July 2, 2010

Combat Veteran's Stuttering Returns Post Iraq

My husband has a pronounced stutter (a previously conquered childhood hardship) which returned with a vengeance post Iraq, but over the last few months I've noticed it getting worse. He sometimes has difficulty pronouncing certain words; for example yesterday it was the word "successful", which he finally resorted to breaking into three syllables in order to get it out. It's moments like that I seriously have to battle the urge to finish sentences for him, but he needs to be able to communicate without me jumping in every five minutes to "help" him convey his point of view. And honestly, I don't want to give him any more of a complex than he already has.

I know he's aware of the worsening affliction, his body language and broken eye contact highlights the insecurity which accompanies his frustration.

I wanted him to hear for himself how prevalent it's becoming, and although he brought it to my attention by telling me he was going to blog about it, I'm not sure he realizes the true extent. So I secretly recorded him (sorry to be so sneaky my love) as he read to me from his post PTSD Defines Me in which he addresses the issue.

I've edited the audio for length and added some video footage to give you something to look at while you're listening. It starts out with him saying "um" several times which is usually the way he gets going when he's about to speak.

I used this with his permission after fessing up to my FBI style wire tapping!


  1. God bless you Bill and thank you Caregiver for sharing this with the world. Your husbands bravery still keeps him fighting, except today it is his mind he fights. I still do this today to a smaller degree years after my war, for two years after my war I would loose my memories completely of who I was and get lost in grocery stores and loose days at a time in my memories. When my ex-wife would tell me what I did, it was so ridiculous sounding that I was even capable of doing half of the "accusations."

    One instance she told me about that stuck in my mind. She said that I actually would perch on furniture like I was a freaking animal about to attack. She said that one day from a standing jump, I vaulted straight up and landed four or five feet up in the air on the top of a dresser...She said during my times of returning to war at home I would engage in many strange and unimaginable physical feats. I remember most of this today, it is no wonder that my body hurts most days as it does.

  2. Thank you very much for this article. I also stuttered as a child and it went away for the most part once I got older. Well in Afghanistan over a year ago it started to come back. Now home it is worse than it has ever been. No one can seem to figure it out and I'm loosening hope. I found this well doing research on it and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one. If you have any info on why it came back I'd love to know.

    Matt C

    1. matt,,iam viet nam vet,,same story as yours,,,,have you tried to file a claim that the war aggraveted your stuttering,,,,,,,,,,gary


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