I'm so sorry / Carol I'm so sorry for your loss of Josh. He sounds like a wonderful young man, and I'm sure he will be missed more intensely than I could imagine. My husband is a veteran and has suffered from treatment-resistant depression for 12 years. He was also diagnosed with PTSD. He is now fully disabled and unable to work or finish school. He loved being a soldier more than anything else in the world, and when he was unable to continue with that career, it devastated him. I don't know if he'll ever recover. There has been more than one suicide attempt, hospitilizations, electroshock treatments, and so many different medicines, I've lost count. He suffers every minute of everyday and wishes he were dead. I feel so selfish for wanting him to stay here with me when I know he feels so badly. I'm so sorry that Josh lost his battle, and the only consolation that I would be able to find would be that he is no longer suffering. But I am so sorry for your family's suffering. And I'm so sorry for all the veterans who suffer with this disease. I truly hope the VA is prepared to help all of these returning veterans. I will pray for your family, as I pray for my husband daily.
God be with you and strengthen you, Carol
there is help / Karen Mulhollem (PTSD survivors wife ) My condolances go out to Josh's family who lost him too soon. My thanks go to Josh for his service to his country
I was so sorry to hear that Josh did not get help, but I was not surprised. My husband was a victim too, but was not diagnosed until 30 years after the Vietnam War. I am his second wife, his first marriage ended early, he never remarried until he met me 30 years afterward.
He hid his problem for a long time, (or so he thought anyway!) He would walk out of the room if I was watching a Vietnam' movie, saying' "you shouldn't watch that stuff, it isn't good for you" I had no idea what PTSD was, but I knew it was not normal for someone to have so many nightmares ( he would not tell me the dreams until I finally convinced him to share the pain with me) He trusted me enough to do this, it opened a 'can of worms' so to speak and it was then that I also urged him to tell someone at the V.A. that he was having the nightmares, as well as depression. He tried to 'laugh it off' for awhile , he said he was not going to be one of those 'nut cases' that they put in a V.A. hospital and forget." until the day that I caught him sitting in the bedroom with tears running down his face, I tried to comfort him, but knew that I was not going to solve his problem simply by loving him.....which of course I did, so I asked someone I trusted at our local veterans office what he thought, he happened to have been a 'Nam Vet. too, but he had been in the Navy , not the Army, even so, he told me to come by and talk, I did this and after a long conversation I knew Britt was a victim... out of 10-15 symptoms, he had 14! He did not abuse drugs, or booze (common way for these guys to 'dull the pain' and push the memories away) but he had the rest of the list! I slowly, (not pushing too hard) and lovingly talked to him, and asked why he felt so sad at times, he finally told me, "I love you and you have made me happier than I have been in years, but I am still not happy with life in general" I asked him if he had considered suicide , he hesitated, then admitted YES, he had! this frightened me into pushing a little harder. I asked him to tell me when he felt this way again, and to trust me to help him. he said he would do this. several days later he confided in me that he was having 'scary' things happen to him! like one day he went to sears to buy a tool and could not remember how to get home! he said he sat in the car for an hour before he could start driving , and somehow he got home. I asked why he did not tell me, he said "I did n't want you to think I was nuts or something" but this incident was the 'turning point' for us. The next time we went to the VA for a check up on his service connected ankle condition (blown out tendons and ligaments during a paratrooper accident) the Dr. asked him a few questions that I had never heard before, "have you had suicidal thoughts?" and he answered 'YES' the Dr. calmly explained that before we left that day he would like for him to talk to another Dr. He almost 'bolted' out of there, but stopped when I begged him to at least listen to the Dr. , and PROMISED that NO ONE was going to put him in the hospital without his permission. He agreed to go, I waited out in the waiting room while he was seen. At the end of an hour, a Dr. came out an asked me to join them. He told me that my husband had been tested and diagnosed with a MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER secondary to LONGSTANDING P. T.S. D. and told me that he would be picking up some medication before we left the hospital that would help him to cope with his symptoms.
