Former SEAL Chris Kyle was so effective as a soldier that an $80,000 bounty was placed on his head, but it was a fellow veteran struggling to cope with civilian life that killed him. Eddie Ray Routh, accused of murdering Chris, is a former Marine who spent four years in the military. U.S. News reports that Tommy Bryant, the Erath County Sheriff, conjectured that Routh, “may have been suffering from some type of mental illness from being in the military himself.” With veterans already struggling to find work and PTSD myths and misinformation a problem in the workforce, some say that this case might cause further damage and perpetuate stereotypes. John E. Pickens, executive director of VeteransPlus and the Yellow Ribbon Registry Network, said that, “I’m not sure how to address that (stigma) because for those people who read something like this and take away a negative impression, it’s very difficult.”
Veteran advocates are constantly trying to dampen rumors about PTSD, and there are plenty of inaccuracies to go around. Dr. Harry Croft, a psychiatrist who’s worked with over 7,000 veterans, has said that, “The myth is all of them have PTSD — not true, only 20 percent. Another myth is that all of them who have a severe case of it — not true; it goes from very mild to severe. The third myth is that everybody with PTSD is aggressive, unreliable, or trouble in the workplace, and none of that is (true) either.” Ed Richardson, an Iraq War veteran, says he’s noticed the stigmas trickle down to hiring managers. He noted changes in body language and open questions about his mental health. “Some ask me: ‘Have you had any issues? Because some veterans have had the problems.’” Richardson said.
PTSD is an ongoing concern for many veterans, and if you or a loved one could use some extra support, the Military.com PTSD section provides consistently updated information.