The three vets followed in True Life: I Have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are making great strides, but every day is still a struggle. The show's producer, Craig D'Entrone, recently reached out to the guys for an update on their lives -- below, read what they've been doing since the show stopped taping, find resources for help with PTSD and get their contact info ...
A note from Arthur:
It's funny how I got to be on True Life: I Have PTSD. I had already been thinking that there should be a show about this topic (and my crazy life in general). One day I was looking at casting calls on MTV.com, and there it was ... a call for real people with PTSD. I emailed the producers and they called me right away.
I hadn't wanted to be around many new people at the time, but getting followed around by a camera crew felt pretty natural. It really helped that the main producer was really down to earth and seemed trustworthy. That's a lot to say coming from somebody who doesn't trust anyone.
I was a little insecure because I didn't want people to think that I thought I was special or extra cool because of this thing. And since I want to make movies and music, I didn't want people to think I was using the show as a way to break into the entertainment business or become famous.
This is such a huge topic for Americans and I felt privileged to have gotten picked to enlighten people about it. When I was in the trauma center, some of the counselors told me that I was part of the first generation of Iraqi vets coming home with this problem and that people are just learning about it now since no one took it seriously when it happened with Vietnam vets.
After the holidays I plan on being in another trauma center in West Virginia that deals with readjusting to society. After that I'd like to buy a house in Georgia, finish school for film, take piano
lessons and blah blah blah. I got a little sidetracked with music these past few months, but my main goal is to work in film. I have a lot of stories to tell (although it seems like whenever I start writing something I lose the notebook).
There are a few things the True Life cameras might of missed -- after all, there's only so much you can get out of my life in 20 minutes. You guys didn't even see my mother. I think I traumatized her a little when I first came home and was acting all crazy. Up until a few weeks ago she had theses defenses up because she didn't know which Arthur she was dealing with.
My advice to my fellow vets and people with PTSD is that you don't gotta feel weird or like a punk because you were affected by being in the middle of something crazy. How are you going to go through something traumatizing and not be traumatized? That's like having unprotected sex with someone who has AIDS and then being in denial that you got it. Get the help you need and deserve. If I was I still in denial I would probably be dead now, so before you die or kill someone else, I would suggest going to the VA and seeing how they can help. I mean, that's what they get paid to do. If they can spend billions of dollars to finance the war than they can pay few dollars for help get you back to how you were before signing up.
To the families of PTSD sufferers ... this is going to be a test of how much you love them. If you really care and plan on sticking around, get ready for a mental beat down. Know that the person who left isn't the person who came back, and you're gonna need patience to deal with him/her. Uness you're a trained therapist, there's not much you can do to help besides be there when they need you.
Thanks to everyone who's been supportive. If you have any questions, hit me up at MySpace.ArthurWrightTV.com.
A note from Adam:
Since the filming of True Life: I Have PTSD ended, Save A Vet has been busier than ever. Brianna has been focused on preparing for our first fundraiser (and future ones!), trying to sell our jewelry at MyCharmsForCharity.com and running our MySpace page. I'm now focusing on looking for corporate sponsors and trying to get some larger donations. Things right now are still run out of my own pocket and that can only go on for so long. There are a lot of good people out there who want to help our cause, I just gotta find 'em. So, if anyone would like to help or wants to get a hold of me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to SaveAVet.com and drop me a line. In addition, we really need some help with a grant writer or someone who knows the grant writing process really well. We need some of that government money!
FYI: A lot of people have been asking me about the song on our Web site. The song is called "The Desert" and is sung by John Neilson. (It's also the song that plays at the very end of my True Life segment.)
A note from Kenny:
I really had fun filming this show, plus I learned a lot about myself and others around me. I was reluctant at first, but I eventually decided to just dive in head first because I wanted to show other vets that there is help out there.
It wasn't too bad having the cameras follow me around ... I actually really enjoyed having the producers down for Helena’s Blues Fest. The party we had that night was awesome -- I have great friends and they'd go to hell and back for me, and I for them.
Since filming stopped, I've been working at the Tobacco Super Center, hanging out with friends and preparing to go off to the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. I've also been actively participating in the relationship game again ... or at least trying to. I'm still not legally divorced, but I soon will be.
The cameras definitely missed a few of my really low times -- the days where all I could do was cry about everything. It's been that way a lot here lately. Between missing the Army and going through this divorce stuff, I'm worn out. I'm really hoping that things get better as I go on with my life and start new relationships.
Dealing with PTSD is hard. You never know how your day is going to turn out. You don't know if you're going to hurt yourself or how you'll deal with others. My advice to anyone who has PTSD (or a friend/family member of someone dealing with PTSD) is to seek help. Call the VA Hospital. Talk to your local VFW, Masons or even someone in the Patriot Guard Riders. Someone somewhere can help you, I promise.
If anyone would like to contact me, you can go to my MySpace page or Facebook profile. You can also email me at email@example.com. When you email me, put 'True Life' in the subject field so I don't delete it. To the other two vets, and ALL VETERANS and service members, please don't hesitate to contact me. I have said this several times, but all who serve or are serving or will serve in the military (no matter what branch), you are my brothers and sisters. Please contact me at anytime if you need someone to just listen to you. We all bleed red, white and blue.... SCOUTS OUT!!!!!! RECON!!!