As we observe Veterans Day this year, let’s pray for the safety of the almost 200,000 U.S. troops who are currently deployed overseas in 177 countries and for the countless veterans and civilians right here on our soil who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD affects an estimated 12 to 20 percent of non-injured veterans and 32 percent of veterans who have been in combat. It’s a debilitating illness that can result when a person lives through a traumatic event such as war. The condition is often either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and people who have no experience with it often don’t understand it. The slightest sound, smell, or movement can trigger flashbacks and cause a person with the condition to relive the trauma.
PTSD is associated with a high suicide risk and can be difficult to treat.
Veterans with PTSD often face additional difficulties that compound their suffering. For example, people who oppose the U.S. government’s military involvement may criticize or even attack veterans who served in conflicts. And there is still a stigma regarding behaviors that may be interpreted as mental illness. Soldiers on active duty often keep silent about their PTSD symptoms because they fear that they will be considered weak if they seek treatment.
This Veterans Day, and every day, you can contribute to the healing process by praying for friends and loved ones suffering from PTSD and by encouraging them to seek treatment and to reach out to the Lord for help. Proclaim the Good News — no, the Great News — that God’s grace can enable veterans and civilians alike to conquer PTSD and rebuild their lives.