came and we became the playground of the elite and intelligently superior. Wasn't until I moved to the west coast, and then midwest and travelled in the south that I realized the world is not as stuffy as the northeast. I don't think Boston ever got over losing its prestige and power to New York in the late 1800's/early 1900's.
She's pretty cute, but they're both stupid for signing up to any armed forces division.
PoGs a woman with PTSD? grow up missing chow time does not qualify for PTSD
If you refuse to drink from the fountain of knowledge, you'll die of thirst in the desert of ignorance!
if you refuse to drink from the fountain of knowledge, you'll die of thirst in the desert of ignorance! i am stealing this line! way to go crystal!!
Julie – you can't steal what isn't hers.
That quote is as old as the hills.
ummmm, i would imagine you have never been in a rocket attack, god forbid.
Some people in this country are so voluntarily narrow-minded, mean-spirited, racial, self-obsessed and chauvinistic that they don't deserve to be defended by our very diverse military, but thrown to the enemies of the nation who hate them, as meat tailings to hungry dogs.
September 1 2012 , David Anthony Catron 46 years old, was honorably discharged via Army after having served 3 of his 4 year hitch in Desert Storm but passed away in Pensacola at the Baptists Memorial Hospital leaving two sons both Army active of PTSD and one would have never known but he was fighting a war within himself that he could not win.. PTSD is real and dangerous but not controllable especially when your employment is on a military base dealing with and teaching military classes and married to a retired military officer who also taught classes... You just never ever foreget your tours....
PTSD is real but it is not just from combat situations. When I worked at the VA, many non-combat female vets were categorized with PTSD due to rape. Effective treatments are out there but so is the stigma of PTSD being seen as a weakness, especially in the military.
I am so proud to call you guys family, yea even u tio :)
I want to thank everyone for their kind comments and those who are ignorant do not affect me in anyway. I do not feed into negativity. If someone is not educated in a topic they should not speak but it is all the veterans out there that should be recognized. I am one of many who were brave and came home. I am honored to be a veteran and work with all the veterans. The true story is I was working with the Multi-National Transition Command to train the Iraqi Army. I lived on the Iraqi side not the American side and yes I was injured and I did not receive the Purple heart. Yes I did recieve the combat action badge. I was also awarded the Joint Service Achievement Medal for saving the three soldiers lives. This is all true and I have the proof, but those of you who do not believe it, I cannot help you. Those of you who know are the ones that matter. Im sorry this world has not seen the reality of what America is but I cannot help those people I just hope that they are blessed with some Intelligence someday. As far as everyone else who was kind to this article I want you to know I am grateful and thank you for your kind words.
Saying "thank you" is not enough, it never is. Those who posted ignorant comments should be ashamed of themselves, if they ever served or had worn the uniform, they would have the dignity and intelligence to make thoughtful and intelligent comments. For those of you that made ignorant comments, all you had to only say was "thank you for your service, I hope life blesses you and things get better", that is it, there was no need to post those comments. But, it is people like Amanda, her husband, myself and many other soldiers that serve and continue to do so that you have the freedom to post your ignorant comments.
Thank you Ryan and thank you for your service. I am proud to have served with such wonderful people and the brothers and sisters of the armed forces are all people who should hold their heads high.
Hi Amanda, I am so glad to have read of your story and I am glad that you and your husband were able to come home. My ex-husband's family has several members that were or are serving there and now my son is talking about being one of them. Anyway, I do thank you for your service there and here too, because the PTSD doesn't let you forget. I know, I've lived it for many many years. Mine isn't bad now because I learned how to cope with it over the years and that's what you and your husband will do. I promise you, it will get better, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and remember your love for each other. I wish you peace and God Bless You.
Amanda and Roberto, Thankyou both for your service and sacrifice and for sharing your personal story on such an enormous stage so that other veterans may see that there are programs and avenues to get assistance if needed. I served in MNSTC-I in 2008-2009 and folks like you laid a solid foundation for us that followed to continue to train the ISF to stand on their own. Thanks for all you did and best wishes for your future. LTC W
Im calling BS on this entire story.
The guy and his wife are bad soldiers.
Amanda you guys are doing a great job.
That was/is a very important goal you and your fellow instructors/trainers, etc. are striving to achieve and accomplish successfully. we should all stop and give thanks for this service, so that some day this nation will also be able to defend itself as needed, and hopefully as hoped for. Your life saving skills are too be commended by all – good job!
as for the negativity and ignorance, you have to put that in context to the fact that ptsd has only really been seen as the illness that it is in recent years thanks to many who saw the need and demanded support and assistance and knowledgeable, healthy, intelligent, fair, honest, workable, and result oriented for health of veterans, their families, and society (even those in the war zones) support, understanding, and services, and were able to be successful in bringing needed changes. there is still a very lot more to do to be truly successful on this front, as you can well imagine.
