Joe's Story

A high school athlete and leader, Joe enlists in the Army after Sept. 11, 2001.

One year into his college career, he leaves his Midwest home, completes basic training, and reports for duty with the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado.

Deployment One

Joe’s first 12-month deployment is in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He is not physically injured but experiences many psychologically traumatic events, including unit members killed in action.

Once home, Joe withholds his symptoms of post traumatic stress, believing he will get better on his own.

Joe also thinks if he reports the nightmares and anxious feelings, others in his unit, especially his commander, will not only think he is weak but won’t allow him to deploy again with his unit.

While home, Joe proposes to his high school sweetheart.

Between training and travel, Joe is only with her and his family for a cumulative 10 months.

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