For many who serve in our armed forces and go through the living nightmare of war, the stress, horror and anguish of that experience soaks into their hearts and minds, and that pain stays with them long after they have left the theater of operations. For many, the pain and darkness inside them is more than they can bear. The horrible, heart-breaking fact is that, on average, 22 veterans take their lives each day. Look at the clock. There’s a very real chance that during this hour, a veteran will take his or her own life trying to get away from the pain.
What follows are the words of a soldier’s wife, a friend of a friend of mine. Her husband very nearly went past that terrible point of no turning back. I’m posting this because this horror is so real. It’s as real as your alarm clock waking you up in the morning. It’s as real as the chair you’re sitting in. It will kill 22 veterans today!
I have removed any identifying information from the following, and have therefore made very minor editorial changes to preserve the flow of her words.
For the second time in just over a year, my husband, a soldier in the US Army, succumbed to the darkness of combat & war related PTSD. Several days ago, he attempted to kill himself again but was stopped because my daughter found him before he could go through with it. An ambulance came, brought him to the local hospital where he spent 2 nights in the ICU before being released this morning to be transported to the psych ward at our regional medical center indefinitely for inpatient treatment.
My husband hid his depression and PTSD from everyone, even me… and it wasn’t until it had completely taken over him and he wanted to end his life that we were able to see he needed help.
I am holding it together, I don’t really have any choice… but I am very sad. Extremely sad. My husband is a kind, generous man who loves his family so much but is hurting so much inside from what he had to endure in combat. And that makes me so sad for him… for my children… for me.
Thanks to the support of a friend, the kids and I will be able to visit my husband this weekend. Hopefully by then, he’ll have a new outlook on life and be on the road to recovery. At least, that’s what I’ll be praying for.
I will be putting parts of my life on hold indefinitely. Instead, I will be focusing on bettering myself so I can be the best wife to my wounded warrior and the best mother to my hurting children.
If you know a veteran, an active duty soldier… please, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call them. Check up on them. Make sure they are okay. This is not a life I wish on anyone.
This breaks my heart. These people have sacrificed so much for our country, and now they drown in pain and despair. Take this wife’s advice: reach out to vets, call a friend who served, be truly concerned and aware.
There are organizations to help, as well. A few are:
God help us to help them.
- My hope for the future.
- Don’t look away.