Tags: kyle white | medal of honor | soldier | ptsd

Medal of Honor Recipient: PTSD Still Carries Stigma

Monday, 19 May 2014 03:23 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Kyle White said he is coming forward to talk about his own experience with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because it still carries a stigma and he wants other service members suffering with it to know help is available.

White, who was an Army radio telephone operator, became the tenth person from the war in Afghanistan to receive the award, the nation's highest military honor. During an attack on November 9, 2007, White risked his own life to save those of his fellow service members.

About a year after the attack, White said he realized "something's wrong," and he took the "initial step of reaching out to my chain of command" to seek help for PTSD.

"The Army did a great job, got me the help I needed. And, combined with the treatment that they had for me . . . they encouraged me to find my own coping mechanisms as well," White told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday. "Now I feel like the healing process is well on its way."

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White said he hoped coming forward to talk about his success in dealing with PTSD would encourage other service personnel who may be wrestling with the problem.

"There is a stigma around it. But, what we need to get past is that, down to every individual service member. They can go out and get help. And, everything will be okay. I'm hoping by me sitting hearing today, there's a service member in uniform that's contemplating whether to step forward," he said.

During an appearance Monday on "Fox & Friends," White called the day of the attack "the worst day of my life, and the worst day of the lives of anybody who was there that day."

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During the April 15 ceremony where President Barack Obama presented him with the award, he said his thoughts were primarily of the fallen soldiers from the day of the battle.

"I remember specifically, when you turned on the stage, and then (President Obama) actually puts the medal around your neck, the only thing I saw was the faces of the guys we lost that day," he said.

White, 27, expressed gratitude for opportunities he had through the G.I. Bill, which provided tuition, enabling him to obtain a degree in finance.

"I think the post-9/11 G.I. Bill is an excellent program. And, it was instrumental in me getting my degree," White said.

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