"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Friday, February 11, 2011

PTSD: Al Comeau

Today, Al Comeau left this as a comment on the January 1, 2011, blog post by David Westfall, "More on PTSD". I felt what Al had to say might be overlooked, if left merely as a comment on another article. This is well-written, poignant, timely, and well worth being posted here as an article on its own merits. I'm sure you will all agree.

I am a Vietnam Veteran who served with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) from November 1965 to December 1966. I am receiving 100% VA Disability Compensation and Social Security Disability for the disability of PTSD.

I have chronic PTSD and I receive treatment and counseling once a week at the VA Medical Center with a PTSD Nurse Clinician, a PTSD Group, as well as a PTSD Psychiatrist and Resident Psychiatrists, who also sit in on our groups.

I also contributed an article, "A VIETNAM VETERAN", to CJ's Memoirs From Nam on January 28, 2011.

In answer to CJ's question, "Can a widow of a Vietnam Veteran have PTSD?" My answer is yes, absolutely! My wife has this affliction and receives similar medications as mine to help her. She receives counseling and has, what is referred to as, Secondary PTSD, as a result of the trauma inflicted upon her by me, over the years. My nightmares were so violent and of such a nature that I assaulted her during sleep and was awakened while choking her on one occasion.

Besides my nightmares, I was often verbally abusive or snapped, if you will, and placed into lockdown at the VA, twice, even spending one whole Christmas Season in that facility. I also drank heavily and was almost arrested for threatening my wife and the police with guns. The guns have been taken away. I am no longer drinking and the treatment has brought me to a better place, however, the journey will never be over for me or my wife. The nightmares continue, I do not sleep well, and other difficulties persist with PTSD.

Yes - A Vietnam war widow can have PTSD!

Al Comeau
34 Roland Street
Waterbury, CT 06706
Tel: (203) 419-0378 (Home)
(203) 597-7687 (Cell)

[Thank you, once again, Al.  Your thoughtful article and answer here has helped very much. ~CJ]

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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1 comment:

  1. I would, be very interested to know what kind of unit Al served in with the 1st Cav and what kind of job he had in that unit. Thanks


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