Midland woman remembers her brother who lost his battle to PTSD

Midland woman remembers her brother who lost his battle to PTSD

June is PTSD Awareness Month.

PTSD, also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur after a traumatic event such as serious accidents, physical or sexual assaults, or exposure to military combat.  In the Permian Basin, family members and organizations open arms to those who suffer from the pain.

Angel Munoz is still hurting after losing her two brothers. Her brother Robert who died in combat in 2004 and Jeremy, who died after losing his battle to PTSD last year.

"The way I hear a lot of guys describe it is they may have left the war but the war never left them," Munoz said. "It ended their pain but it didn't end ours. As a family, we're angry that my brother had to go through what he went through. We're angry we missed it. We're angry that we didn't get more help."

After losing her brother, Angel wishes Jeremy received more help when he got back from deployment. She said the family noticed a change in his behavior when he came home.

"They get thrown out here like, 'Here you go. Go back to normal life.' And that's it," said Munoz. "It's not easy for them. It's not normal."

She began speaking with other families who have also lost, and programs that help those who suffer from PTSD.

"We don't want nobody to forget people like him that struggled and felt like there's no choice," she said. "It's not true. There's lots of choices ."

One of those programs who lent a hand out to Munoz's family is HEART which is an organization that helps veterans and first-responders who suffer from PTSD.

"What I try to do is positive reinforcement communication," said Gary Kennedy with HEART. "We're not here to relive your hurt. We're here to work on your future, regain a better structure for their life. Not just for themselves, but for their families."

Munoz said she hopes to help other veterans so nobody is left feeling alone or on the verge of losing their lives.

"I really do think of my brothers every single day," Munoz said. "It's pure torture, really. To think about how lonely everybody is when they think about doing something like that."

One veteran we spoke to who didn't want to be named said his struggle with PTSD gave him nightmares of being back in combat.

"A period of time after I came back from my deployment in Iraq, I had trouble sleeping," he said. "When I would sleep, I would have a recurring nightmare. In that recurring nightmare, a lot of my friends would end up being hurt or killed. Talking it out helped a lot. There's always someone who is willing to listen. We were trained to fight as a team on and off the battlefield and remember that."

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