My dad was in WWII. He was a recon man. Slept in the trenches. Participated in freeing one of the camps. Then, when it was over, he came home. I doubt he ever got post-traumatic treatment.
We were allowed to watch our cartoons on Saturday mornings, but he watched 'You were there' with Walter Cronkite after our cartoons. He watched this religiously every Saturday for years.
It wasn't until I myself lived through the '73 war in Israel. One thing that helped those soldiers, especially ones who had been captured, tortured and released, was to talk about it, be recognized and listened to. Dad didn't have that either.
Living through the war affected me more than I realized until after I came back to the US. I personally met and talked with some Israeli soldiers. I realized that living on the edge of death makes everything intense. Colors. Smells, Life itself. For some, this state is actually exciting. I don't know how they do it, in Israel. They are always in this state, especially recently.
It took my dad years to stop reliving the war. I believe that, compared to his experience in the war, civilian life, working for the government, was boring. In his second marriage, he took up drinking again.
He died before 9/11. I don't think he ever realized his full potential.
Writing and art are my passions!