Mother: PTSD changed son forever


Veterans Affairs said countless numbers of soldiers deal with PTSD everyday.

A local mother, whose son is in that struggle, told ABC11 what life is like for her family.

Missing limbs, broken bones, and bruises -- these are all injuries that can be easily seen. However, that's not the case when it comes to PTSD.

"It's been a nightmare," said Gail Wert.

Wert said her son, Kevin, signed up for the Army when he was 18 years old. He then deployed to Afghanistan in Dec, 2009. He served one year, then came home to his wife and daughter, Savannah, who is now two-years old.

"At that time, I could tell he was a different person," said Wert. "He was not the Kevin that left."

Wert said Kevin just couldn't communicate the same way he had before he left for war.

"Our daughter-in-law went through debriefing before Kevin returned and they told her and all the spouses that every soldier comes back with PTSD," said Wert. "It's just a matter of how bad it is and how they are able to deal with it."

In Kevin's case, Wert said her son was changed forever, and has since not been able to enjoy simple things in life fireworks on the Fourth of July.

"When the fireworks went off, he hit the ground," said Wert. "He thought he was being mortared."

She said PTSD has had a negative impact on Kevin's life, and how he's able to function just as a person. PTSD also has affected his bigger plans for a military career.

"His plan was to be a soldier," said Wert. "He wanted to be in 20 years, retire and go on with another career. Unfortunately, things don't always work the way you plan for them."

So now, Wert said they, as a family, take it day by day in hopes that one day they'll catch a glimmer of the Kevin they once knew.

For help with PTSD, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Durham VA Medical Center.

Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | See Click Fix
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook

Copyright © 2023 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.