Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation

15 Great Creek Turkey Simandl

When you have PTSD, it is like having a giant albatross hanging around your neck. The weight you carry becomes a burden not only to you but all the people around you. Think of it like a bottle that starts the day off already half full. It leaves little room to cope with anything by the end of the day. Your family is left with whatever has not already been filled up. Guilt, shame, regret, anger, sadness, and moral injury are just some of the big emotions that fill that bottle and are difficult to unpack every day. PTSD isn’t something that can be seen. It is very real and very destructive, just like someone with high blood pressure can live their life untreated, PTSD can be a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Unlike a lot of physical wounds, mental health wounds can significantly affect the lives of those around you. Even if you go to a doctor and get treated, the anger, hurt and resentment from damaged relationships often doesn’t get addressed or acknowledged. It was important to me to find some time away from all the stress and noise and pain of everyday life. Time to empty the bottle, to reset. Not everyone can buy a bunch of gear, jump on a plane, drop their life and have somewhere to think, relax and feel. That is where WWIA comes in. By providing this opportunity to relax, reset and to not have to wake up already in a deficit has been invaluable. The woods, the water, the lack of distractions has allowed me to hit the reset button. Time to think and heal. The men up here are amazing. If you need to be left alone, they let you be. You don’t have to explain anything, just clear your head. The guide’s knowledge was second to none. Their kindness and eagerness for you to do well on your hunt is amazing. I enjoyed everything. The accommodations, the people, the rush of taking home a bird and the relaxation of fishing. It can’t be described. I will always remember this experience and can’t describe how much I needed this when I didn’t even know what I needed. Thank you all for everything.

K. Simandl, US Army
Purple Heart Recipient