For Vietnam War Veterans, psychological recovery was likely just as difficult of a process, if not more so, than physical recovery. Post traumatic stress disorder is common amongst veterans, but particularly for those who suffered injuries during a war. However, without actually being in the war, it can be difficult to understand what these soldiers went through that could have caused such severe stress. That is why this database article I found that tells about how a veteran named Allen Clark who lost his legs was effected, how he recovered from this tragedy from a psychological standpoint, and what he does to help others who suffered the same as him is so helpful toward my research.
The US Army Captain, Allen Clark, was near the Cambodian and Laotian borders when a mortar strike began to reign down. He states that a shell landed a mere 18 inches away behind. Fragments and shrapnel flung into his lower legs. He lost his left leg below his knee that same day and his right about ten days later. It was a whole eight months later, after a long recovery, that Clark was finally forced to face the reality of returning home to a completely different life. As a result, Clark suffered a heavy emotional breakdown due to post traumatic stress.
One of the biggest difficulties for returning soldiers dealing with PTSD is that nobody really, truly understands unless they’ve been there. That is how Allen Clark plays such a helpful role towards those who are in a similar boat as he once was. He reaches out to these unfortunate veterans by urging them not to repress these feelings, which is a “warrior’s natural instinct” as he puts it, but rather to let them out. After years of hopelessness, he is now a successful business man. Of course the things that happen in war are not forgotten, nor could they be, but he leads by example to veterans all over on how to move forward from the days that haunt them. I believe this article really emphasizes how much more of a lasting struggle it is for injured veterans to recovery psychologically from PTSD than it is physically from the wounds, giving me a better understanding of the emotions that returning soldiers had to cope with.