"I write this book in hopes of reaching other service personnel or citizens that are experiencing the same feelings of, guilt, anger, or fears that I have suffered… because of a traumatic experience. I have learned that not only war, but also any kind of traumatic event can cause the symptoms of anger, anxiety, loneliness, frustration, isolation, flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.
My nightmares started before I left Vietnam, and they intensified with time. I did not know why I slowly changed, but these changes of uncontrollable outbursts of anger, frustration, isolation, anxiety, loneliness, and the horrible nightmares and flashbacks of Vietnam, caused a lot of suffering not only for me, but for my family, friends, and loved ones. It took me years to control my temper, and I learned to work only at night to keep the nightmares in check. This helped, but I still did not know the actual problem, only that there was something wrong, this kept me with stomach problems, chest pains, headaches, and edgy for many years.
I would like to thank the Veterans’ Administration and the Loma Linda Veterans’ Hospital for the help I have received through them, and for giving my nightmares a name, “PTSD.” Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, that is what they diagnosed, and even though I refused to accept this at first, now I am learning how to deal with my problem. The professional and qualified personnel at the Veteran’s Hospital have given me strength, tools, training, and the support to fight my demons, and to write this book.
I would also like to thank my wife, Elizabeth, my sons Michael, Paul, Paulo, Mark, and my daughters, Rosie and Majalia, for their support, encouragement, and understanding, to help me get out of the dark, and fight my demons."
About Melquiades "Mike" Ortiz
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Published November 29, 2006
Biographies & Memoirs.