If he could have any wish granted, Andrew will assure you, that wish would be that veterans suffering from PTSD — and it's estimated that the disorder afflicts as many as 30 percent of all soldiers who have served a single tour of duty in a combat zone — would realize that genuine recovery is possible. That with proper family and community support, the symptoms of PTSD can become undiagnosable.
"It's taken me many years to realize this," says Andrew, "And I understand that recovery is a process, not a destination. But if every veteran knew there was help out there, and there was hope, it would be unbelievably liberating.
"They would know that they do not have to become old without their children."
Thus, it has become this unwitting warrior's life to promote high-quality medical care at every turn, to wrap his figurative arms around every veteran he can reach and make sure they know they're not forgotten and they're treated with dignity.
"My mission," says the Vietnam vet before he drives away in his beat-up old Volkswagen, "is to focus on the recovery, not the conflict."
The pay's crummy, but the benefits are great.
Lee Benson's About Utah column runs Monday and Friday. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
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