Eddie Ray Routh is said to have PTSD, and that may be the reason why he and Chris Kyle were at a gun range. But Fort Hood families are no stranger to PTSD. Many of our soldiers are struggling with it. However, one veteran with PTSD is helping others cope with the disorder.
"The only way you would know that I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is if I told you," said Craig Lacey, who is a 23-year Veteran of the Military. "Other than that I'm just a normal guy in the community trying to make a living like everybody else," he said.
He's working on his Master's Degree in Psychology and he's not letting PTSD get in the way. In fact, he's using his experience to help other soldiers.
Craig is a volunteer for Bring Everyone In The Zone, a non-profit organization that provides free peer to peer support for anyone with PTSD, and he's getting lots of help in return. "By being out in the community, it helps my cope with my PTSD," he said.
When Craig's peers, who also have PTSD, come into his office he wants them to feel as comfortable as possible which is why he hangs military flags to give them piece of mind.
"They realize that I am a soldier. They realize that I've been there and done that. The trust factor becomes real close and we start bonding and then they'll start telling me their problems," said Craig.
Psychologist Dr. Brad Evans at Pathfinders Counseling and Consulting in Killeen, also has a military background. He's passionate about helping soldiers with PTSD. He says PTSD can be cured. He uses a method called pro-longed exposure.
"Because of the avoidance types of symptoms, people oftentimes don't want to think about it. They don't want to talk about it. And so of course prolonged exposure does the exact opposite of that, it causes them to talk about it to re-experience it simply through thinking," said Dr. Evans.
Craig says PTSD is not curable. but he says he won't let the disorder define who is. "I'm not a label, yes, I do have PTSD, but at the same time I function normal in the community," he said.
Craig believes that all of his peers with PTSD can have normals lives too.
Craig and Dr. Evans say that people with PTSD are not dangerous, and they both hope this incident doesn't cause others to view people with PTSD any differently.