PTSD And Veterans

Dear Readers,

This blog came out of one of my 2011 journals when I happened upon a very angry senior veteran…

 

PTSD AND VETERANS,  Journal Entry, 8-15-2011

 

Once or twice a week I do my volunteer job at our local hospital and I have only one thing on my mind, “Who can I witness to about the Lord today?”  Each morning, as I start my job, I quickly pray and ask for guidance.

Today was nothing special, just the usual, “Hi my name is Claire!  Would you like a book or some magazines to read…?”  Then a comment from someone, or a certain look, will start a conversation.  Sometimes, an opportunity will show it’s face for me to talk about God.  Every volunteer day I wait for that opportunity!  I look and listen for that special chance.  In and out of every patient room I pray for healing, salvation, and peace to come over the sick.  But today was routine.

Finally I finished my work and headed for my dinner in the cafeteria.  I sat down at a table to wait until the workers started to serve lunch at eleven.  Only one other volunteer was waiting ahead of me.  We talked awhile and out of nowhere I felt the urge to mention God!  Suddenly, his conversation turned to anger!  Anger against God, against war (Vietnam in particular), and against people!

“Where did this come from?” I asked my coworker.  “Is today an anniversary or something?”

“No, I’m always like this!” he responded.

“I have never seen this side of you before!  Have you ever gotten any counseling for this PTSD, to help you deal with all this anger?” I went on questioningly.

“Ya, I did!  After the war they took us aside before we left and told us we can’t do this and this and this and that anymore, when we get home!  That was all the advice we were given!  I don’t believe in God!  What kind of a God would allow those horrible things to happen?”  His frustration and anger showed all over his face.

“That’s not what I asked you!  Have you ever talked to anyone professionally about all the horror you had to go through while you were there?”

Then I was shocked at some of the horrific things he told me that went on in Vietnam!  “Why would God allow such atrocities?  Why?” he begged me for an answer.

This man is one of my favorite people here at the hospital.  Every work day I pray for God to tell me who He wants me to talk to today.  So, I decided my dear friend was the special one God sent!

“I don’t know the answer to that question, my friend.  But I do know that we can’t survive without HIM!  I write a Christian blog!”  I told him as I reached into my pocket.  ” Here’s a few of my stories that I have written over many years.  They are all true!  They are about all the things God has done in my life!”

“You like to read, I know you do!  Read these and tell me what you think, ok?  Here’s my blog address, if you would like to read more of them!”

Amazingly it was time to get our lunch, so we got up and jumped in line.  My friend went and sat down, but before I left to head home, I went back to talk to him for one last comment.

“Listen dear friend, you are one of my favorite people here!  I don’t want to get to heaven without you being there!  We’ll talk some more ok?”  I smiled and walked away.  He smiled back at me, for the first time since his angry outburst started.

Something must have triggered his post traumatic stress today!  God knew it was going to happen, and sent him in my path at lunchtime, only moments before I left the hospital.  Isn’t that amazing that we should cross paths at the exact same time?  I actually believed it was going to end up to be just another simple day at work!

Love in Christ,   Claire  xoxo

P.S.  Luke 19:10,  “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  (NKJV)

Luke 19:10,  “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”  (NIV)

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