Select a veteran:   

Dave Sekol - United States Navy

My doctor and I continue to work on my problems.  I am a willing, even eager patient, and he reads everything he can find on the latest treatments.  Some time ago, he started me on EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy.  Even though new and experimental, I tried it, and it worked.  After just one session, I stopped experiencing nightmares.  During EMDR, the therapist uses a metronome, the pendulum swinging in one-second intervals.  The patient follows the pendulum with his eyes while he tries to recall the details of the traumatic situations he experienced. 

In my case, I move my eyes in time to the metronome and visualize the nets full of bodies dropping onto the deck of my ship.  Occasionally, my therapist moves his finger in time with the ticking and tells me to pick a place – visualize an interrogation cell – and then pay attention to what my body felt like at the moment.  He tells me to concentrate on my immediate feelings and thoughts and to bring everything out.  I don’t know how it works or why, but during EMDR, I have a running dialogue about the darkest moments in my life, and the entire time, I keep my eyes locked onto his finger as it moves back and forth with the ticking metronome. 

For me, EMDR therapy has been a miracle.  After only one treatment, I felt as though I had emerged from a tunnel.  I’d lived in darkness twenty- five years, and then suddenly, I saw the world in a new light.  Very quickly, I was able to relax, and I started sleeping nights as long as two hours at a time.  I felt a new confidence in myself, and I looked forward to every new day just to measure my progress and experience some new feeling of release.  EMDR.  Who’da thunk it?  So simple, and yet so effective.

  • Practiced obscurely for twenty years, EMDR therapy has proven effective, if not the most effective treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder in combat veterans.  Dave was truly blessed when he was linked to this EMDR therapist.

Now, I treat myself at home whenever I need it.  I still take Sertraline, an antidepressant, but in low doses, and it doesn’t bother me.
I’ve been in therapy ten years now and stopped smoking marijuana.  Also, I no longer experience the red-zone fits of anger that stole from my spirit for so long.  I think through situations now and don’t make stupid, rash judgments when something unpleasant happens in my life.

The joy I’ve found in my life is rooted in my family and my God.  I was lucky.  My love for Yolanda and my faith in my Maker have meant the difference between life as it is today and sitting for years in a prison cell.


1. The Vernon County
2. "Fine, I’ll join the army."
3. Rewarding conformity
4. The LST
5. Freedom tax
6. Interrogating VC
7. Zombie-like
8. Yolanda
9. Dog therapy
10. Anger rush
11. EDMR therapy