Sometimes I get some curious looks from folks who aren't convinced of that because they don't know anyone suffering from it.
Well, they may think they don't, but I think that this veteran photo project completed by an Arizona State University student shows very clearly that we may not always know who it is that we are working next to in our job everyday. We may not know who that cashier is at the checkout in the grocery store and we may not know who that person is who is having a bad day delivering our mail. It is possible that the person at the lunch table who quietly keeps to themselves or chooses not to socialize may very well be the heart of a veteran who has seen more than we could ever imagine and carries a wisdom only few will ever truly understand.
When they come home they are camouflaged in everyday life.
There are no signs over their heads or blinking beacons to say that they are suffering from invisible wounds. In my experience, the only people who truly know when someone else is suffering from PTSD is someone who already has it. Otherwise, behavior is sometimes taken for granted as being insensitive, anti-social, different, difficult, and the list goes on and on.
It's not so easy to determine who is who when we are all just people working our way through life.
Consider your level of compassion when interacting with others. You don't know what their story is, but if you did, you might think twice about how you've judged them.
*photo: Google images
The Washington Post News: Veteran Photo Project