Here’s what came across the Comms Check Portal and other avenues to us during the past week.

//SOFREP Radio & SOFREP PTSD Content

I ETS’d in June 2011. I actually went on terminal leave the day Bin Laden got waxed… Nice going away present! I served as a grunt in the 82d Airborne Division and spent a year (2008-2009) tirelessly patrolling Baghdad and surrounding areas, to no avail. I was a company RTO for a hard charging Company Commander and spent almost every waking moment on patrol or QRF. I think most of my peers would vouch for me having an insane workload over the course of the deployment. At times, it was heinous. The stress became almost unbearable, yet, I have no badass firefight stories, no kill count, or really anything I expected to earn as an infantryman in a time of war.

However, I don’t think anyone who spends a significant amount of time on the ground in a place such as Baghdad comes out unscathed. I’ve been learning that, despite the lack of action experienced, I’m no exception.

After listening to Tom and Scott Spooner’s interview and reading an article on SOFREP written by a former 18D who spent time in country around the same time as myself, with less than an exhilarating experience and returned with PTSD, I began to accept the fact that I had the same problems.

I hadn’t earned the badass status, but I had earned a healthy dose of anxiety, anger, depression, hyper vigilance, chronic fatigue, and the list goes on.

The one thing holding me back from confronting my issues was the stigma attached to PTSD, which as largely been perpetuated by members of the military. The truth is, PTSD isn’t only caused by intense fighting, but can also just be a reaction to prolonged stress, constant feelings of impending danger, and general “darkness” of the situation.

The moral of the story is, I’m not a seasoned operator, or even a highly experienced infantryman. I’m just an average guy with PTSD, and that’s okay.