A good friend shared this article with me today from the New York Times May 7 Opinion Pages. I have to say it is one of the most well-written and insightful accounts of PTSD that I’ve read in a long time. The author, an Army Major named Damon T. Armeni, was deployed to Iraq, seriously wounded there, and redeployed 1 year later. His article touches on how PTSD feels physically and emotionally, how he tried to ignore it over the years, how it’s affected his family, and how, with hope and determination, he’s committed to overcoming it over time and with the help of loved ones.
I was struck by his remark that, “unlike training for combat, your family and friends can participate. They can get tools too.” It’s critical that we broaden the use of tools that veterans can relate to. Our filmmaking workshops combine narrative therapy with digital video – a tool young veterans are very familiar with. And as you know we’ve been working at major Army bases around the country, but we’ll soon start working with military families as well. Collaboration is an important antidote to the isolation that often leads to negative outcomes for PTSD sufferers.
I want to Major Armeni, shake his hand, and invite him to attend an I WAS THERE Film Workshop. Please take a moment to read his article, and I welcome your thoughts and reflections on it.