As I stood in line to pay for my groceries I noticed we were being delayed by a lady I had spoken to in the frozen food aisle. She only had 2 items but did not seem to have enough money to pay for the two bags of greens. I quietly walked up to the cashier and gave her a five dollar bill to cover the bill and then returned to my place behind an older gentleman.
Aggravated the transaction was taking too long the man complained to me. He was on oxygen and it was apparent standing there was a challenge. The next thing I knew he was sitting on the plastic bag carousel shelf from the empty lane next to us.
I asked if he was okay. Soon we were having a conversation. He told me he was born in 1946, a war baby he said. As we continued to talk, I learned he was a Marine in the Vietnam War. I shared that my Dad was in the Air Force during WWII and my husband was in the Navy during the Vietnam War.
He said that when he returned from the war that he was ignored as a Veteran… “Nobody wanted to have anything to do with us!” His eyes teared up as he explained to me what it was like for him back then. He went on the say that many of his friends and family members never made it home from the war. Two siblings died in Vietnam along with several close friends. I tried my best to console this man, but there was little time to do so even in this very slow line.
PTSD is a battle that so many of our soldiers and victims /witnesses of abuse or crime face on a daily basis. It can be a debilitating illness that our medical community does not have the total solution for healing. They are making significant strides in this area, but we still have a long way to go.
I do not even begin to pretend I have the answers, any answers; all I can do is offer my prayers and caring. If you or your loved one suffers from this serious mental health disorder… SEEK HELP.
When our boys were growing up there was a young girl, I’ll call her Sandy, that lived in our neighborhood. Now an adult and married we’ve reconnected through Facebook. Her husband is battling PTSD. Please pray for Sandy and her husband. This evil disorder is robbing both of them of the joy they deserve.
We never know what baggage, hurts, and pains those around us are carrying. Take the time to be attuned to others; reach out and offer a kind word. I’m glad I took the time to speak with that gentleman in line at the store. He thanked me before he left the store. I pray that my words were the right ones and that he found them to provide him hope.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…
(1 Thessalonians 5:11a)