That was 10 years ago and although I will tell you that there have been ups and downs and changes of his medication , I sincerely believe that it saved not only our marriage but possibly his life. He tells me all the time that I SAVED HIS LIFE when he found me. I told him I was so sorry that he left not only his youth in Vietnam but part of his soul , for his Country and promised to stay with him as long as the Lord would let me. We will be celebrating our 12 anniversary together on Valentines Day.! He is now retired, but not due to the PTSD, he retired early as a result of his medical problems.and is very much improved. and although he still has some 'sad' moments, and memories, he can now cope with them, and if he cannot he shares his thoughts with his physcologist assigned to him. again my condolances to Josh's family I am so sorry that Josh did not get the help that my veteran got . and I am so sorry that Josh could not confide in his family so he COULD get help, but please know that this is a common thing, these guys are afraid they will be thrown in a mental hospital or something, what they have to know is that they are NOT NUTS! they may not have a bullet wound, but they are 'wounded' just the same. They have a chemical imbalance ! Please get informed about PTSD , IT KILLS A SURELY AS BULLETS DO! Please email me if you would like to correspond firstname.lastname@example.org
My husband just came home from Iraq / Aundria Premo (Just a "friend" ) I don't know what to look for really. We had a 1 hour briefing on how to "relate" to our spouses after they return from combat. He seems okay most of the time, maybe a little nervous at times. All I really know how to do is pray, that comes second nature to me now. And I hope that it's enough. Reading Joshua's story, and looking over the website, I started today with tears. I have been diagnosed with PTSD after a rape. I have felt the darkness of this disease. I felt as if I would always be the victim, that I would carry this pain and agony with my all my life. But there is help and it is such a shame that it is proving so difficult for our own vets to get the much needed assistance they require. They shouldn't feel "less than" for seeking help. They are strong, brave souls who have done their jobs with pride and have every right to expect their government to be there, supporting them, no matter what they may need. God bless you all for taking this on. I hope I can help some. Sincerely, the wife of a vet, Aundria Premo :-)
My plea / Hurant Karibian (militarily) May God have place of honor for your son.
Our Government does not care about us who protected their freedom. / Frank Jurkiewicz (Just an older vet ) I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your son, I too lost a son to a different kind of killer, DRUNK DRIVER. I served in the Marines in Vietnam from 1965-1967 and experienced some frightful things. I surpressed my horrors for 35 years and finally began to seek some help through the VA. Once again, I was given an "APC, told togo home and soak it." My point is the VA does nothing to support us vets, after an interview I requested additional medical attention, I was given a number to call and ended up with the same number of the hospital. I couldn't receive any help because I needed a rec from the doctor who examined me, he wasn't on the staff of the hospital so I had no way of reaching him.................another VA CATCH 22. All I got from the VA was a click on the phone. Later received compensation at 50% disability. I'm not looking for monetary compensation, I need help in treating my nightmares brought on by PTSD. I answered the call and now I want the VA to answer my call!
It is quite sad to have you leave the world this way / Carolyn (I am a veteran ) To Joshua and his family. I know all too well the suffering of PTSD. As a war time soldier myself, who married a three tour Vietnam Veteran, I have lived it first hand, and suffered it from all aspects. The VA is far from perfect. At least PTSD is recognized and help is available now whereas it was not available to my generation until the 80's. For the Vietnam Veteran, we went many, many years with no transitional care, no ETS physical or any respect. We were called baby killers, spit on and just plain violated by all of America. There was no Operation Shoebox or a National Campaign to take a soldier to a movie. If it were not for Bob Hope, God only knows how much worse we all that are left would have been. Our veterans have killed themselves soon after the war and all the years to this point. I have been there and done that myself without the help of the VA. As a female vet, no one told me anything. I did not get hlep for PTSD until 2000. It is much too late for I am set in my ways and I know there is no hope. But I survive by helping todays veteran learn what the VA never told me. It is because of the vets of the past that the soldiers and the vets today have all that they do. It is far from perfect, but far better than anything we ever received. I am constantly lobbying for better benefits to our soldiers and our vets. It will only happen when we all ban together and go in the same direction. This website is an avenue to begin with . Get loud, get proud. Call all the networks and their big news programs. Tell your story. Let not Joshua's death be in vain. My heart and my prayers go out to Joshua's soul and his family for peace and comfort. Use his death as a tool for postive change. God be with you and never give up!
