Welcome to the Veterans Journey website.
The ‘Veterans Journey’ came about due to my ‘hitting the wall’ in 2010, which was 40 years after serving in Vietnam. Suddenly our world was turned upside down. I was diagnosed with severe depression and late onset post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - as a result of my war service. I was surprised to discover that I was not alone, as by 2011 some 17,500 Vietnam veterans (out of 60,000 Australians that served), had been recognised as suffering from this parasite of war. (The actual number is estimated to be higher).
For 2 years my wife and I struggled along the harrowing but well trodden path of Advocates, Medicos, DVA Officers and endless rounds of treatment. I found that it helped to express my thoughts and feelings through poetry, as I struggled along this difficult and rather obscure path. I later discovered other veterans and partners who had written poems or short stories about their own journey into the PTSD minefield.
These poems and stories along with some research findings have been collected into a book titled: There’s Nothing Wrong with Me: The Veterans Journey into the PTSD Minefield. The book describes the veteran’s journey from recruit training through coming home and onto the present day of living with PTSD and depression. The book acknowledges the unsung heroes (the partners and carers), and the personal challenges and health issues that they live with every day.
While focussed on Vietnam, the observations, issues, and emotions expressed could apply to veterans and families from other conflicts. I have published the book in the hope that it will:
- assist other veterans and reassure them they are not alone
- provide insight for partners and family into what is happening to the veteran in their life
- inform school children and other interested groups about the effects of war
This website has been developed to support the book and provide a place for veterans, partners and family members to share comments about their own journey.
This video is a Veterans Journey Introduction by Bob Walter: