You Are Not Alone
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects 12 to 20 percent of non-injured veterans and 32 percent of veterans who have been in combat. It affects about 8 percent of civilians. PTSD is a debilitating illness that can result when a person lives through a traumatic event such as war, rape, physical abuse, serious accidents, and natural disasters.
A form of psychotherapy called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is showing promise as an effective treatment for PTSD. EMDR uses a patient’s own rapid, rhythmic eye movements to dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.
Bob Uber was diagnosed with PTSD decades after he returned home from Vietnam.
He writes about his tour of duty, “When a bomb or hand grenade went off in the midst of a group, there was carnage — absolute devastation…What was most devastating, and became the core of my trauma, were the children…All my nightmares and flashbacks involve seeing children as carnage, as collateral damage to war. That will never go away.”
About his own PTSD, Bob writes, “It took over my life…I didn’t want to hear sounds and smells that became emotional barrages that took me back to those images and places. But by God’s grace, and by His Word, The Lord began to pull me through, and I began to regain my perspective.”
You can contribute to the healing process by praying for loved ones suffering from PTSD. Encourage them to seek treatment and to reach out to the Lord for help. Proclaim the Great News that God’s grace can enable veterans and civilians alike to conquer PTSD and rebuild their lives.
Returning God’s Grace
In 2011, Bob established Heal Our Heroes (https://www.heroescenter.org) in High Point, North Carolina to provide support, camaraderie, and outdoor retreats to help veterans heal.
Bob writes, “Working with veterans is how I pay God’s grace forward. My trauma has not gone away, but it is tempered and it has become manageable. I must get this message to other veterans. I must give them hope because I have been through that feeling of hopelessness. It doesn’t go away.”
A Bible Verse
Bob often turns to Psalm 91, which he calls “the soldier’s prayer,” for comfort.