How one Iraq War Veteran finds peace

Posted May 18th, 2010 by nateburt

They say that 15% of US Soldiers will come home with post-traumatic stress disorder.  These symptoms often include: 1. Having upsetting thoughts or memories about an event. 2. Having recurrent nightmares.  3. Acting or feeling as though the traumatic event were happening again – flashback.  4.  Being physically responsive and aggressive.

Iraqi Freedom Veteran Damien Holmes says the war memories that haunt him will never go away but through therapy he is learning to live with it.

Holmes was on the front lines in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 with an Army Infantry Unit.  He saw a lot and did a lot he’s like to forget, but in war it doesn’t work that way.  “You learn to shrug it off”, Holmes remarks.  “You are wearing layers of armor, you got your helmet and your flak jacket, got your uniform and then you are stripped of all that and you don’t have anything to hold that all in.”

When he got home he had a hard time finding his place in civilian life.  “Kicking holes in doors, yelling all the time and getting into fights.”  Holmes recalls.  “It got pretty hairy towards the end of the year that I came home.  It ruins relationships, breaks up families, you lose jobs.  You get withdrawn, you segregate yourself from most of the world.  You don’t do anything, you get lazy…you’re just not the same.”

Holmes knew he needed help, but for a while pride got in the way.  The  therapy Holmes uses is rap music.  “Music has so much influence on everything,” Holmes says.  “so by me putting that together its therapeutic for me and I can get it off my chest…straight up in your face and in your ear.”

PTSD is a real issue affecting Soldiers everyday.  I read articles on this disorder and understand why its such an issue.  I decided to post this because I find Holmes’s way of coping interesting.  He is using talents to reach out to others in the community and in so doing forgets his own problems. 

Remember that I am a VA loan officer, not a mental health professional.  VA HOME LOANS are my specialty!

3 Responses to “How one Iraq War Veteran finds peace”

  1. Jesse Dominey

    Love the blog…people are missing out not using stress relief methods more

  2. Josue Roessner

    Howdy there,this is Josue Roessner,just observed your web-site on google and i must say this blog is great.may I quote some of the information found in this site to my local friends?i am not sure and what you think?in either case,Thank you!

  3. nateburt

    sure go ahead and share.

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