A recent study from the Department of Veterans Affairs found not only has there been an increase in veterans utilizing mental health services, but the number of vets suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has also skyrocketed, making it the the largest increase in mental health problems among veterans.
And as a 29-year-old veteran is facing charges of opening fire at a Montgomery, Ala., post office, his mother believes the PTSD he developed during his time serving is to blame for his actions.
Arthur Lee Darby Jr. served a tour of duty in Iraq in 2005 and was diagnosed with the disorder shortly upon returning. Previously, he also had been stationed in Kosovo and Bosnia.
His mother, Willa Darby, told The Montgomery Adviser that upon his return, Darby had trouble sleeping and would wake up screaming in the middle of the night. Willa Darby is worried that Darby’s time spent in jail for the Dec. 1 shooting will exacerbate his condition. “It is putting undue stress on a man already stressed to the limit,” she said.
On the evening of Dec. 1, Darby, a postal worker, opened fire inside the mail sorting area of Montgomery’s main post office. He is currently being held on $1 million bond and has been charged with two counts of attempted murder. There were no injuries.
Willa says that her son has been under a fair bit of stress lately. Along with working for the post office as a mail handler six days a week, he had also been taking massage therapy classes and grappling with the death of an 18-year-old cousin who had sickle cell anemia.
“I just wish … something could be done to get him some much-needed help,” Willa Darby told The Adviser.
Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.