Five years ago, Tony DeStefano was coordinating major airlifts in and out of Baghdad. Today, he struggles to balance his checkbook.
As an officer, Tony was reluctant to be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Officers are the rock-solid foundation of the military and Tony didn’t want to show his troops that officers were vulnerable, that they could break just like any other soldier. When he went to VA for treatment, he found himself sitting next to a lieutenant colonel and another officer.
For Tony and hundreds of thousands of other veterans, PTSD is just as real and devastating as a physical wound. But it requires specialized, holistic care to treat and rehabilitate.
Proper treatment of PTSD enables veterans to return to normal lives, without fear and constant anxiety. It also enables them to make positive contributions to their families and their communities.
Through therapy and medication, Tony continues to get better. But, he has a long way to go before he has the mental focus and peace of mind that we take for granted. With more funding for PTSD-specific care at the VA, he and other veterans across the country can live without fear and rejoin their loved ones.