Combat Related PTSD: The Willie Gray Story
THE WILLIE GRAY STORY
A TRUE STORY
By Melvina Gray
What happens when someone you’ve known for years, suddenly becomes a stranger? One woman deals with the reality of watching the man she loves struggle with losing himself.
The Willie Gray Story is like that of millions of soldiers who have served in combat zones. PTSD can destroy lives if left untreated. Willie Gray’s story will open your eyes to the reality, the pain, and the heartache of loving and living with someone who has PTSD.
The tires of my car screeched as it came to a halt on the wet pavement of my driveway. Pushing the gear into park, I jumped quickly from the car, and ran breathlessly towards my husband Willie’s body as he lay on the ground faced down, drenched in mud on our rain soak lawn.
Our son Jamar, although a hefty thirteen year old, tediously struggled to help him get up. One side of Willie’s body wiggled to assist him while the other side laid dormant from a stroke he suffered about a year earlier. I moved his overturned wheelchair to an upright position, but because of a knee injury, I watched helplessly as Jamar tried to lift Willie again, but the weight of his body was too much for him. I silently cried out to God for help. It wasn’t long before God answered when two large hands came seemingly from out of nowhere and helped Jamar lift Willie into his waiting chair. It was our next-door neighbor, Danny.
Jamar pushed the chair carrying Willie into the house. I followed them inside and sat at the dining table in shock at the fact that the VA nursing home had allowed Willie to sign himself out in the condition he was in. Hearing Willie’s slurred speech gained my attention. Rising from my chair, I hobbled on the front part of my foot to ease the pain I felt in my aching knee next to Willie’s wheelchair.
“I could’ve got…got..gotten…up on my own,” He loudly stuttered as he took his able arm and wiped rain water from his face onto his wet shirt sleeve.
“Jamar get your daddy some dry clothes,” I called out as I began to unbutton Willie’s shirt.
That was just like the soldier in him, refusing to give up although obviously weak and wounded...........