Overcoming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A Biblical Approach

Excerpt from Before the Dawn
by William R.

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I was half lucid, half incoherent as a barrage of confused images raced by in a blur; the warm rotor blast of the Huey, the hollow slapping sound of the slow spinning blades, the sweet smell of kerosene from the engine exhaust, the bark of orders, the twinkling yellow lights in the distance, and the freezing cold sensation of wet fatigues as we raced across the runway.

The jeep screeched to a stop in front of an anxious covey of medical personnel who lifted me onto a gurney and wheeled me into the evac hospital. I remember doctors and nurses silhouetted against the bright corridor lights frantically shouting medical instructions as we burst through the double doors into the emergency room. The pain was excruciating. The chopper medic had tied off the arterial bleeding on my right leg, but I had lost a tremendous amount of blood. My blood pressure had fallen dangerously low and most of my veins had collapsed. They were struggling to insert an I.V. of life saving blood in time.

My camouflaged fatigues were soaked in blood which had already begun to coagulate in places, but blood was still seeping from multiple punctures and what was left of my legs.

The doctors were frantically cutting away my sticky fatigues and mud-caked jungle boots with surgical scissors. Time was running out. They knew that they were going to lose this young man if they didn't hurry. Precious seconds lay between me and eternity.

A nurse was wiping blood from my eyes when I noticed a Chaplain hovering over me like the Grim Reaper. He had a satin sash draped around his neck and was anointing my forehead with oil. He was solemnly administering Last Rites: "May the Lord forgive you my son by this Holy anointing whatever sins you have committed..." with an open palm. He made the sign of the cross, then backed away. His presence could only mean that I was dying.

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