Iraqi War veteran living in Conway with PTSD looking for answers
Fri, 13 Jan 2012 03:16:02 GMT —
One of former Army Specialist Paul Herring's best days of his life was the day he enlisted in the military.
"It was awesome. I just felt complete," said Herring. "I knew there was going to be a bigger and better life for me, that things were all going to work out."
But when things didn't work out, the military also gave him one of the worst days of his life.
After serving in the Iraqi War, doctors diagnosed Herring with post traumatic stress disorder and took him off active duty. Soon after, during a training mission, he dislocated his knee.
The Army then gave him a medical discharge.
"It was like everything I had done in my life and everything that I had accomplished and worked so hard to achieve was just ripped right out from underneath me. Thanks for what you did, but we can't use you anymore."
The 27-year-old now lives alone in Conway, collecting disability because his knee won't let him work and neither will his mind.
"Some of the things we do they're just burned in your memory."
He's written Senator Lindsey Graham numerous times but never received a response, and last November, it became too much.
"I didn't think there was anything left, and I intended to take my own life."
"It's pretty prevalent and it does vary from soldier to soldier," said Brigit Mancini. She's a counselor for Veterans Affairs in Myrtle Beach.
With the funds scarce and more troops returning home, they're doing as much as they can with little resources, said Mancini.
"I'd like to see more counseling staff, but I guess that's in the powers-that-be to see that there is a need there, as these folks come out."
But for now, Herring is still a work in progress, day to day trying rebuild a man piece by piece.
NewsChannel 15 contacted Senator Graham's office to ask why he hasn't responded to Herring's emails. They gave us a direct number to the office, and Herring is expected to talk with them soon.