Support pours in for family affected by post-traumatic stress disorder

Crystal Reilly, the spouse of a Fort Bragg soldier with PTSD, took her battle with the Army public after she said they abandoned her family in their time in need. Almost all of the Reilly family's belongings were for sale in the front yard of their Lakeway Drive home in Fayetteville. » Read more « (Nicole Carr)
April 26, 2013 3:49:12 PM PDT
The community is reaching out to help a woman fed up with how the military treated her husband suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Crystal Reilly, a mother of two, says she took her concerns about her husband's PTSD to the Army, and was virtually ignored.

Thursday, Reilly posted signs at her home saying that she was forced to sell all of her furniture because of how the Army treated her husband. A sign on the home read, "The Reilly family is done with the guinea pig Army system. Get us real help."

Reilly has been married to the Army for 15 years, but it became apparent in 2009 that her husband, Sgt. Charles Reilly, was starting to change.

"The rage, the anger, the adrenaline surges he would have," said Reilly.

The fast moving, debilitating disease is called PTSD.

During Reilly's sixth war deployment came the official diagnosis and suggestion for clinical help.

"He was supposed to be sent home from down range, which is Afghanistan, to here and be put in a hospital immediately," said Reilly. "They didn't do that."

Instead their home became the hospital.

"For four months I was on suicide watch with him," said Reilly.

Many people who saw their father, brother, sister and mother in Reilly's story.

"I feel that he's one of the individuals and probably like several others that just fell through the cracks," said retired Chief Warrant Officer Jack Hurley.

Thirty years, three wars and one All-American city street separate Hurley and Sgt. Reilly.

The Fort Bragg soldiers often shared Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq war stories -- confiding in each other about things only soldiers know and the things that lead to PTSD.

"We didn't address them in those days, I'll be honest with you," said Hurley. "They addressed them as malingering."

Hurley knew of the problems like Sgt. Reilly's IED attack, and financial struggles the family was having. On Thursday, everyone learned just how severe the problem was.

"I didn't know what to make of it," said neighbor Martha Sheeder. "It even upset my son, who's a high school senior."

Now, ABC11 viewers and even people thousands of miles away are reaching out to help the Reillys.

Her story is going viral with thousands of Facebook shares, hundreds of comments and offers of financial help. People are telling their story, which was the equivalent to Reilly's story.

So now, with Reilly's signs taken down and her unsold belongings back in the house, what's next?

"I just don't know," said Sheeder. "We need to come together and just be there for each other."

"There has to be a way that people can put this behind them, move on with their lives, but you have to have a system that recognizes their wounds -- the non-visible wounds," said Hurley.

And the flood of support, Reilly told ABC11 that she's heard from people across the country. To you, she says "Thank you, thank you, thank you."

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