Christopher Ryan Mitchell is a former US Army Soldier who suffers from PTSD from his 2 1/2 year deployment to Afghanistan. The PTSD has caused Ryan to have flashbacks and nightmares. Also, any little thing can cause him to have these flashbacks. On May 14, 2013 Ryan got into a confrontation with his father Mark Mitchell. With disregard or ignorance to what PTSD really is, Mark continued to provoke Ryan until something snapped in Ryan and he fired a pistol over his own head, to stop Mark's advances. Mark's wife, Ryan's stepmother, then came out screaming at Ryan, causing Ryan to threaten her if she did not go back inside. At this point Ryan got into his truck and left. As obvious as it was that Ryan's behavior was a consequence of his PTSD condition, Mark and his wife chose to file criminal charges against Ryan, rather than seek help for him. How disgraceful it is that Ryan eagerly gave 5 years of his life, 2 1/2 of those in Afghanistan, fighting against terrorism and then be charged by his own father for terrorist threats! First our government failed Ryan, for not making sure he received the help he desperately needed, as do all of our Veterans coming home wounded in the same way. Now his father has failed him by choosing to file criminal charges against him, rather than having to deal with helping his own son. Finally, our judicial system has failed Ryan by choosing to label him a terrorist and felon, because it is easier than helping or acknowledging. Please sign this petition to help Ryan get the help he needs and not jail time for a crime he should not have been charged with in the first place. If you feel like this has been an injustice to Ryan and to all Veterans who suffer from PTSD please share and pass along.
This is a small part of a letter my father wrote about his grandson. He is a Vietnam Veteran who served in the 4th Infantry as a machine gunner in 1968 and 1969. Who also suffered from PTSD when he got home, or back then it was called battle fatigue. Really? Battle fatigue?
World War II was called the greatest generation, not only because our soldiers endured so much and scarified so much, but because we the people stood behind them, not only during the war, but also afterwards. Do we not owe our Veterans today any less? Have we lost the need to be grateful? Was our fore fathers that much wiser than we are? How long can we expect our Best continue to be willing to sacrifice so much for an ungrateful nation. From 1965 thru 1975 America's finest were coming home to be spit on and to be called baby killers, to the point of going into hiding, because they were made to be ashamed of their service. Twenty-six years later we needed them again. This time we acknowledged the mistake we made with our Vietnam Veterans, because we wanted our best to go again. This time when they come home bands play, flags are waved and if they have the misfortune of loosing limbs, we parade them around for everyone to see how proud we are of the sacrifices they made. BUT, if they have the misfortune to have wounds in their very souls, which can and , in a lot of cases, be more of a disability than loosing a limb, we refuse to even acknowledge that they are a causality with wounds, that left untreated last a lifetime. You can not replace a broken mind or soul with a prosthetic. Are we going to wait twenty-six more years before we recognize that these Veterans are being treated as bad, or worse, than our Vietnam Veterans? There are 27 million Veterans in this country. The number suffering from PTSD is enormous and millions of lives have been destroyed like my grandson Staff Sgt Christopher Ryan Mitchell. This must not be allowed to stand!