The “ancestors” who inspired my career as a veterans’ doc
By Ed Tick, Ph.D.
As a psychotherapist for more than 40 years, I have found my strongest calling, met my greatest challenges, and learned and matured the most in my work with troops and veterans suffering the invisible wounds we now call Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Moral Injury.
I began working with returning Vietnam veterans years before PTSD became a diagnosis in 1980. My enduring model for the service I wanted to give, the role I sought to fulfill, was “home front doc.” It was born and shaped by family and ancestral relations.
My Uncle Stan was my mother’s only sibling, four years older than her. An aspiring artist before service, he went to war as a combat medic and fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. Afterwards he and his unit were missing behind enemy lines for months. My grandmother prayed for him constantly, and her hair turned white almost overnight.
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