June 20, 2006

GI Proves He has the Heart of a "Lyon"

Recently, GI GO was able to sit down with Lance Corporal Casey Lyon, a U.S. Marine who has been diagnosed with PTSD

Marine Lcpl. Casey Lyon

According to a recent report from the Veterans Administration, more than 50,000 vets from Iraq and Afghanistan are believed to be suffering from mental health problems, with nearly half of them from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. While PTSD is a well-known psychological disorder, many soldiers are unwilling or even afraid to speak up, fearing others may ridicule them or that it may even harm their military career.

Recently, GI GO was able to sit down with Lance Corporal Casey Lyon, a U.S. Marine who has been diagnosed with PTSD. Lyon said that while the life of a soldier is extremely stressful, he never envisioned that he would be diagnosed with PTSD.

“You never would have thought it would happen to you,” said Lyon. “Even if you experience a worse case scenario situation."

Before being aware that he had PTSD, Casey did not even realize that anything was wrong until others in his platoon informed him that he would scream during his sleep.

“I began having nightmares in the tent that I didn’t even know I had,” said Lyon. “My buddies would tell me later that I was yelling and screaming about stuff burning in the truck. I told them to wake me up next time it happened and they did it two times before they suggested I go see the wizard (psychologist). I kept telling them, ‘I don’t need a psychologist, I’m not crazy.’ Then a Lieutenant suggested I pay him a visit, so I went. It was there when I was diagnosed with PTSD.”

For Casey, relieving the symptoms of PTSD simply involved relieving the stress that comes from being a soldier. When he was in Iraq, he found stress relief in anything from reading books and listening to his iPod to playing with a Hacky Sack. At home, however, Lyon finds that the best way to relieve his stress is by reclaiming his American identity, doing all the things that he fought to protect overseas.

“Vacation, family and friends, baseball games, movies, anything and everything that America has to offer makes me happy and feel more relaxed than ever. Peace, civilian life; people do not know how good they have it here.”

Along with these activities, Casey has devoted some of his time visiting local elementary schools, telling kids about American progress in Iraq and his experiences as a soldier while in deployment.

The GI Go Fund has pledged to help the tens of thousands of soldiers like Casey to relieve their stress by offering them all of the things that make America great. With your support, we can show all of our brave men and women how much we care about there well-being not just while overseas, but when they return to civilian life as well.