Emma Gatcombe

War can have a profound effect on people, even if it is a short time spent in the war.  It can have effects like PTSD, anxiety, depression, and paranoia.


Ryan is someone who was changed by fighting in the military.  He spent a total of eight years in the army: seven years in an army reserve unit, and about a year in Iraq.


During Ryan’s time in Iraq, he was part of the military police, which protected important people, like politicians and other people that were in need of protection from the military. However, police work was not as organized in Iraq as it is in the United States.


Although Ryan did not spend a huge amount of his life in the military, it still had a significant impact on the rest of his life. Seeing things such as explosions and people getting injured stays with him for the rest of his life.


Witnessing those things gave Ryan a temper, anger issues, and panic attacks.  He says he has stopped driving, and has exhibited certain characteristics of PTSD.


However, he says that “going to school and taking care of yourself is very important”, because it can help you move on and rebuild your life after being in the military.


Ryan went to school after he served, and he applied to UMass Boston. He is now an assistant baseball coach and wants to get his degree in teaching, and also hopes to get into professional baseball.


Ryan says that what helped him get through the war were his friends. Being there for each other is the most important, because “when you can relate to your friends, it makes you closer”.  Friends helped him get through the war, and helped him get back home safe.