Mark Y.

When I came back from my first tour in Iraq in 2006, I was hurting something fierce from something I did not recognize. I couldn't get along with my wife and I felt disassociated from the kids. I was diagnosed with PTSD many months later after continuous struggles and only just before being deployed again. This was an endless cycle over the many deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. My wife and I were married almost 30 years when she passed away in February of this year (2022) of Covid. What I never realized was my PTSD had more to do with her and her unease with my war activities than it did with the atrocities of the war itself. She was constantly afraid she was going to get "the call" that would end our lives together. She battled daily in support of 3 kids while continuously afraid the war would widow her. It was only at the very end of her life I was able to make her aware of how strong she was and what she had meant to me in my times of need and struggle. The Demon behind Me is my PTSD. The challenge in front of me is to continue to stand strong in her honor and memory.

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