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Michel Drapeau Law Office

Michel Drapeau Law Office provides a wide range of services focused on federal law with emphasis on Military Law, Freedom of Information (access) and Privacy Law, Wills and Estates Law and Human Rights Law.

Le cabinet juridique Michel Drapeau propose une vaste gamme de services et se spécialise en droit fédéral canadien, notamment les droits militaire, la sécurité publique, ainsi que les droits de la personne, incluant les questions visant le harcèlement et les pratiques discriminatoires ainsi qu'en accès à l'information, le droit à la vie privée.

How our country is failing our veterans (Part I)

By Kevin Berry

November 2011

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That frightening episode led me to speak to a psychologist, who suggested I might have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I was applying to become a Police Officer at the time, and I knew that any hint of PTSD would mean an end to a possible career in policing. I tried to ignore the majority of my PTSD symptoms and considered certain traits such as "hyper-vigilance" and "startle response" to be assets in my civilian work in nightclub security. I was physically imposing, had military experience, and was continuously "on edge." As a result, I was promoted rapidly to head doorman and later into management of the club.

Minefield marker, Afghanistan
By 2009 however, I was beginning to have severe panic attacks and flashbacks. A smell, a sound, a sight would trigger me. The first came on a sunny summer day in downtown Vancouver. I was walking the 4 blocks from my gym to home when I saw a pile of bricks stacked not unlike an inukshuk. In Afghanistan, this arrangement of rocks served as an international symbol to mark the borders of known minefields. I became instantly terrorized. I ran home crying like a child, not daring to leave the sidewalk. When I made it home, my best friend came over and I got drunk, so I could sleep.

This type of incident happened several times over the following years, and quite frankly happens still. I first attempted to make contact with VAC regarding PTSD in the early fall of 2009. An Army buddy had been diagnosed with PTSD, and I found our symptoms and behaviors remarkably similar. During my initial call to VAC, I was assured someone would be in touch with me very quickly. Several weeks went by. No phone call. I called again, and was re-assured that someone would contact me promptly, at a later date. Again, no phone call. This happened a third time before the end of 2009.

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