We are blessed to finally have this illness recognized for what it is. Unfortunately, the civilian world is still catching on as is usually the case, so bear with them. They simply do not know, because of political reasons mainly, which sucks of course, but veterans must be more aware, mindful, and thoughtful of this fact – that they are usually guini pigs and leaders for the pack – of all nations – as well as protectors, and well-trained mobile forces in times of disasters, etc.
be careful of the research, especially the meds, and especially any involving children. these people are driven by money, and not much fun to work with, cuz they are not focused on overall well being, but only their research and money. the illness is bad enough, without having to deal with their further harm. so be careful on that.
i wish you and yours well wishes and best thought always. thank you for your service to the country.
Hello from Canada
It moved me to read this story. I feel for the two human beings. I wish that their road ahead, is straighter with few bends. They have a child to raise. They need all our support and respect. For those who wrote ill:they fought and came back from hell; Dont give them reason, that your nation wasn't worth their sacrifice..
Thank you so much for you and your husband's service. My husband suffers from PTSD. Our lives have been hell this past year, especially after he was denied his re-enlistment after 15 years in the Air Force. It isnt easy on the families, but thankfully my husband is still here and he is able to manage his symptoms better than he did last year. Thank you for your sacrifice. People who dont know anyone with PTSD doesnt understand.
As fellow Americans, we must be supportive and understanding.
One problem is that we just don't know what to do.
Imagine the expense to Americans in dollars, to provide physical and mental health care to the couple, their children, and any others that may fall victim to this effect of war. Americans will be paying for the rest of this couple's lives, and maybe their kids. Police, social services, difficulty educationg their kids struggling with dysfunctional parents, etc.
you can imagine that all you want while a rogue nation actually imagines blowing you to smitherins, and would do it in a heartbeat if given one small opportunity of chance
how much money did you get back in taxes this year – what did you do for your fellow countrypeople to earn it?
This is crazy. All any of our veteran's want after serving our country, as our government asked, is help!! Don't they deserve help just like every other person in the world? All any of our veteran's is try to help people, now maybe war is not the way to do this, maybe war shouldn't even be a word, but our country has made it one and has unfortunately MADE it the only answer. Yes this sucks, but we should not punish the people who put themselves in a harmful situation just to try and find a way to help people. I try to understand everybody's view points, but it is hard all some people want to do is punish someone for something that they did not do. Our veteran's did not decide to declare war your government did. So while i try to understand how you come to believe what you do, you should try and understand why these brave Americans put their lives on the line for people across the world.
Hi! Please just ignore the jerks that have something rude to say. They aren't worth your time or effort. If you truly are their niece, tell her that she can also look for support groups for adult survivors of childhood abuse. No, those situations don't have rockets flying overhead or bombs blowing up, but they are combat zones just the same, and growing up that way can also cause PTSD. The treatment is the same no matter how you come by the diagnosis. I wanted her to know that it is possible to survive and even thrive with PTSD, and it does become easier to deal with over time.They have only been trying to come to terms with all of it for 7 yrs. I've been living it for over 20 now. It's possible to have a wonderful, happy life and marriage, if you want to make it work. Take care and God bless.
Roberto and Amanda, thank you and may God bless you both with peace, love, health, prosperity and happiness for serving our country. Wishing you the best with your transition as Roberto is brave and talented and Amanda is brave, talented (and very beautiful).
God bless you both.
PTSD from combat stems from unjust wars.The troops know they are doing something wrong.
If PTSD had been this prevalent after WW2, with all the GIs returning after having experienced stuff ten times worse, this country would have fallen apart.
I'd like to see you do half of what they and I have done!
She was awarded a Combat Action Badge, not a Combat Action Ribbon. A Combat Action Ribbon is a Department of the Navy award (Navy, Marines, Coast Guard). A Combat Action Badge is an Army award bestowed upon non-infantry personnel.
for better or for worse,in sickness and in health....their love for each other and their son will get them through this; together as husband and wife and a family. take care, God bless, and thank you both for serving/protecting our country!
The UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine in San Francisco is creating a mind-body healing program for returning veterans with PTSD, which will combine physical exercise, like power yoga, with mindfulness. PTSD is a *holistic* issue, affecting body, mind and spirit, so only a holistic treatment can heal it fully. There are two treatment approaches that have shown to be effective for PTSD: one is called Somatic Experiencing and the other is called EMDR. If you have PTSD, I would encourage you to research both, and find a therapist in your area if either is of interest to you.
