A husband and a wife who lived in Clarksville were nearly torn apart by the impact of an improvised explosive device (IED) and on the brink of divorce in 2009.
The husband, a U.S. soldier for 12 years at the time of his retirement, was just 28-years-old when an IED exploded under his seat in a Humvee that was part of a military convoy. The explosion happened in July 2006 while on a night mission. He and his wife had married almost a year and half before the incident.
His wife answered a phone call early one morning. The call was from a lieutenant colonel, informing her that her husband had been severely injured. He had sustained severe injuries in his wrist, ankle and heels. His brain had been shaken up and shrapnel, which is still in his legs today, buried itself under his skin.
He was the only soldier hurt in the incident. After being flown from the hospital in Balad, he was taken to a hospital in Germany. Soon after, he was back on American soil, grounded in a hospital bed at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After more than a dozen surgeries and nearly two years of rehabilitation, he managed to walk again.
But the injuries he sustained on the surface were not the only ones. The husband was eventually diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, which is when problems began to arise for the couple's marriage.
The soldier remembers his struggle through depression and PTSD well, saying everything made him angry. At one point, he wanted a divorce. His wife began searching for ways to help her husband. Though he was prescribed several medications, he felt they were not working and stopped taking them. Things got worse.
Eventually, the couple tried a new therapy, and things began to look up. They now feel as though they have braved the worst of their storm.
The military can be very difficult on any couple. While the couple in this case found a way to survive the effects of war, this is not the case for all military couples. In some cases, spouses decide that divorce is necessary. Experienced legal professionals understand that filing for divorce is not easy. Seeking professional legal advice may be helpful in making sure you understand your rights and options.
Source: knoxnews.com, "Soldiering on: Knoxville couple's battle with effects of war isn't over, but they're winning," Amy McRary, 03 July 2011