Response to U.S. Army Tweet Asking ‘How Has Serving Impacted You’ Is Heartbreaking


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Ahead of the Memorial Day Weekend, the U.S. Army asked Twitter: “How has serving impacted you?”

Among the tens of thousands of responses emerged horrifying trends: trauma, depression, and sexual assault.

“The ‘Combat Cocktail’,” Sean P. responded. “PTSD, severe depression, anxiety. Isolation. Suicide attempts. Never ending rage. It cost me my relationship with my eldest son and my grandson. It cost some of my men so much more. How did serving impact me? Ask my family.”

Cory Schabaker wrote, “After 15 years in I was kicked out after showing obviously signs of PTSD and depression. Now I can’t function in society because of my major depressive disorder. So now what?”

In the more than 11,000 responses to the U.S. Army’s tweet, PTSD and depression are a recurring theme. Another theme? Sexual assault.

“Depression, anxiety, still can’t deal well with loud noises,” replied one woman. “I was assaulted by one of my superiors. When I reported him, with witnesses to corroborate my story, nothing happened to him. Nothing. A year later, he stole a laptop and was then demoted. I’m worth less than a laptop.”

“I was sexually assaulted and discharged at Madigan Army hospital when I reported what happened. My DD214 was impacted, I was not awarded full benefits, I lived in my car, struggled/w suicide attempts and no self worth. Now, I’m fighting a PTSD claim.”

The Army responded in a series of separate tweets, saying, “As we honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice this weekend by remembering their service, we are also mindful of the fact that we have to take care of those who came back home with scars we can’t see.”

They also thanked those who shared their stories, saying, “To everyone who responded to this thread, thank you for sharing your story. Your stories are real, they matter, and they may help others in similar situations. The Army is committed to the health, safety, and well-being of our Soldiers.”

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, fewer than half of the approximately 20 million veterans in the U.S. receive VA benefits or services. One VA report last year found that between 2008 to 2016, more than 6,000 veterans died by suicide each year.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Veterans in need of help can access the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 800-273-8255 or through this website: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

 

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