HEAT ALERT

Steamy stretch of weather continues on Long Island; temps will feel like between 90 to 95

Battle After the War: Veterans returning with PTSD

Experts say up to 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans return with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Those numbers include two men from Long Island who returned from deployment

News 12 Staff

Nov 12, 2013, 4:16 AM

Updated 3,872 days ago

Share:


Experts say up to 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans return with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Those numbers include two men from Long Island who returned from deployment with hidden scars.

Pfc. Joseph Dwyer, an Army medic from Mt. Sinai, was known as a gentle man and a practical joker. He was never the same after returning from Iraq, according to family.

Upon his return, Dwyer needed to sit with his back to the wall and near a door everywhere he went. He also suffered from hallucinations that he was back on the battlefield. He was in and out of treatment for years, at one point taking nine prescriptions a day, before turning to self-medication and huffing cleaning solvent. He ultimately died in 2008 after taking too much.

"I don't believe Joseph wanted to die," says Dwyer's sister Christine. "He just couldn't live anymore the way he was living ... and there was no solution. There was nothing to help him with the adjustment back."

Thomas Ryan's brother Bartholomew, a decorated Marine, also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and turned to drugs. In February of last year, Ryan was sent to the Nassau County Jail after a DUI arrest. He was found by corrections officers the next morning hanging in his cell by a bed sheet.

"If we were able to get the right help for him ... if he was able to find the right help ... maybe things would be different," says Thomas Ryan.

Veterans Affairs estimates that 22 veterans commit suicide every day.



More from News 12
2:15
Spokesperson: 2 people slashed following graduation at Hofstra University for Academy Charter Schools students

Spokesperson: 2 people slashed following graduation at Hofstra University for Academy Charter Schools students

1:35
HEAT ALERT: Feels-like temps in the low-90s for Thursday and Friday; storms possible

HEAT ALERT: Feels-like temps in the low-90s for Thursday and Friday; storms possible

2:10
Thousands head to the beach Wednesday as temperatures soar

Thousands head to the beach Wednesday as temperatures soar

2:06
Social media post about beach party prompts action from Long Beach officials

Social media post about beach party prompts action from Long Beach officials

0:24
Police: Lindenhurst man posed as dance teacher on Instagram to solicit child porn

Police: Lindenhurst man posed as dance teacher on Instagram to solicit child porn

0:57
Caught on camera: Wantagh homeowner's Ring doorbell footage catches porch pirates stealing iPhones

Caught on camera: Wantagh homeowner's Ring doorbell footage catches porch pirates stealing iPhones

1:53
Hempstead residents, officials demand Blakeman act on contaminated water

Hempstead residents, officials demand Blakeman act on contaminated water

2:46
‘People have worked so hard.’ Woman who helped make Juneteenth a national holiday visits New Jersey

‘People have worked so hard.’ Woman who helped make Juneteenth a national holiday visits New Jersey

1:51
Police: 2 men arrested for stealing ATMs from several Suffolk businesses

Police: 2 men arrested for stealing ATMs from several Suffolk businesses

0:24
Police: 2 women on paddleboards rescued from Long Island Sound

Police: 2 women on paddleboards rescued from Long Island Sound

1:00
Baldwin baby goes home after 6 months in NYU Langone Hospital's NICU

Baldwin baby goes home after 6 months in NYU Langone Hospital's NICU

1:08
Garden Guide: 3 tips for perfect orchids

Garden Guide: 3 tips for perfect orchids

0:31
Dollar Tree left lead-tainted applesauce pouches on store shelves for weeks after recall, FDA says

Dollar Tree left lead-tainted applesauce pouches on store shelves for weeks after recall, FDA says

1:34
What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's Sunday sauce

What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's Sunday sauce

2:06
Tara Rosenblum discusses exclusive News 12 investigation 'When Home Hurts'

Tara Rosenblum discusses exclusive News 12 investigation 'When Home Hurts'

2:28
Walt Kane discusses KIYC documentary on New Jersey’s treatment of sex assault survivors

Walt Kane discusses KIYC documentary on New Jersey’s treatment of sex assault survivors

0:21
Suffolk DA: Alleged MS-13 gang member indicted for attack that blinded 2 men

Suffolk DA: Alleged MS-13 gang member indicted for attack that blinded 2 men

0:22
Police: Man wanted for stealing tools, security camera from Coram garage

Police: Man wanted for stealing tools, security camera from Coram garage

1:26
Made on Long Island: Kate’s Vintage Rose in Stony Brook

Made on Long Island: Kate’s Vintage Rose in Stony Brook

1:48
Man sentenced to up to 21 years in prison for crash that killed married couple in Laurel Hollow

Man sentenced to up to 21 years in prison for crash that killed married couple in Laurel Hollow