“…In January of ’06 for the very first time in my life, I went to the VA and I said, with tears in my eyes, I hurt. I mean, I really, really hurt, and I think Vietnam had something to do with it.” William Barner survived a year in Vietnam serving in a Howitzer Battery, but he did not return unharmed. Following his service, Barner was unable to control his anger and had difficulty keeping a job. Almost 40 years after his discharge, he was finally diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Exploring the experiences of veterans and the impact of military service inevitably means discussing PTSD. “PTSD: A Lasting Impact of War,” the most recent installment of the Veterans History Project‘s Experiencing War web feature, explores the stories of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in a variety of career fields who have returned from war bearing the invisible scars of their experiences. The collections in this exhibit were chosen with an eye toward exploring the variety of experiences of servicemen and women who have suffered from PTSD, as well as the striking similarities. Each veteran describes symptoms such as nightmares, anxiety, anger and difficulty maintaining personal