Meet the Veterans – 2 of 6

louis

Hi, I’m Louis. I joined the army in 1992 and got deployed to the former Yugoslavia as part of UNPROFOR. That period changed my life a lot, once home I just didn’t feel like I still fitted in.
I returned to the mission working for one of the military contractors and stayed until the end of the war in 1996. A lot happened during that time. Many great things but also a lot that got burned into my eyes. I wasn’t ready to come home, to be honest I wasn’t ready for life anymore. I came close to losing it all together.
Once home I started working a lot. Mostly short-term assignments as I was unstable really. I needed the time between these assignments to recharge. Like walking life on a string, just trying to keep in balance all the time. I tried to cope for many years, but things went downhill. I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD and received therapy from a variety of organizations including the army.
In the end things got worse. The therapy sent me back to war more and more, I started having flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety. The medication didn’t have an effect on me other than causing major depression. Again, I nearly lost everything not having the power anymore to fight.
They stopped treatment and the medication. I slowly started picking up the pieces again and I managed somehow, with the support of great friends that once stood at my side, and still do.
I’m trying, it’s getting better, but I have some distance to overcome still.
I applied for Veterans on the Camino and was selected. It will be a challenge, but I will be there with others who understand my struggle. It will be an honor to walk with them and to get to know how they continued with life. I look forward learning from them and hopefully it will lead to more peace in all our lives.

3 thoughts on “Meet the Veterans – 2 of 6

  1. Camino blessings Louis and thankyou for sharing, just a smal part of you story here. Over the past two years I have been readig, and watching, a lot of interviews and personal stories, of both Veterans and those of the families left behind, and those who continue the struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives in order to try to return to ‘the, so called’ normal reality.. i wish you all the best with this new journey with Brad and the rest of your companions, and hope that you will be able to fnd some more peace in you life. May The Camino Angels, ‘yes, they are out there,’ watch over you and keep you safe. Susanawee (Admin and owner, Australian Pilgrims on the Camino and beyond.).

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