Since my return from Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005, I have looked and engaged with life differently. I have been awakened, enlightened, and frightened by the answers to the question, “ Why we fight?” I did not come back with physical wounds. But I came back with the psychological wounds that manifest into an anxiety disorder called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
I was officially diagnosed with PTSD in January 2007 when I was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force. But I experienced the symptoms for two years prior to being diagnosed. PTSD has changed my life profoundly. Prior to my deployment, simple tasks like going to the grocery store or socially interacting with others was no problem. Now, a simple task is complicated by anxiety, fear, and anger. But I have seen the positives within the negative experiences. It has illuminated how I view the world.