29 Apr '13, 11am
Del. air guardsman discusses PTSD struggles
WILMINGTON, DEL. — Wars do awful things to bodies, and Air Force Maj. Roger Rodriguez had been a frequent witness. The veteran flight nurse had five post-Sept. 11 wartime deployments under his belt, every one of them spent retrieving the torn and broken bodies of U.S. troops from battlefields and field hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan. For years, what Rodriguez had seen and heard gnawed at him, as he wrestled with, but pushed aside, sleep problems and nightmares. He had been resilient as the military terms it. On his sixth trip to the war zones, what had been welling up inside slowly burst through the emotional shield he had so carefully constructed. When the Delaware Air National Guardsman came home in December 2009, he felt overwhelmed. Every person has a breaking point, said Rodriguez. Rodriguez asked to speak to a Delaware Air National Guard life skills counselor,...