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How One Family's Experience With War Has Changed Their Lives

This Saturday is the 11th November, Remembrance Day. At 11am we remember our fallen men and women who gave their lives for our country.

But what about those servicemen and women, who return from battle and face serious physical and psychological challenges to fit back in society?

Bianca spoke to Emma, who served in our defence forces alongside her husband Brock. While they are both home now, Brock has come back suffering from PTSD from his battle experiences.

The couple and their young family are now facing major ramifications, a journey they are navigating with the support of Mates 4 Mates.

“We found out that Brock was going to deploy and so I started my discharge process to get out of the Navy, because I just had this feeling that things weren’t going to go so smashing for him,” Emma told Bianca.

The couple fell pregnant just as Brock was deployed, and fortunately Emma gave birth two weeks after he returned from service, however, missing the milestones in the lead up to their daughter being born, began to take its toll.

While overseas, Brock was injured in battle and as a result, was unable to do his job anymore, so he transferred within the armed forces to become an electrician.

“One night, Brock blacked out and had his first episode,” Emma said, “and he’s not been the same ever since. He ended up being diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).”

“It was a very interesting evening that I will never forget and one that has moulded our life now.”

There were no previous signs to the episode that changed their lives, particularly because Brock had put all his energy and focus into becoming an electrician.

“It was the first time since his deployment that he didn’t have all of his mates around him, so he put all of his focus on that and was way ahead of where he should have been,” Emma said. “I noticed a few weeks before his mood was getting ‘interesting’, a side of him I hadn’t seen, and it was coming up to our first wedding anniversary and I thought ‘I haven’t even been married a year and my husband hates me!’. It was one of the scariest things. I’ve never had to call Triple 000 before and that night I had to.”

Brock became unresponsive and it was three months later that he was diagnosed.

“I think he’s like most of these poor guys. They’re in denial for a long time,” Emma said.

Tomorrow, we hear about how Brock and Emma live day to day.

Mates For Mates play a vital role in helping “our mates” and their families to work through the many challenges they may be facing.

For more information or to donate to Mates4Mates, click here.

READ THE REST OF THEIR STORY HERE: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4Part 5

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