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The Struggles with PTSD

Heroes Remember

The Struggles with PTSD

It’s difficult. I have talked to guys that said they would rather lose a limb than have PTSD because we walk around, I am able to run, I am able to do all these things that I used to do, a little slower because I’m older but I can still do it. And people are like why aren’t you still in the military, why don’t you serve? There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s that invisible injury that we have and if you dare say PTSD then people are like, “Oh crazy, that guy’s crazy, stay away from him!” The stigma is so real. We don’t tell anybody. We just tell our closest friends which are soldiers, former soldiers because they know. They see the signs and the symptoms. Family life, it’s hard. It’s hard on my kids. My wife, she’s been struggling with this since, since all my missions but more now that I am out because we’re isolated. So it’s taken its toll on her. My girls ,they see… I will put it to you this way. I sleep in a different room. I have to and my youngest girl she hears me yelling at night, crying and so she gets in bed and she comes to me. They both did it to me. They both did it, both my girls. They lay with me and they go to bed but I am calm with them. I don’t really sleep but I know they are there and they put their arms around me and my youngest she says, “Mommy, if I don’t sleep with daddy who’s going to take care of him at night?” It affects them. A friend that was killed from a town over and every year we go to his grave and we celebrate his life and I tell him how much of a hero he is to the girls. And they learn about it in school and they come up to me and they’re like, “Daddy, did Jimmy die so you could live?” And the PTSD thing is so and they don’t understand how I can be in a good mood smiling and then go to this dark, dark spot that I go to, we all go to. And that’s how we struggle we just go on, you know, one foot in front of the other and soldier on, that’s what we do, hence Soldier On program. The struggles, it gets easier I am told but I don’t think that it will ever go away so I am very particular who is in my inner circle now trying to deal with PTSD as best that I know how.

Sergeant MacEachern shares a very personal story about PTSD and discusses the major toll it can have on family.

Brian MacEachern

Mr. Brian MacEachern was born August 2, 1975 in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. With his father being a reserve soldier for over 30 years, Mr. MacEachern knew his own destiny at a very young age. Joining the reserves with the Combat Engineers division, he later specialized in combat diving and ordinance disposal. Throughout his military career Mr. MacEachern was part of the Swiss Air recovery mission and credits this exercise as being his reasons for continuing to serve in the Canadian military. In 2004 Mr. MacEachern accepted a deployment to Ethiopia and later that year travelled to Afghanistan and again in 2007 holding rank of sergeant with Combat Engineers. After being released from the military, Mr. MacEachern accepted support through Soldier On and in 2016 became a member of Team Canada Invictus Games travelling to Orlando, Florida as part of the cycling team. Mr. MacEachern continues to stay involved in the sport and now resides in Nova Scotia with his family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
July 25, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Brian MacEachern
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Combat Engineer

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