Sunday, May 15, 2016

Vietnam Veteran Stopped Sucking It Up and Stepped Up To Help Others With PTSD

Vietnam: Staff Sgt. Ronald Wahl, of Wing
Bismarck Tribune
Jenny Schlecht
May 15, 2016

Wahl had what is now known as post traumatic stress disorder. There was little help for dealing with the trauma of war back then.
Ronald Wahl served in the infantry for some of the most famed operations of the Vietnam War: Nine Days in May, Operation Francis Marion and others.

“It got pretty dicey at times,” he said.

Now, 50 years later, he still deals with what happened over there.

“It will never leave. It’s always there in some degree,” he said.

Wahl was 19 when he was drafted. He completed nine months of training at Fort Lewis in Washington, then went to Vietnam in September 1966 as part of the Third Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment of the Fourth Infantry Division.

“It was my time to go, so I went and did the best I could,” said Wahl, who was a squad leader and sometimes would fill in as necessary as a platoon sergeant and lead the 40 or so men.

Was he prepared for that kind of an assignment at 19, 20?

“No choice,” he laughs. “I wanted to do the best I could for the guys.”
“I had trouble adjusting and self medicating,” he said.

Wahl had what is now known as post traumatic stress disorder. There was little help for dealing with the trauma of war back then, he said.

“It was more or less just passed over, because no one wanted to look at it,” he said, referring to it as a “suck-it-up situation.”
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