ARMY, SENIOR NCO
My name is Chuck Kauffman and I am a retired Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, US Army. I had the pleasure of enjoying a long and rewarding career spanning 27 years. I had a variety of assignments including service as a Flight Medic, Special Forces Medical Sergeant, Communications Chief, Mortar man, Paramedic NCO instructor, First Sergeant for a Helicopter Ambulance unit, and Infantry Company. After Leaving the military, I was a Department Defense contractor teaching Afghan Commandos for three years and then as an interrogator in Afghanistan. I have served combat tours in Central America, Kosovo, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, and have been wounded several times.
During my service, I suffered from the effects of PTSD, but didn’t dare seek help for fear that it would affect my career. I loved being surrounded by the noblest of men, I didn’t want to jeopardize that. I suffered from insomnia, nightmares, depression, and self-medicating. When I left the Army, I was diagnosed with PTSD and awarded a disability rating 50% just for that, and another 30% for injuries.
Upon returning from my last tour in Afghanistan in March of 2012, I felt a profound loss of identity and lack of purpose that I fell into a deep depression and self-doubt. My self-medication, along with the anger and depression from feeling a sudden lack of purpose in my life cost me the respect of loved ones and friends. I eventually tried to take my own life. When my 17 year-old son gave me the riot act, I finally turned to God and let him direct me toward a new purpose; to help other veterans.
I had a difficult time adjusting to civilian life after 3 decades of service in the Army, and put my family and myself through a lot. It was hard to find a purpose in life. Just when I was at bottom, I learned about Camp Hope and the PTSD Foundation. I credit both with saving my life and giving me a new purpose….helping other vets! Camp Hope is the place to for direction and a fresh start.
I began attending the Warrior Group sessions and eventually was drawn to Camp Hope. I am attending school to earn a Master’s Degree in counseling, with the intent of aiding combat veterans overcome the struggles that we all face upon returning to civilian life.
Through the grace of God, the PTSD Foundation, and Camp Hope, I have found a safe environment of fellowship and camaraderie, as well as a supporting environment. My relationships with my family have been renewed, and I know a peace within that I have never before felt.
Will you join Chuck and help these brave men and women? Together with your generous support, we can provide hope and a home for those who have sacrificed so much while wearing the uniform of our great nation. Help us help them. Donate today!