I am walking 6,000+ miles across the United States this year in order to start a conversation about post-traumatic stress. So many of our people are afraid to seek help. They suffer in silence thinking something is wrong with them. These thoughts are reinforced by hurtful notions, such as only people with weak minds get PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). By the way, that’s not true. Bad things happen to good people and sometimes it is too much for them at that moment in time. Jackie Kennedy witnessed the assassination of her husband President John F. Kennedy. The First Lady was not a weak-minded person and yet she suffered with PTSD for 31 years.

Most people get PTSD while being connected to an event involving death or serious injury. My name is Steve and my PTSD is a reminder of combat in Iraq. It took me a long time to understand how and why I developed PTSD. I used to think my PTSD was just something in the head, because I had no idea how severely it affects the body. Which is one of the reasons most people hide their pain in shame just like I used to.

I will be walking through 20 states having conversations with veterans, first responders, medical professionals, and people interested in post-traumatic stress. Knowledge is power meant to be shared. I want to empower you to help yourself and those you care about.

Roughly eight percent of people reading this have PTSD. That’s the equivalent of one broken egg in every dozen. That means most, if not all, of us have a loved one who was fine until something terrible happened and ever since that day things have been a struggle. The way we help those in need is by getting knowledge and resources where they are needed.

Please donate. There are a lot of hurt people who cry themselves to sleep. I was one of them. We all have a story. I’m not a counselor, but I’m a good listener. Come talk with me. Talking about it is the first step on the road to recovery.

When I first knew I had PTSD

In 2007, I was sitting on a sofa in Tampa, Florida, roughly about a week after my last Iraq deployment. My then fiancé Jessica and I were watching a very graphic horror movie from the SAW series. My vision filled with white and somehow, I was back in the driver’s seat of a HMMWV in Zafaraniyeh Baghdad. Driving as fast as I could to FOB Rustamiyah after a road side bomb attack. I drove while Lill’s eyes faded from blue to lifeless gray on the hood of my truck. Rami’s face had been blown off and his dead body lay behind me in the back seat. The smells, tastes, fear, and rage were all there.

During this flashback my whole body was convulsing like I had epilepsy. I made sounds that were not words. Jessica initially thought I was messing around, until she saw my eyes. I was somewhere else for a period of time, and then I was back with her again. We talked about what happened and there was no doubt in our minds.


Los Angeles, CA

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