By the Grace of God, My Weapon Misfired
with mental illness resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI) or PTSD is a
common occurrence now among today’s veterans returning from the battlefields of
Iraq and Afghanistan. But although the wounds are not physical, they can be
just as painful.
Army infantryman Daniel Williams is just one veteran suffering from these
injuries. He testified before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on the
struggles he encountered getting help for his psychological issues after being
honorably discharged from the Army in 2004.
improvised explosive device injured my body, my brain, and my mind. The most
severe of my injuries is PTSD, an invisible injury no one can see but that
haunts my every move," Williams testified.
being told he would have a wait of six months for an appointment with a
psychiatrist at the base clinic, Williams decided to take matters into his own
hands. He locked himself in the bathroom with a .45-caliber pistol. His wife
called the police, desperate for help.
they kicked open the door, I pulled the trigger, but by the grace of God the
weapon misfired,” Williams said. “The officers handcuffed me and seated
me in the back of a police car. One officer attempted to clear my weapon, but
the same round that refused to kill me went off perfectly for him.
Thankfully, no one was injured."
after this incident, it took over a year for Williams to receive a medical
evaluation board decision. It was only after another confrontation, this time
with a receptionist and police at a medical clinic that Williams
finally was able to get the care, therapy, and medication he needed to make a
successful recovery, with the help of doctors and a local recovery coordinator.
testified on servicemembers needing prompt care for their psychological wounds,
though other testimony that day covered veterans’ mental health courts, an
alternative treatment for servicemembers suffering from the trauma of war after
they return home.
Read the original story from PR Newswire, and read the MOAA story on Alternative Treatment for Troubled