Alastair Bridges - Post traumatic stress
Department of Veterans' Affairs
When I was actually diagnosed about two years ago with post-traumatic stress disorder, I had two of my local doctors say "I think you might have had this for a while."
Then I had friends and family people saying, "Oh yeah you had all that problem".
I didn't know I had it so I hadn't been aware of any real changes in me at all and when I came back, after helicopters, I flew fixed wing aircraft, Caribous, 748s, all sorts of things and loved doing it but never did anybody ask me about Vietnam or what I was doing.
It's only now that I realise, of course, that I have a couple of ribbons up here that said I'd been in Vietnam and there weren't too many young people who had those then. So, flying with some of these other pilots nobody said, "What was Vietnam like?" or "What were you doing?" It was sort of like you got shoved out of the way and I never gave it any real thought at all. I guess it wasn't until after I left the Air Force that I started to think about it.