Megan Webb Wins AFF's "Tell Us Your Story" Essay Contest

Megan Webb Wins AFF's "Tell Us Your Story" Essay Contest

Thanks to everyone who participated in the American Freedom Foundation’s “Tell Us Your Story” essay contest.  We have been completely overwhelmed by the response and extremely moved by the stories.  It so important to support our military, past and present, who have worked so hard and suffered so much to give us the freedoms we enjoy today.

It was very difficult selecting one story to win the Takamine Jasmine Autographed Guitar signed by Hank Williams, Jr., Jamey Johnson, Colt Ford and Josh Thompson.  We wish we had a gift for every story that was submitted.  They all were so powerful, reflective, emotional and so disserving of recognition. The story that, in our opinion, reflects the greatest impact the military has had on their lives, was written by Megan Webb. Her husband, Steven, was a Marine stationed at the Dover Air Force Base Port Mortuary during Desert Storm.  Her compelling story is one of dedication, commitment, love and hope and sends a great message of to all who suffer with PTSD.  Please read her story below.

We will post all the submission on our website at www.americanfreedomfoundation.org because they need and deserve recognition.

Thanks again to all who participated and thanks to each and every one of you for your service to our country.

With gratitude,

The American Freedom Foundation
 

Megan Webb's Story

My husband, my hero!
 
During Operation Desert Storm my husband was a Marine stationed at the Dover Air Force Base Port Mortuary as part of a joint service operation, 50 soldiers from each branch of service were stationed to set up the port mortuary and handle our fallen soliders. My husband being younger was stationed as a body handler. He was responsible for autopsys, identification, live round removal, and sending these fine soldiers home to there families. After Desert Storm my husband returned home and was expected to return to normal. Never before had military personal autopsy the soldiers and this was a experiment to see how the soldiers handled the stress. The study was used to help develop the MOS for body handlers, now it requires 2 years of school and 9 out of 10 do not make it. 20 years ago no support was provided and to date there is very little in the way of resources within the VA for help in dealing with what he went through. My husband suffers from severe PTSD and has attempted suicide 3 times. The last attempt was this past August and required 5 days in ICU, he was then sent to the VA in Martinsburg, WVA for treatment in there PTSD program. After 5 months my husband came home in February. The VA has said that this is the best it will get. The man I fell in love with is in there somewhere but where nobody knows. He does not leave the house except for doctor's appointments, he is not social with our children who are 7 and 9. Our life is not a normal one but it is the one we lead. On the dark days I try and remember what a brave man my husband is for facing these deamons daily, I also consider myself fortunate that he has survived to this point, the hospital said that it's amazing that he has survived this long. People don't realize that PTSD is a serious condition, they can't see a wound so they think you are o.k. We are waiting for a service dog to help with the hypervigalance and anxiety but that takes on average 1 year. After my husbands release from the hopistal his roomate of 5 months, a young Army veteran, committed suicide 3 weeks after leaving the hospital. It brings home the fact that suicide and PTSD are very prevelant in our Veterans. I write our story so that other soldiers and there families are not ashamed to ask for help. We tried it on our own and it does not work, even with a strong support system it is a challange. The resources are there, not always easily accessable but worth it. No soldier is ever alone, I want them to know to never give up, fight another day, it is worth it! The most profound experience for me was when my husband was leaving here on a stretcher with a paramedic on his chest, he was blue and grey and it was bad. Our daughter who is 9 was in the street screaming "Daddy don't leave me, I need you", every soldier is needed and my family needs my husband. Military children face things most children never experience, and they are proud of there parents. For me I will always be a Marine wife, my children will always be the children of a soldier, and my husband will always be a Marine., and this is the home of the free because of the brave. My husband, Steven is my hero, my love, and he is worth the fight every day, I will never give up on him, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that he never gives up on himself. For any soldier that feels suicidal please ask for help , it is there and you can overcome this!

For help, please contact the Suicide Prevention Hot Line at

(800) 273-talk
 
Megan Webb

thewebbs@atlanticbb.net