Combat is not the only cause of PTSD. Any traumatic experience(s) can cause PTSD in any individual. So, is it any wonder why veterans do not “fit in” when they return home? Remember, they have been operating under an entirely different lifestyle.
One veteran expressed it with this story: “When I returned home my wife, myself and the kids went to a relative’s birthday party. When I walked into this crowd of people, the first thing I did was to scan each person. What kind of shoes were they wearing? Did they have a weapon?” In civilian life even a helicopter flying low overhead can trigger a “flashback”. Veterans have no control over flashbacks, but they are part of the reason veterans have difficulty interacting with their families. Spouses inquiries can even trigger a flashback. WHY? Because they don’t want to relive their service life, much less burden their spouses with it. It is just too painful. They don’t know how to connect with their family. This is just a small peek at what veterans fight every day in the civilian world!