Our thanks to Jeff and Alisha for sharing their story to help provide understanding and insight for other military families who may struggle with trauma and those who love them.
I went to Iraq from Oct 2003 to Mar 2005 as an Army Infantryman. I have struggled through reintegration with the world ever since.
Alisha is my best friend and the love of my life. She has been very supportive of me and helpful in my recovery. I believe that being my caregiver has been difficult for her. Alisha helps me with my medication. I forget to take my meds, or I take them and forget I took them and take them again. This is extremely dangerous because of some of the meds I am on and has been a serious problem in the past.
I really like my firearms, but having access to them has been a problem in the past. I would not be able to possess firearms if I lived on my own. So to remedy this problem, my firearms are kept locked in a secure gun safe that I cannot access. I only have them when I am safe and have supervision.
I used to live in the woods alone because of post traumatic stress.
.Alisha helps me to be social, and she makes sure that I make and keep doctor appointments so my treatments continue and keep me on the recovery road.
I deal with severe triggers with many things, particularly when I am out of my house. Kazu, my service dog, helps my anxiety and prevents some flashbacks by alerting me before they fully develop. If I have a fall, Kazu will help me get up, comfort me when I cannot get up, and alert Alisha or other help. She is a huge help for many other reasons and also invaluable to my quality of life.