June 14, 2018
"As combat soldiers, we think we're not supposed to show fear or weakness, or admit we need help. And if you're not in a wheelchair, people look at you like 'what's the problem?' Our group encourages the guys to take off the Superman mask and face their feelings." Ohad Poraz
A few of the 100 middle-schoolers in the room had probably heard the term PTSD before. Hardly any of them had ever met anyone, however, who had suffered the trauma of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, much less encountered 10 of them at once.
But earlier this month, middle-schoolers at the Rashi School in Dedham, Mass., did just that.
The Israelis who came to speak to them were all combat soldiers injured in the line of duty. As such, they are also members of a remarkable organization (some 830 strong) called "Brothers for Life" (Achim L'Chayim), a group that for the last 11 years has been bringing the wounded together with American Jews, along with injured U.S. soldiers and, perhaps most importantly, with each other.
Take Ohad Poraz, 33, a healthy-looking father of 4-month-old twins who told the students, "I'm at a point in my life when I'm the happiest I've ever been."
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