Thoughts ... / Marjie Zylstra (none) Thoughts and prayers to the Omvig family. Keep up the fight ... there are so many that need help!
The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. ---Douglas MacArthur
Your Battle / Nancy Armstrong
My prayers are with you and your family as you wage the "good" fight to get proper medical care for those veterans who served during all times.
The need is greatest in the Behavioral Health field as more and more Behavioral Health Centers are downsized or even eliminated. And the VA doesn't seem to fill the "open" positions for psychiatrists or therapists because of the "hiring freeze"
As a mother of a 22 year old son as well as a Navy veteran, Josh's story really touched home.
You are carrying a "banner" that a group of veterans spoke about in Wichita, KS in 1999.
I suffer from PTSD as well but more from abuse in my childhood. I served in the USN from 1979-1992 ... not a great time for women to serve. My service to this nation did aggravate my PTSD.
I am still here today by the Grace of God.
Josh/ Doc (Fellow patriot ) As an old USN Corpsman (HM3 '67-69), I'm quite familiar with PTSD, so I would like to send my condolences to Josh' family, while offering my prayers for all.
There IS more we could all do for our active duty military personnel and veterans. And we need to do it.
I am truly sorry for the Loss of Josh , God Bless him and Family / Larry Stephenson (a fellow PTSD Nam Vet ) Hello, I also suffer from PTSD 100% Total and Permanent by the VA's rating standards, I suffer daily from it and also know my wife to be has a rough time with me already, that I just get up and leave and go somewhere for a few days then come back but I tell her constantly it is NOT her , I love her with all of my Heart but I just have to leave before anything gets out of hand in any way shape or form, I do not argue, Just need space and to be alone counseling is a friggin joke but I go to make every one happier I guess, but I am sure I will take it to my grave , recently lost my Father a Proud WW II Veteran of the famous Merrill's Marauders from China Burma India Theatre and he also sufferd same way and as it was known then Shell Shock, I put claim in for him several months ago and will be awaiting word froM Veterans Admin, I know the wait as it took 16 and a half years for mine to finally be approved and they already had the answers to the questions they just wanted me to re live the BS and go through it again, I did and am least glad I did as far as the money goe , anyway I am truly sorry for the loss of Josh, God Bless him and the Family, Sincerely, Yours Lawrence Clay Stephenson , Lake Gaston, Va 434 636 8006
Honor and Respect / Jeff Brown (Admirer) On behalf of the entire membership, please accept our sincere condolences. I hope the pain and grief you are experiencing is somewhat eased in the knowledge that Josh is a true American hero.
Jeff Brown "Twister" Executive Director, Patriot Guard Riders
PTSD/ Charles Helms It's almost like a dirty word. PTSD was diagnosed and named in 1983 after so many years of being unknown. I have suffered with it for 38 years and I have always hidden it from the public. When asked why I was medically retired after 17 years of service I was fortunate enough to be shot twice and that's my story. I never tell about my PTSD. The primary treatment offered by the VA is anti-depressants. When I visit my shrink twice a year it consists of "how is the medications working?". There's never any counselling or attempt to fix what is wrong. When you've had this problem this long it becomes a large part of you. Most everything in your life is affected by PTSD. Fortunately I have a large family that keeps me going. I cannot depend on the government for help. I am so sorry for your loss, but I admire your fortitude of creating a website to fight this terrible disease.