The hate in these comments astounds me! How can anyone who gets to voice their opinions (whatever they may be), vote without the fear of persecution, and live in a country as great as ours (I know this can be debated, but I have been/lived in a lot of places and the U.S. is great) question "what freedoms do these people fight for"? On top of that, throwing racist insults at a couple that have opened themselves up so that others can benefit from their struggles. And if you are really worried about your tax dollars, go talk to your congress people, cause the pennies these people get compared to the billions wasted on other things should be of bigger concern. And if you really don't like it that much, LEAVE and go to a country where you think your taxes will be put to better use! I thank this couple for sharing their story, I hate CNN for butchering it (don't you all have editors!?), and I hope they know how much their family's sacrifice means to this country!
I agree its the not militaries fault tgere doing their job just like we do.. its their bosses "our government".
All you people speaking out against this couple and the military, they fought for your freedom, it includes the freedom for you to take your sorry butts right out of this country to the ones you think own this military we served in and suffer from PTSD for! This is one of the strongest couples I have ever met and you will never be honored by the privileged of being in the shadow of. I will gladly meet you some where and tell you in person exactly what you can do with your racist and worthless comments about my brother and sister and about the country I defended and suffer everyday for and until you have been where we have and done what we have done, you need to exercise your freedom to sit down and SHUT UP! Understand? Be constructive and supportive or be SILENT!!!!
That line about women rarely being awarded the Combat Action Badge is complete nonsense. Nice job at lying CNN.
I agree. Not as many are (number wise) because women are not directly in contact with the enemy as often as men. However, many women have received that award. I'd say thousands.
I know a vietnam vet,still has a bullet in his back,can't stand up straight,can't walk up steps either,he can barley get the va to say hello to him.
perhaps cnn can get you the assistance to get your brother the help he needs from the va.
that is ridiculous if he received the bullet from the war.
call your senator and insist on getting him the help he needs if the va won't help him, maybe, what a mess.
No he's not a family member of mine he's just someone I know,if he were family I would be calling who ever I could.
actually, i don't know what to do to help him
perhaps he doesn't want the va's help because he also has ptsd or something
you could ask him if he wants help first, and then perhaps call the closest va center to ask how to get him help if he would like you to dig out the information and help for him. perhaps things have changed now for the vietnam vets enough so he can finally get the help he so rightly deserves. ask him first though, he probably gave up a long time ago, things are changing
With a DD 214, he should lack nothing.
I know a bunch of guys who say they are vets. They all say they were SF too. If the VA will "not talk to the guy" then something does not smell right. Please remember, there are only two things is this world that smell like fish, one of them is fish.
He does get some medication from the va , and a small check I think like 400.00 a month,as I said I don't know all the details he doesn't like to talk much about it.But you can look at him and tell he is in pain all the time. It is just sad that be can hardly move but he still try's to get up and do what he can.
its amazing to me the narrow minded racist people in this world and for a simple article that was written all the negaticity written when its a small article.. Doesn't say all the facts doesn't tell the whole story but people cant be happy for others. not everyone with ptsd goes to the government asking for money and they still continue to work hard every day. no wonder our country has issues.... look at all the negativity form one article.
Well the way things are going many the next war maybe we can replace people with robot,drones,and hired mercernaries.
whats wrong with America how about whats wrong with you! there is nothing wrong with my sister, brother in law or nephew! but aparently many things wrong with you!
What a great couple. Good for the both of you- keep working on it and keep lovin each other!!
They are not a great couple. READ THE ARTICLE.
great mixed couple. that's what america is.
beautiful mixed couple with their mixed kid
It's kind of funny how all this whining started with Vietnam Vets, since they could hit the government up for financial support if they claimed mental stress. What about all of our people who served in WWI ,WWII, and Korea. Many of those soldiers took part in brutal hand-to-hand combat, which was up close and personal. This era of soldier did not whine about their service. The quality of people in the U.S. today is so watered-down with nothing but whiny trash.
The older generations carried out their jobs and were proud to serve.
sponges don't voluntarily sign up for the military
please go through what they are going through first before making another ignorant comment like that to veteran with ptsd, or any veteran for that matter. you have no idea.
and if the older generations had been able to get help for ptsd they would have and we might not have this war and the ones to follow. not seeing the true picture here, but then again, you are not the only one, for good reasons that put money in the pockets of many who never go to war, simply feed their bank accounts off of it. think about it deeply if you are able.
Hi – I went to war, I am veteran. The military is comprised largely of bottom rung dwellers that settle for entry level easy to get minimum wage government jobs.
I served with much better than you describe.
