I am just going to come right out and say it. I am so happy that the nut job who shot up the theater in Colorado has no prior military service. When I heard the story I know I had the same thought that many others had. You might have thought it too. I immediately thought oh no another one of our guys has lost it. I don't watch the news, but I'll bet money someone even said, "I wonder if he served in the military?" I am so glad my initial thought was wrong and I am so glad he did not serve in the military.
Our families have so many stigmas to over come we really didn't need one more hurdle. Many people are already afraid to approach our service members because of what they've seen on the news or saw in a movie or on TV. Many people unfortunately think all of our service members mimic the people they see in a lifetime movie. Do those people exist? Yes they do, but they are the minority.
I personally think post traumatic stress effects all of our service members. Some it just effects more than others. But they are not all going to go flip out and hold up a bank. No instead the majority of them are trying to figure out how to live and cope with post traumatic stress everyday. And so many times our amazing service members run into the fire and help save lives and do so many great deeds and they go unnoticed.
Chaz has post traumatic stress. The girls and I have secondary post traumatic stress. How could we not?! Chaz stepped on an IED. His legs are gone. Our lives are changed forever. We've left our lives behind in order to heal our family. I think our anger over the situation will always be there. Chaz and I choose to deal with our families' emotions head on. I think this choice has made everything a little easier for all of us. Our oldest has had several meltdowns because of our situation. But no matter what we are doing we stop and talk it all out with her. Our youngest sleepwalks and has regressed to infant like behavior many times. Once again we address it immediately. We do not run and hide from their needs.
When Chaz gets angry it's usually connected to his disability. Either he can't get to something because of his chair or he can't reach something because his elbow is fused. Me, well my anger comes from having to do everything. Sometimes I am just so exhausted that I lash out. We are all human and as you see we all react differently, but we are all coping with post traumatic stress together.
And now too many more families will join ours in learning how to cope with post traumatic stress. So many families have now been forced to join us and our fellow wounded warrior families on this difficult journey of how to cope. Unfortunately they too have had their lives turned upside down. They might not ever really know why that nut job did what he did, but they will have to pick up their lives and cope the best they can.
All we can do is pray for their peace and healing. We can also pray that they all get the help they need. We can also pray that God's will be done in regards to every aspect of this unbelievable tragedy.