HOUSTON — A military veteran who understands what it means to serve his country also knows how hard it is to live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
“It’s not just anger,” said Sibley Cooley, who spent 15 years in the Texas Army National Guard.
“You’re not just mad. You are in a rage because you didn’t deserve it. This is the thinking that you go through. And you don’t know why this is.”
Cooley spent years learning to cope with his condition. And in his current role as the Vice Chair of Houston’s Military Affairs Committee, he’s trying to help other vets deal with the same thing.
And now, following the murder of the former Navy Seal sniper, he said that his heart was broken.
Authorities have accused Marine veteran Eddie Ray Routh of fatally shooting Chris Kyle and another man at a gun range near Dallas. They think Routh was suffering from PTSD, and that Kyle had taken him to the range to help him deal with his condition. Cooley called it a common practice that comes with risks.
“The unknown factor is the human. We have no idea of what’s going on in someone’s head and what their emotional state is,” Colley said.
We may never know for sure what set off the man suspected of the crime. And Cooley fears more people may die, until those suffering from PTSD get the attention they deserve.
“They have to have qualified people to address the issues they have,” Cooley said. “And they can’t be shifted off to the side and ignored.”