Dudoz, most of those "bottom feeders" get as far away from the government as they can when they leave the military.
it has taken all this time for the American people to realize just how much suffering is caused in a soldiers life do to just the whitness horrific events and even longer to compensate them for it. But of course if you have never been in a war zone you should just shut your mouth and go play with your dolls
shame, shame, Maynard. You obviously have never served, or have never been in combat. If this is true, your opinion is not valid,
I cant believe the responses on this post.... so much for the freedom they have fought for. There is no freedom of speech in this world, they have to see it one way or they get reamed. if you dont like what is put dont read it. it is their freedom to say what they wish! if it isnt then these people fought for nothing!!!!!!
it is also the veterans rights to stand up for themselves and others (especially veterans as they are trained)
get a clue
You are sort of right. Ever since PTSD was added as a diagnosis to DSM-IV post-Gulf War I, there has been a up tick in those filing for PTSD related disability. This has lead to some misrepresentation of signs and symptoms by some veterans and misdiagnosis by mental health officials. Of course, PTSD diagnosis walks a very fine line. By the same token, PTSD symptoms are real to the sufferer and can cause a failure to thrive for some. It can also make life hell and be dangerous for those who suffer and the people they are around.
For everyone on here supporting my sister thank you very much. For the people that have nothing better to do than talk trash you are a disgrace to America. My sister has never been herself since coming home from Iraq and us as her family do the best we can to help her every day we can, it is step by step. My sister works a full time job and does not collect military benefits so she doesn't have to work. My sister deserves every thing under the sun for what she has put in and what she goes through ( as does every soldier out there). I am proud to say my sister fought for my freedom and sorry to say that she fought for people who will never understand anything she goes through or care to learn. I am the proud sister of Amanda Melecio and glad she is home with us now, I am very sorry for all of the people who have lost somebody in war. If you do not know the story or care to know the story of many soldiers just keep your mouth shut and you will do this world more good than opening your mouth and a bunch of diarrhea coming out.
She signed up willingly, What freedom did we get from this boondoggle, I can't think of one,but we gave up a few,and several contractor got filthy rich on it.But if you wont to belive in the "for your freedom"garbage go ahead.American belive anything when it is warped in a flag made in china!
Tori, stop being such a phu qqtarded bully! You many need counselling yourself..... why go out of your way just to make someone else's life even more nightmarish? If you'd like I have some "grow the ph uqq up pills" that I can send you, FREE OF CHARGE, all I need is your mailing address.....
It's amazing all the racist ignorant people who are still out there in this world and all the people who have nothing good to say because you arent brave enough to sign up for the military so yes she willingly did sign up for service! our rights not out fault what jobs the government make the military do. they are doinga job so useless lazy people like yourself arernt forced to do!
the war is not her fault
repeat it to yourself please
the war is not her fault
the war is not her fault ...
I'd love to know where my money is b/c I served and I am FAR from filthy rich! My brother in law, brother, and sisters served in the military and are far from rich and I have a brother who is currently a contractor and he's not rich either but he stops and pays for each one of the service members in front of and behind him at the post store. It's a good thing you listen to rumors and know SO MUCH! Dummy!
your sister is very lucky to have you and your family and her family support. Keep up the good work. I am sorry they and many others are so sick from this war. The whole thing is horrible.
my empathy and support to you and your family. don't be bothered by the abuse on this list if at all possible. there are a lot of trolls, trolling to make you guys feel bad. Most people don't actually feel that way, and you are right, the ones that do should move to an island and then raise their own military when they are attacked. they would surely learn their ignorance then.
Thank you! it is amazing the negative racist people out there and many wonder why our country has problems.. These three will always have full family support and thats all they need. My sister is a very hard working woman and working on her masters so she certantly isnt living off our government.
you are welcome
and thank your sister and her husband for me
best of wishes to all of you
i am glad they are getting the help they need, and not made more sick
I know Amanda. It has been 5 years since I seen her. Recognized her before even before I even opened the entire article. Nice to she is doing well.
What a beautiful couple. May God bless your family.
adorable mixed couple
listen here if you have trash talk get the hell off this page that is my nephew, sister, and brother in law and I will tell you something right now you have no idea what this life is like. O and another thing what is wrong with America is racist losers like yourself who have no common sense.
Rusty – if you want to be a journalist, please learn to differentiate between "duel" and "dual."
oh, come on now. any of us that have been married know that 'duel' is correct. LOL
He's a beautiful child and the couple looks just fine.
good-looking mixed couple with their mixed kid
Better a mongrel than a pig.
Sono – well said! But, don't feed "Bribarian" any more – he's just looking for some action (in the only pathetic way he can.)
What does how this heroic couple looks have to do with it? You're just showing your ignorance and stupidity.
Who risked their very lives for your freedom. You're the only thing disgusting around here.
Oh, and by the way, hispanic/latino isn't a race, it's an ethnicity.
awareness also needs to grow for the children of returning vets w/pstd. It makes a hell of a childhood.
it's even worse for them with people who do not understand the illness nor the military life to deal with the children of vets. they can definitely cause more harm to the point that your child commits suicide because of what they can, will, and do to destroy the family. i don't think most non-vets understand, and they feed a system of exploitation of children and harm them terribly to boot, so ... be very, very careful with that one.
vet children can be seriously harmed by the civilian environment of corruption, exploitation, and harm for research purposes. be careful.
