(WVNS) — Serving in the armed forces comes with many sacrifices like leaving your family while risking your own life to save thousands of others. What comes after serving is not always talked about/
For Ron Cottrill it was not talked about for years after his service.
“I was just an 18 year old kid trying to save lives, the army sent me to 10 weeks of school and said now you are a combat medic save lives,” Cottrill said. “It was very difficult, I lost a lot of friends, a lot of people I treated I didn’t know if they survived and did not survive, it was very very stressful on a young kid.”
Ron Cottrill was just a kid when he made the choice to go serve his country. The decision to serve in Vietnam turned into two tours and 20 total years in the Army. His time in Vietnam came with many scares and moments of “Will I Ever get back to US Soil?” As a combat medic he saw a lot.
Cottrill retired from the Army in 1995.
“I realized something was wrong, I would never admit that I had PTSD many of us do deny it and are in denial that we have it because a lot of people look at us and say suck it up,” Cottrill said. “Time when on and that is when I realized I needed help, that is when I broke down and seeked help.”
Cottrill’s help is not just monthly lessons on a couch, but something much more personal. In fact, his counselor recommended he get as dog and now Storm has become one of the most important things in his life after his wife and kids. To this day, the things Cottrill has endured are still difficult to talk about, but he says Storm helps.
“I have a shirt that says in my deepest hour, I reach for a hand but I found a paw, she knows when I am upset, she knows when I am down.”Ron Cottrill
A selfless man who said he would do it all over again if given the chance.
“I miss the military, it was a great life I have no regrets for any day I spent in the military,” Cottrill said.