The expression of "Not all wounds of war are visible." and "Some return but never make it back." can describe many of our servicemembers and veterans that have been affected by combat-related PTSD. Between 18-22 veterans are losing their battle with PTSD & depression daily, which is a sickening number. One statistic shows that for every 1 veteran that was killed by an enemy combatant, 25 veterans have taken their own lives. The rise in active duty servicemember suicides have reached an all-time high. PTSD does not discriminate. The suicide rate among female military veterans is 3 times higher than that of a nonveteran. PTSD is a horrific wound of war. It is debilitating and can lead to the loss of life.
I was stunned recently to discover that veterans and servicemembers with combat-related PTSD were ineligible to receive the Purple Heart. The Purple Heart, to me, is a reflection of something that you gave up or a burden that you took on in order to defend this country. To say that PTSD is not an injury is insulting to the many veterans and servicemembers that battle daily to cope with their PTSD. There is no prosthetic psyche that we can be fitted with to make everything better or to at least adapt to the change that PTSD enacted. All that is asked is that it is recognized that veterans and servicemembers with combat-related PTSD have made a sacrifice.