“Nightmares, nightmares, nightmares”: 507th Maintenance Company soldier’s PTSD struggle
EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- On March 23 2003, 37-year-old-Chief Warrant Officer 3 Marc Nash was in a 12-vehicle convoy for the 507th Maintenance Company stationed out of Fort Bliss, TX. They were making their way through the Iraqi desert, in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The convoy was mostly made up of stragglers whose vehicles had been considerably slowed or stuck in the desert.
They were hit by small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades while attempting to drive through the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. Nash was forced to make difficult, on-the-spot decisions.
Even after coming home physically in one piece, he faced new challenges.
"I couldn't sleep because, you know, every time I closed my eyes, then everything starts over again. And it's I mean, I still have it, but it was like nightmares constantly. Nightmares, nightmares, nightmares. And then the drinking doesn't help. You think it does because you get to sleep for maybe half an hour, but it comes back."
Johnathan Bohannon works with veterans at the Emergence Health Network and explains how PTSD occurs.
"In reference to, like, active duty service, you know, a roadside bomb, an ambush, loss, definitely loss of life. You know, it can occur and these things can bring on this symptomatology and change our lives forever."
Nash says he surrounded himself with positive people which finally allowed him to trust and let his guard down. He began to share his experiences and in time, Nash began to heal his wounds.
"You know, you have to try to advance their lives, Just keep striving for higher things, better things, and just go for it. Don't let this stop you."