Maynard- apparantly you should get with the real world and not be such a bigot. She loves her husband and the race does not matter. If you think she is such a wimp then I dare you to see her face to face. Some people should just not speak if they don't know the facts. Is your marriage perfect? I'm sure probably not because I don't know anyone who has a perfect marraige.
I feel for anyone having gone through something this horrific. I can't even begin to try to put myself in their place. I can't comprehend what they have been though. Heros, they surely are!! These people deserve every single bit of help (GOOD help, and compassionate help) available to them. No one should EVER be turned away, scoffed at, or told to get over it, or medicated out of his or her mind.
I'm so sorry so many have had to endure this type of stress. I wish them only the best, with bright, clear roads ahead.
getting the right kind of care, if you're a veteran not of a war period, (and even if you were from a war time), is impossible as far as I can tell. I am glad the veterans are finally getting the help they need and deserve for this disabling illness.
I hope this couple will stay strong in being as healthy as they are able together. Learn yoga/tai chi/chi gong/meditation together if you are able to. Practice when you are able – i know sometimes you can get too sick to even do this – but make it a priority to learn how to breath properly – which can be hard for a ptsd patient sometimes.
Ignorant. Some people really amaze me with their racist comments.
I'm white and i'm dating a man who is mexican/cuban. Get over it.
Wow, you are ignorant. And to think that those soldiers are protecting your right to say those ridiculous things. YOU are what is wrong with America
because Afghanistan and Iraq were hellbent on attacking us
It sucks even more to be actually traumatized by doctors, mental health professionals, researchers, cops, nurses, and interns when your seeking help for ptsd, and they know absolutely nothing about helping a ptsd patient, so they beat you up instead. oh yeah, and almost dying from the meds they give you without telling you you could dye from it cuz it can make you manic and kill yourself, etc., etc.
cptsd (complex ptsd)
Also Maynard, you're an ignorant racist bigot.
Sadly it's a bit true, I served in Afghanistan and I can say this story is total BS. You don't save three people's lives and get just a CAB, you don't drive a pick-up truck into a base like a mad man. That will get you killed, because if a truck is driving like that you assume it's a vbied. Real PTSD is horrific. It will shut a man down both physically and mentally but a vast majority of POG's claim it to get disability when they get out. It's easy to claim and impossible to disprove.
Zachary- that is all that she received because our government in their infinite wisdom do not believe that she deserves a purple heart or anything else that she deserves. Her CAB specifically says that she saved three lives and that she was the ONLY coalition soldier with Iraqi soldiers and the government is trying to cover this up. This is a true story and you can chose to believe it or not but those of us that love her know the truth.
Zachary, thank you very much for your service – Veteran
The only "race traitor" here is you. To the human race. Better hurry! You're late to the Romney rally!
What a beautiful couple. I wish them all the best!
"these" people happen to be my family and let me tell you soemthing before you open your mouth to unknown facts they dotn soak up any tax dollars well my sister works a ful time job and is going for he rmasters degree while being a full time mom! she did her duty she did come back with issues and she is getting help. as some may come back with bogus claims and may use military money who knows but as far as this couple not a chance so run your mouth to someone who cares or where you may sound intelligent.
Maynard, please do some research into what the world is really like, not just your (seemingly bigoted) bubble...someone race doesn't make any difference whatsoever with this problem nor does the prevalence of the disorder. And NOBODY deserves violence in their marriage...how's yours?
I spent the majority of my active duty career as a member of a UAV crew back here in the States, and never thought a thing about PTSD. I worked 12 hour days, watched and listened as our troops went in, did their jobs, and got out, and in the process saw may people die and their bodies slowly cooling as the mission continued on. I didn't think anything of it till almost a year after my retirement when my husband and I (he's still active duty) went to Act of Valor; I spent half the movie with my eyes closed, crying and quietly calling out their next radio and team maneuver calls just before they did in the movie. It took days to recover and my husband didn't know what to do to help. The next time I tried to talk to my VA doctors they told me "you were in the States working with UAVs, there's no way you could have PTSD". There's still a significant level of ignorance where the scope of PTSD and its causes are concerned and it's narrow-minded for people to assume that because of one's geographic location with regards to the combat zone, they can't be affected. They CAN. They ARE. And we've done a very poor job of helping people with this problem for several decades. I'm also the daughter of a Vietnam-Era veteran and know firsthand the impact it had on my family members. Even at their current age I strongly advocate they at least try to seek help from local veterans groups.
OH come on ! What you are describing is called LIFE. We all have emotions about things that we witnessed in the past. The death of a loved one, an auto accident, getting beat up by another kid in school, losing a job, a divorce, etc., etc. etc. It is called LIFE !!! And all our lives come with bad experiences along the way and the emotions that come with those experiences. Even the evening news of bad things causes emotions. I still remember the emotions of
9-11, the Kennedy death, etc. etc. This is LIFE the way it is. What has become of us when people are claiming PTSD from even HEARING about bad things.
