West Chester resident and Vietnam veteran Forest Messer almost backed out of his commitment to attend a Veterans Day program Friday morning Madeira High School.
Veterans Day haunts him with painful memories of war. After his daughter convinced him to attend, Messer “almost lost it” at the event when “Taps” was played.
Messer is obviously not alone. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) haunts many of the servicemen and women who return home.
Since his service time ended in 1968, the veteran from a small town outside Troy, Ohio, continues to heal.
Just this past year, he attended a Vietnam reunion in Fort Campbell, Ky., home of the 101st Airborne Division, with his special patrol unit, called the Phantom Force.
His unit had been meeting in Fort Campbell for the past eight years. This spring, Messer finally mustered up the courage to attend for the first time.
For Messer, it healed him “more than any treatment or medicine” he has had in the 43 years of life since his return from Vietnam.
He now claims to be doing better than ever.
However, Messer will forever struggle to share his story. (more…)