The Army’s top noncommissioned officer on Tuesday told Fort Bragg soldiers he suffered from post-combat stress, sought help and benefited, the Fayetteville Observer reports.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III told soldiers on the 18th Airborne Corps he internalized the blame for the death and injury of his soldiers and struggled with his ability to be a leader.
Chandler, 49, said his symptoms included crying, mood swings, angry outbursts and “flying off at the drop of a hat.” He ultimately received counseling through the Army at the suggestion of his wife, Jeanne.
“It’s made me a better person,” he said. “It’s made me a better father, a better husband and ultimately a better soldier.”
He said he hoped his admission would encourage other soldiers to do the same.
“I had some experiences in Iraq that I didn’t really deal with very well – kind of suppressed my feelings,” Chandler said. “It paid an impact on my family. It took awhile for me to come to terms with that. About three years after I got back is when my wife said, ‘You need to get some help.’ “