After 20 years of constant conflict, we have become accustomed to hearing about servicemembers struggling with their return home and reintegration into civilian life. Sadly, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, has become almost synonymous with veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And while so many struggle with acute injuries like loss of limbs and traumatic brain injuries, it is PTSD that consumes any conversation about how to care for our former warfighters.

And while the focus on PTSD is generally a good thing — an open national conversation about mental health and how best to care for our veterans is something we should always be supporting — it can often overshadow the other victims of the struggle; the family members and loved ones of those who have borne the battle. 

No one knows better how important the support of family is than Tom and Jen Satterly. 

Tom served in the U.S. Army for 25 years, 21 of them in the branch’s elite Delta Force. Beginning in Somalia in the early 1990s, Tom went on thousands of missions, rescued hostages, killed and captured terrorist leaders, and watched his friends getting maimed and killed around him. 

In 2014, suffering from PTSD, Tom nearly killed himself. In fact, he would have done so if not for Jen who, sensing something was wrong, brought him back from the brink. It was her love and support that helped Tom heal and enabled him to help others fight the unseen enemy in their own minds. 


Last month, Jen Satterly published a new book on the subject entitled, Arsenal of Hope: Tactics for Taking on PTSD, Together. The book isn’t a personal account or a memoir, but a kind of guidebook that “empowers family members combating post-traumatic stress on the home front, offering hope, purpose, and tangible solutions.”

Hope, purpose, and tangible solutions: so much of what we veterans face, especially those with PTSD, is about finding a purpose after service and harnessing hope to live healthy and happy lives with the ones we love.