The Thanks You Get / Kevin OBrien (U.S. Veteran ) Currently No fewer than 60% of veterans from any war or police action are on record as showing signs of PTSD.Unfortunately the current benefit for V.A. Healhcare after discharge is 2 years.If a Veteran does not seek help within 2 years its(YOUR ON YOUR OWN)
My deepest Sympathy / Kristine Johnson (None) I am from Sioux City and remember very well the story of your nephews death. Please accept my deepest sympathies to you and your entire family. I greatly appreciate the information you have provided on your website, as I have a son currently serving in Iraq with the 113th Calvary out of Le Mars Iowa. The information provided will help me know what to look for when Andrew comes home. My prayers are with you all.
to all who servies and my daddy / Shanna Voisin i didnt know much about this disorder until 4 years ago when my dad was diagnosed with it. my dad served in the vietnam war. he lived all this time with it with no one knowing. i never understood why my daddy was so quiet. but now i know i never understod why he would jump at the slightest noise but now i know. i love my dad to death and im glad he has gotten help for it my dad has showed his true colors now. my heart goes out to all how survies our country. i thank each and everyone of you.and there is help. my dad as pig headed as he is got help u can too. my dad was a marine and he did it so everyone else can. i sit here and cry over all this . these men and women are fighting for us . so we can talk on the computer..lol... they should have top health and mental care.and they are risking there lifes for us. my cousin just came back from iraq last month i will email this page to him . i promise. thank you all who serves. i love you all .
Sincerest sympathy / Stasia Crowley I wish to offer my most sincere sympathy to all who have lost loved ones, especially from PTSD. I nearly lost my Josh to the same thing. He is not military due to Muscular Dystrophy, cannot join. But he was robbed at gunpoint, held in execution position to clean out the safe in the convenience store he worked in. He has suffered for 3 yrs and I was lucky enough to come home as he was writing his 'note'. Of course, I immediately took him to the hospital and got him into treatment. Not too hard to do IF you know the problem exists in time. His doctor explained that what he was dealing with was every bit as real as those of soldiers in combat, just to a lesser degree, one incident instead of hundreds or more. I feel so sorry for our young men & women who have to deal with all that. I agree that so much more needs done to care for them. The VA is very lax in treating PTSD, i have learned from some of my friends who are Vets. That does need to change. God Bless all in this struggle.
Sending my condolences / Jo Sharpe (Another military Mom ) I am so very sorry for your tragic loss. I am the mother of an Iraq War vet and wife of a Viet Nam vet. My son returned from Iraq after 13 months of the horrors of that war, seeminly OK, for a while. Several months later the PTSD kicked in and it has been an uphill battle for him. He has broken down and told me some of his stories, things I cannot repeat and cannot believe they put our children through. Your story of how they handled and counceled him with " Welcome home soldier, you OK?" is so true and so common it is sickening. That is all my son got until he started having uncontrolled rages, drinking, drugs you name it he did it. Then they want to disipline them for that, feed him more drugs, not fix the problem that started with the Army! It is a shame and our VA and government should be ashamed at how they treat our soldiers, past, present and future. We cannot keep sweeping PTSD under the rug, we need to help these people who are so affected by the horrors of war. Stop treating it like a weakness and like the disorder that it is. Both our sons were in the Army and I have no more young children, but if I did I would do everything in my motherly power to STOP them from joining ANY branch of the service. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, and all the other families out there who have been affected by PTSD. God bless us all.
Sorry for your lose / Wendy It is sad that so many young people are returning with PTSD and not getting the attention they need. My husband was a door gunner in Vietnam. Was wounded and received the Purple Heart. He has been fighting the VA for a long time and still does not have his 100%. He has chronic PTSD and they push him around like he was a dog, denying him what he deserves. I suffer, too, because I have to take care of him.
Even the DAV, his rep, does little to help him.
Hopefully, you son's death will wake people up. More people need to speak up and stand up against the government who uses our sons and daughter, husbands and wives and then throws them away.
My condolence. / Daisy De Vries I'm so sorry for your loss of your beloved Joshua!
Thank you / Robin Bellamy (Fellow American ) Thank you, Josh, for giving your life so that others may have a better one. Thank you, Josh's friends and family for supporting him, for loving him, and for teaching him that being a hero takes more than just complaining over coffee. Thank you to Josh's Aunt whose ebay listing I ran across quite by accident when looking for clothing in my robust size--tonight you taught me that there are worse losses than the loss of my figure, and more important things than finding a pretty jacket. Thank you, Higher Power, for all of these people and all of the people they touch and all of the people who then touch others with your love, your caring, and your support. And thank you for leading me to them.