Do it for six years straight, day in, day out. It's very intense and requires a totally different level of personal investment than watching the news about 9/11 or any other major event. Yes, people are traumatized by what they see on the news – but those same people would be ruined by what we witness for years on end. Definitely NOT the same.
When you see your friends get blown up or witness young men and womens heads, arms, legs and abdomens get ripped open from stepping on bombs then I think you are allowed to have an opinion. When you go weeks without a good nights sleep because you are worried about a rocket landing on your head, then you can have an opinion. When you are sleeping underneath your MRAP, eating MRE's and havent showered in weeks then you can have an opinion. War is not "LIFE" as you say it is. You really shouldnt comment on PTSD unless you have actually experienced it– because otherwise you come accross as ignorant and you sound like a buffoon.
Seriously? You're comparing active duty/combat to watching 9/11 on TV or hearing that a loved one died? Are you for real? Who are these people who visit this website?
You're probably one of those people who thinks you know just what combat is like because you play Gears of War every day.
i'll tell you from experience and not being in the military a divorce, jobloss, etc is NOT anything that will cause PTSD. now seeing something that will trigger you and make you emotionless and have nightmares and anxiety such as certain tramadic events will cause PTSD. I myself didnt go to war but did find my husband hanging in my garage. I have ptsd! didnt understand these terms when my sister talked had no clue just like you. now i do and wish it on no one. all they do is try and medicate you cover up issues.... so PTSD can be from numerous things not just war, but if you dont have it you will NEVER understand!
Its not just life. .Being in the military combat zone or not, many still go through and hear/witness these things through their brothers/sisters in arms. I cant tell you how many metal boxes I have seen being loaded on and off carriers, or sat in funerals held in bases, and made myself available for one suffering through this. . family, friends dont deal with it directly but are left with the bad taste.
A friend back from Nam went nuts. It took me decades to analyze what went wrong ( with his input). He told me
the adrenalin level was always ramped up in his tour so when he came back, he created scenarios to feel normal,i.e.,
getting into fights, stealing for no reason, booze, drugs, guns, death defying car accidents, you name it. He's a-okay now.
Don't speak for her! For taking responsibility for the responsibility of the actions of what happens to someone else! Don't process someone elses emotions for them! Who the hell are you Joe? Sit down!
From what you stated, you didn't "witness" anything. You just heard about it and claim PTSD from that.
Joe, it's your opinion and those like yours that makes life harder for those of us that made that sacrifice and took part in defending your ability to hold and voice that opinion. I'll leave it there, on a respectful note.
Have you seen combat?
I think you comment is ignorant. My Great-Grandfather fought in World War II and when he told his war stories at an old age, you could see the horror and fear that haunted his eyes. The man had nightmares from serving his country up to the day he died. He fought so idiots like you could make your uneducated opinions known to the world. Your comment was not only racist but completely uncalled for. I think you should do some one on one research with a veteran from any war before you make comments like this. I hope one day you look back at your laps in judgement and realize that you are so very wrong for trying to discredit a serious illness that our Veterans suffer through to this very day. You should be ashamed of yourself and this is coming from a 25 year old woman who has only just begun to live her life. If I know the difference between right and wrong, so should you!
So Maynard which branch are you in? you know since you know so much about it
An idiot like this would not pass basic training. He is a fool, bty I was active army. And am Jewish
@ Pre 9/11 PTSD Victim and another Vet. After WWII and Korea, we just called it shell shock, after Nam, we learned to bury our emotions as there was no treatment and only hatred. But it was and still is there for many of us. One day I spotted an outreach VA van that is one of many working the remote rural areas. When I stopped and talked to the people involved, they noticed my license plate and said whether you want to admit it or not, you need to get registered and get help for PTSD from Nam. I live alone, can't handle relationships, and never will find one, constantly on edge, always watching my back, always conscious of my surroundings and the list goes on, finally 40 yrs later the VA is answering PTSD for pre 9/11 vets. There are many vets living in rural America hiding from the past and the outreach vans are only scratching the surface. One thing Nam and all of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have in common is there is no real rear ward location and for the nurse in Germany, I know other Vets who were also in Germany who also suffer from PTSD just from treating the wounded.
Good Lord, what you just said is that the VA people learned that you were a Vet and immediately said you MUST have PTSD and you should claim it. In other words, they were saying get your bucks Dude and never mind whether something is wrong with you or not.
@ Joe, my license plate is one of many purple heart plates, until you are an eyewitness to the most violent form of death, until you start running for a bunker from incoming rockets and dodging bullets, when you start asking the question why did I come back and the guy five feet from me is dead, you have no idea what you're talking about, yea, we never talk about what happened but always ask the question why!
