Without the distractions of combat, symptoms of PTSD began plaguing Carlos’s everyday life. He began to drink heavily to blot out the depression and anxiety he was feeling.
And the guilt.
When Carlos was in Iraq, he didn’t know the villagers were mostly uneducated and illiterate. The Iraqis traveling the road it was his job to protect couldn’t read the signs posted by the American military.
The signs read: “Stop or you will be shot.”
Carlos and his fellow Marines opened fire at many of those illiterate Iraqis who kept driving -- when they didn’t follow the directions on the signs it turned out they couldn’t read.
Some of those Iraqis died. And this fact haunted Carlos.
The doctors at Camp Pendleton diagnosed Carlos with PTSD and TBI, which made him dizzy and made it difficult to walk without bumping into things.
Because of these diagnoses, Carlos couldn’t deploy with the Darkhorse battalion he’d worked so hard to train. Instead, he became an inpatient at a Pendleton hospital.
After Carlos’s release from the hospital, the smallest, most insignificant incident could set him off. He would burst into an uncontrollable rage, with all the emotions he’d kept bottled up in the war zone finally escaping, beyond his control.
Nothing seemed to calm him down when he was in one of his rages. Nothing, it seemed, but the gentle physical touch of another person. It was then that his therapist had an idea.
It was time to contact Freedom Dogs.
Tuesday, "Even the Devil Can't Fool a Dog" Part 7
(Read the previous installment of “Even the Devil Can’t Fool a Dog” by clicking here.)