The Battle Buddy Project - Chris Couture Photography
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"The Burden"

An image from my veteran suicide awareness project the other night.... It was my intent to capture the burden, sadness, despair, anger, honor, faith, helplessness and struggle all in one image.

Imagine for a moment reliving your most horrific experience almost daily. You can smell the smells, you can hear the screams, your pulse quickens and you begin to sweat. What's worse is that there's no way to forget..... That experience is as vivid today as it was 5, 10, 20, even 40 years ago. You want it to stop!!!

You see, I can only imagine that a combat veteran struggling with PTSD has a gamut of emotions. He/she know's that they're fortunate to be alive yet at the same time they may feel like maybe they shouldn't. They may feel that maybe it should have been them that didn't make it home. They may want help from their loved ones but they don't want to be a burden. Or worse, appear to be weak. They may feel misunderstood (especially when being laughed at because a loud noise startled them).

Unfortunately, to my limited knowledge there is no cure. There is only a "treatment" for the symptoms (which for the VA is generally a cocktail of drugs). It is up to us to be a support system for our veterans. We must make ourselves available to talk, listen, be supportive and be incredibly patient.

Veteran friends & family, I am only a phone call, text message or Facebook message away. Should you find yourself with a finger on the trigger (even if only in your mind) don't hesitate to reach out to me. Before taking drastic measures please talk to someone.

I am also including the Veterans Crisis Line number...... you can call 1-800-273-8255 or chat with someone online at
Please feel free to this is about awareness and support. God Bless and Carry On