PTSD is like being overweight (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

I am five foot nine inches tall. By Marine Corps standards my maximum weight is 186 pounds. If I weigh in and set the scale over 186 pounds I am overweight; it does not matter if I am .00001 ounces over or 100 pounds over, I am still overweight.

So, when the VA gives you a PTSD rating of whatever percentage, it is official you have PTSD. The good news is you can lose weight; reduce affects of combat stress.

Obviously if I were one or two pounds overweight I could just walk around the block on my own and loose that weight. I will need no assistance. This will work until I am say five pounds overweight – of combat stress (self-aid).

Now, if I am more than five pounds overweight I will likely need a friend to help me; running partner (self-aid and buddy-aid). An overwhelming majority of those diagnosed with PTSD alive will live here. Most vets will be fine on their own; but will be better with a little assistance from other vets.

Most vets live in the upper categories. Now lets take at where maybe 1% of vets with PTSD live.

If I am 20 pound overweight, I will need more assistance; I need the same workout buddy, but also I may need corpsman aid and maybe some nutritional advice. So I am trying on my own, my buddy is talking to me about my stress, a doc is checking me out and I am getting counseling. My guess is that there are only a very small percentage of vets diagnose with PTSD that fall in this category. But, even if this number were just 1% it would likely overwhelm the VA system.

Now, if I am say, 100 pounds overweight, I need much assistance or I am going to die. These are the vets that are totally debilitated by their PTSD. Oh, my guess is the percentage is about .00000001% of vets. Although PTSD may be a major contributor, there are likely other issues/stressors/factors.

Now it is our (vets) mission to educate the civilians so they can stop thinking we are all a bunch of ticking time bombs.

If you like what you see, share it with a friend, and ask them to like my page at Post Traumatic Growth.


pic from Huffington Post

Originally published on: Dec 4, 2015


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About The Author

David K. Devaney SgtMaj USMC Retired 2009 City of Hit Iraq with PTTDavid was born in Geneva New York and graduated from Geneva High School in 1980. He joined the Marine Corps on a guaranteed Infantry contract in April of 1983. After graduating boot camp he was stationed in Hawaii with 3rdBattalion 3rd Marines (3/3). While assigned to 3/3 he held billets as a rifleman, fire team leader, and squad leader. During 1986 Corporal (Cpl) Devaney was selected as a member of Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoon, 3rd Battalion 3rd Marine. Upon graduation of Scout Sniper School he was assigned to the Scout Sniper Section of 3/3 STA Platoon. During his second deployment as a Scout Sniper with 3/3 he was promoted to Sergeant (Sgt). After a tour on the drill field from 1989-1991 Sgt Devaney returned to STA 3/3 were he deployed two more times. During 1994 Sgt Devaney was selected to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt) and ordered to III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF), Special Operation Training Group (SOTG); while at SOTG SSgt Devaney was assigned as a Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) and Urban Sniper Instructor and Chief Instructor. At the time III MEF SOTG Instructors were members of Joint Task Force 510 (JTF 510 CT); a Counter Terrorism Task Force. In 1998 he deployed to Operation Desert Fox with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/4 and was attached to Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 572/594 as a sniper. SSgt Devaney deployed again, during 2000, with ODA 135/136/132 to Malaysia as member of JTF 510, working with the Malaysian National Police. After leaving SOTG Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Devaney was assigned to Company A 1st Battalion 7th Marine, and spent much of his time training the Scout Snipers of 1/7. Just before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003, he was selected to the rank of First Sergeant (1stSgt) and led 270 Marines, sailors, and soldiers during combat – receiving a Bronze Star Medal for destroying the enemy and their will to fight. During 2004 1st Sgt Devaney was ordered to duty as the Inspector Instructor Staff 1st Sgt for 2nd Beach and Terminal Operations Company, Savannah, Georgia. During 2007 he was selected to the rank of Sergeant Major (SgtMaj) and received orders to Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 (VMAQ-4) stationed at Cherry Point, NC. There he trained a CADRE which in turn trained a massive Quick Reaction Force in combat operations. After two more deployments to Iraq SgtMaj Devaney received orders to Weapons Training Battalion, Quantico, VA. SgtMaj Devaney retired from the Marine Corps on 31 December 20013. He now works as an adjunct combat instructor at the “Crucible’’ in Fredericksburg, VA. David is also on the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Scout Sniper Association. David’s published work: Books Devaney, D.K. (2007). Surviving combat: Mentally and physically (3rd edition). 29 Palms, CA: USMC. Devaney, D.K. (2015). They Were Heroes: A Sergeant Major’s Tribute to Combat Marines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. Articles Devaney, D.K. (2011) Enough Talk of Suicide, Already! Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2011) Can PTSD Be Prevented Through Education? Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2012) PTSD Is Not Cancer. The Marine Corps Gazette. Devaney, D.K. (2012) Women in Combat Arms Units. The Marine Corps Gazette.

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