A very interesting and valid article, with all the troops coming home from War with physical and mental injuries why do Mitt Romney and the Republican Party want to cut Veterans’ benefits and services? Mental injury will make you as sick as a dog and it’s hard to treat. The VA is one of the very best Federal Programs and it helps the wounded and injured. Keep it fully funded as these are our Sons and Daughters.
Your Father was a mess cook at Fort Benning and wouldn't know a VC if one hit him over the head with a pork-chop.
if they got a check every month my sister wouldnt be working and neither would he.. so there not liars but sounds to me liek your jealous you cant go get a check every month..
Sad. I feel women have no place in combat. The women have easier standards such as physical fitness and weight bearing ability. Yes you know it.
I am an army nurse, I worked in the ICU in germany, we had two flights a day from Iraq and a flight a day from Afghanistan. the 10 months I worked in the ICU we ran 2700 through a TWELVE bed icu. that does not count for the rest of the hospital. I have some PTSD from seeing all those wounded warriors. So genius, it is possible to suffer from PTSD and never really even see combat.
men shouldn't be in wars either.
Reply to Elitee – So everyone who works in an ER has PTSD, everyone who works in an ambulance has PTSD, everyone who works as a police officer has PTSD, every fireman has PTSD, witness an auto acciden- got PTSD, a loved one dies – got PTSD, etc., etc. Now folks this PTSD claiming of PTSD is getting ridiculous. Shame on the frauds and help the few that actually have it who really have a verifiable reason to have it.
I am also an OEF veteren- ICU nurse. The things I saw for 7 months straight- every day- 12-16 hours per day were absolutely horrifying. Joe– Unless you have been there, done that then I suggest you keep your opinions to yourself.You have no clue! You sound like an idiot!
WOW my wife and I met in Iraq in 2003 while on active duty, she almost got kill few times, same with me. We made it trough ever since then. I feel like she is the only person who understands me for what we both went through.
I'd never change my wife for any other woman, even we both suffer from PTSD.
I wish good luck to all the vets out there struggling to live a normal life.
My husband and I met after our first deployment too. Same FOB, just didn't meet until afterwards. Then we went back a second time. I was a medic, he was infantry. We both had quite a few brushes with death. I said after our first deployment that I could never be with a man that didn't understand, and I think being able to understand this part of each other has only made our marriage stronger. We are unbreakable, because we hold each other up. And no one on the outside really gets it. But that is okay. I would rather them not understand.
20% PTSD??? I was shocked and awed by that number.
Something to consider before we remove another dictator.
The number is actually much higher than that, approaching 30%. The official figures do not (and cannot) take into account all of those suffering from PTSD who do not report it. There is still a stigma in the military (and in the police) that if you report your symptoms, you will be sidelined or never be promoted. Although higher ups are more understanding these days as a result of education and articles like this, the problem still exists. A good book on PTSD for military, police, emergency doctors, nurses, etc. is CopShock (2nd Ed), Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. It describes what can happen to both men and women under extreme stress, being shot, knifed, beaten, or who have experienced multiple traumatic incidents that can lead to PTSD. It tells how to prevent PTSD and how to manage its symptoms, even cure it. (Yes, it can be cured, although for years shrinks didn't think it was possible.) There are chapters on how to learn Resiliency techniques and what to do before and after a traumatic event, as well as self tests for anxiety, PTSD, stress, resiliency and panic disorder. Also contains great resources for therapy, alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorders, etc.
This will show up at the va for 70 more years.and to all the folks that don't think it will go visit a va hospital and you can see for yourself cause I see it every week all that pain thanks GB.
AMERICA REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE PRE-9-11 PTSD Victims, Wounded Warrior Project the Vets Admin and others only mention POST 9-11 soldiers as PRE-9-11 soldiers are forgotten. America couldn't help vets prior to 9-11 so rather than include them they just decided to leave them out of the loop. I know I am a PRE- 9-11 PTSD victim. War just didnt begin with 9-11. Our military was in wars before Iraq, Grenanda, Panama, Korea Vietnam Honduras, there are lots of wars that the govt send men into combat and still refuse to declare combat even though we got killed, killed and were denied metals for. Until America stops thinking war didnt happen PRE-9-11 we will never fixed any our military.
Give us time. We'll forget about them, too.
"Amanda was awarded a combat action badge, which is rarely awarded to females, for her bravery following the attack." Simply not true. "Called her on her cell phone" Tells me that they were rear area Soldiers, especially in 2005. Not taking anything away from them as individuals, I do not know them personally. I am just saying that there sure are a lot of people getting out of the military with PTSD now that we all know people get paid for PTSD through the VA now. We are a nation of crybabies.
