A World War II Navy corpsman who served on D-Day as a teenager recalled his fight with PTSD as he prepares to revisit Normandy.
Jack Gutman, author of “One Veteran’s Journey to Heal the Wounds of War,” recalled on “The Story” how the horrors he saw in war affected him for decades.
Gutman, now 93, battled PTSD for 66 years, Martha MacCallum reported.
“I was 18 years of age. I was with a unit that we had set up a hospital in England,” Gutman said, adding he was tasked with assisting Army medical units already at Normandy.
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“Unfortunately the waves, the first waves and six waves coming in was having a real — they thought everything would be okay. We also thought it would be a cakewalk,” he said.
Gutman recalled seeing bodies of men laying in the water and realizing each one was “a son or a father … that will never go home.”
He said his role as a corpsman was “very personal” and remembers hearing wounded soldier crying and pleading for help.
“This has a big effect on you.”
Gutman, who also served in the Pacific theater in Okinawa, said when he returned home to the United States, he had flashbacks.
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His daughter, Paula, was “instrumental” in helping him deal with the PTSD and to stop drinking alcohol.
“She got me to stop drinking and from that recovery program she had, from that point I went and got help from [other] veterans,” Gutman said.
“I’m looking forward to when guy back to normandy. It’s going to be mixed emotions for me.”