An explosion underneath a soldier’s feet lifts his truck a few feet off the ground. The intense concussion from the blast causes ringing in his ears. Bullets begin hitting the side of his now useless vehicle. As he regains some of his hearing, he notices his command calling out for more men. It is time for him and his squad to tear through houses on the now chaotic street where this small glimpse of hell has embodied itself. The images of war never leave a soldier. For the rest of his life, he has to live with the stressful memories he acquired while on his tour of duty in his or her war zone.
Many soldiers who return from a war zone never return the same person they were before they left home. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, affects many veterans every day all around the world. There are many levels of PTSD varying from minute to extreme. Some soldiers suffer flash backs while others suffer from lack of sleep, nightmares, smells, even anger and depression. No matter the level of post-traumatic stress, PTSD takes a toll on the human mind. Even the most highly trained soldier can suffer and break down because of the things he or she did, saw, and lived overseas.
The nightmares kick months after the tour of duty is over. They are hellish dreams of events lived overseas coming back to haunt the human mind. Depression sets in, causing friends and family to ponder what is wrong. The reality of the situation is that no one but the soldiers’ brothers in arms will understand. Walking down the street, a car backfires sending the mind into frenzy. The confusion of in his mind, “is it all happening again,” causes a panic attack. Frustration sets in because all they want is to feel safe once more. However, how can they feel safe while in their mind all they see is war?
Families also suffer the consequences of war. A wife cries on the couch, overwhelmed by the fact that she cannot help her husband. She wants to understand what goes through his mind daily, yet she will never truly see the truth. The soldier’s anger and depression are seen by his children. They fear for their father because they know that he soon may have to leave once again. “He will never be our same daddy,” they cry to their mother, “we don’t want him to go again.” His wife misses the once happy life she lived with her husband.
He sits in a dark corner of his room, legs crossed on the floor thinking to himself. Thoughts of things that once were and how soon they will be once more flood his shattered mind. Not only does he worry about leaving his family behind, but also his brothers in arms that will be fighting next to him. He worries he will not be able to bring them all home to their families. He has lost friends before and does not want that to be the end result a second time around. His thoughts bring tears to his eyes. His time has come once again to serve his country somewhere on the far reaches of the world.
War does things to the human mind that no simple words can describe. Families either fall apart or build stronger bonds. The individual soldier either falls apart or reaches out and seeks help for the problems that he or she is going through. The military is not a mandatory job. Soldiers all volunteer to serve and sign their own fates on the dotted line. They know for fact what they are getting themselves into and that war is going to be part of their lives. However, what not everyone realizes is the fact no one returns home the same person as when they left. War has horrible consequences on the human mind