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The U.S. Army shared a video of Private First Class Nathan Spencer on Thursday, just ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
The Army supported me the opportunity to do just that, to give to others and protect the ones I love and to better myself as a man and a lawyer, Spencer says in the video.
— U.S. Army (@USArmy) May 23, 2019
How has serving impacted you? the U.S. Army asked in a follow-up tweet.
While Spencers post was likely supposed to inspire others to share similar stories, it spiraled into a rather morbidthread about the numerous ways serving in the military hasentirely changed peoples livesand not for the better.
There were stories about addiction among veterans.
When I got out of the Army in 2010, I became addicted to heroin. It was my only escape. I lost my family, ended up in prison, in and out of jail more times than I can count, and am now luckily coming up on 2 years clean this August. I'm 30 years old with the mind of an 18 yr old
— Mathias The Virus (@mathiasthevirus) May 25, 2019
One of my best friends came back from Afghanistan with severe PTSD that led to heroin addiction. He kicked that, only to trade it for alcoholism. We graduated HS in 2001. Literally his entire adult life has been dealing with the shit he saw.
— Katie Lanford (@LilWookieMama) May 24, 2019
My stepbrother served in desert storm. Suffered terrible PTSD and the subsequent alcoholism and addiction issues almost killed him. In the end tho it was the paranoia and nightmares. He always kept a gun under his pillow and accidentally shot himself.
— Molly Bess Rector (@mollybessrector) May 25, 2019
The most common accounts were of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental health trauma among people who had served in the military.
My cousin was institutionalized for months after his tours in Iraq. He can't function properly without a shit load of meds daily. The family doesn't allow him to sleep in the house because he is unpredictable. He sleeps in the shed out back. He has a nice Benz though sooo, yay?