I am not exactly sure what your comment is trying to prove. Your lack on information tells me you were not there. As a matter of fact, I was in Baghdad in 2004 and my unit all had cell phones with NY phone #s. And if you were there, you would also know that disposable phones were used by soldiers. And there was no "rear" in Iraq, every military base was in the "red' and a target, maybe with the exception of above the green line.
Thank you LC for your service. Most importantly, thank you for providing your view which seems in-line with the views of other vets that I know. That is the 'team' aspect (there were no rear soldiers) and the view of cellphones.
If your unit had cell phones and ate in a mess hall every day you are correct. I was not there, I was nowhere near you pal. This is not a contest to see who has the biggest boy parts though. I simply stated my opinion that Soldiers are asking to be compensated for PTSD when EVERYONE sees some bad stuff in their life. What did you think was going to happen when you signed up? Should we compensate people who see an accident on the roadside? Maybe we should just man up a little bit.
Just curious, how many years did you serve or were you too much of a sissy to serve?
Too sissy huh? I am here now clown. Anyway, I was not trying to start a fire or point fingers in my first comment, I just think we ought to take a hard look at all these claims. Just the the rest of the country, the military is no different, there are a lot of people looking for a hand out. If you feel you have a problem go see one of the many support groups to get help. If you are airing your problems on CNN you are probably a fake.
Sorry, I forgot to answer your question. 22 years 11Z
I have some doubts about all this PTSD stuff. Seems far to easy to claim it and receive money when the proof of it is so weak or the proof of any connection with the war is so weak. Money doesn't talk, it screams. Just sounds too much like whiplash claims, etc. Man, there must have been MILLIONS and MILLIONS of cases of PTSD after World War II.
Yes Joe these folks get a few dollars a month very few.i know cause I get a few myself and it does help just part of the price of war.
The amount people get is actually quite laughable. It's barely enough to feed a person, impossible to live on. Especially when taking into consideration that any form of complex PTSD makes it almost impossible to hold down a job and find any sort of stability. It's not about the money, a good job would pay much better.
PTSD is not something people can randomly declare. It is an illness, diagnosed by a licensed psychiatrist, with verifiable clinical symptoms.
Reply to "Monkey Mind" – Well you say you have had PTSD for 45 years and you receive "a few" dollars each month. Seems to me that 45 years of a few dollars a month adds up to a bunch of money. Who knows, maybe you have it and it may be related to war, but that is the problem – who knows? Far to easy to claim it and with no proof at all except by some physicians who make their living by "treating" it. I sure do appreciate the service of the military, my brother died in Vietnam, but we have a mind set in our society at the moment that a Vet cannot be questioned at all about anything just because he/she is a Vet. I have actually seen Vets claim they are entiled to special treatment in waiting lines at restaurants, special treatment when charged with a crime, etc., etc. Thanks for your service, but there is a limit to all this.
Joe- I agree that not everyone deserves special treatment and some people take advantage. In this case, I know first hand because I see them living this every day. They are extroadinary people and if the war would have taken my daughter then I would be some upset. She DOES have PTSD and so does her husband, their son suffers from them having PTSD and it is not fun.
I agree with you,every time you turn around someone is screaming I got PTSD, considering that halliburton/kbr guys were put in harms way to and it was the U.S. goverment that hired them why aren't they being cares for under the va as well. You sign up then there's a good chance you are going to a war zone,so don't sign up.People see bad stuff everyday,deal with it! There is so much waste,fraud,and abuse in the va system it is unreal,I see it everyday vet selling thier med for cash claiming to be hurt but are in better shape than me,they work full time off the books and draw 2000.00 checks every month.But heaven forbid we say anything about the "hero's".
Very interesting read and I think that is outstanding. I hope them the best, glad they can work together as a team. However I think CNN and readers should know that this is NOT that rare. There are a lot dual military couples. Not that they all suffer same amount of trauma as them, however some did. Plenty been deployed many times. I know Amanda and Rob will be just fine.
I am also a veteran, disabled. i just lost a brotherin law who died of an auto accident. he had p.t..s.d. he was a 30 year veteran. he turned to alchol as a crutch. it was what killed him. he as i have tried to get help from the veterans hospitials. but it seems that our goverment forgets about veterans after they have no more use for us. i wish this couple all the luck in the world.
WADR, it's not "duel PTSD cases" but "dual PTSD cases."
Robert is one lucky guy. I love this women I want to marry her mysef. Shouldn't be telling her PTSD husband this though. Robert if you are reading don't hunt me down, I am just joking.
From one Veteran to another, thank you both of you for your service!!! I wish you a very blessed life and a very happy marriage!! Hope things get better!!
The best to you folks.ptsd for 45 years and thanks to the va and meds and 4 years with the kindest Dr.s.Just stay in the moment take long walks with a good dog and enjoy all the good times you can have.
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