Combat Stress – the Enemy Within

Try as I might, I will never truly understand what it’s like to be in combat or live with the constant threat of an Improvised Explosive Device going off. And, I am like most Americans who have not been in military service.

A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom suggested I check out a British public service ad, he says it’s the closest attempt, that he’s seen, to capture what it’s like for a veteran living with combat PTSD. This was produced by Combat Stress, an organizaiton in the United Kingdom.

It depends on the veteran and their personal experience. But, an episode could be triggered by something as simple as a car backfiring. Ironically, for some veterans the most difficult day is Fourth of July because of all the fireworks.

OIF veteran Cheyenne Forsythe, would like to see a national TV campaign in the United States using the British TV public service announcement. He believes it’s more convincing than TV ads produced in the U.S. Here’s one from the Real Warriors Campaign which is part of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Which video do you think is more effective at convincing veterans to seek help for PTSD symptoms if you’re a veteran? If you’re a civilian, which video forwards your understanding of combat stress and which makes you want to take action to help?

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