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    #HumansOfScottAFB: Tech. Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt [Image 5 of 23]

    #HumansOfScottAFB: Tech. Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt

    SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, IL, UNITED STATES

    07.02.2019

    Photo by Senior Airman Tara Stetler 

    375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

    “Even when I first started realizing something was wrong, I didn’t think it was PTSD. I would hear that and always think of combat, and I was never in combat. It was just vehicle accidents and suicides – responding to them. I never would’ve thought I had PTSD.

    I sewed on tech in December 2018 while I was deployed, and life’s kind of funny where it’ll bring you back to. In December 2015, I was deployed to the same unit and base, and that was actually the month I started having nightmares related to death scenes I’ve had to cover at previous assignments. After my deployment, I slept on the couch at my dad’s house for eight or nine months because I didn’t feel like I’d be able to live on my own. It was nice being able to be around family. They made sure, with how depressed I was, I was eating. I could’ve gotten a place on my own, but I would’ve starved or just been lonely and done something regretful.

    In December 2016, I was hospitalized for PTSD. Leading up to those hospitalizations, having a 45-minute drive to work and just thinking about ‘Where would be a good spot to unbuckle and drive into oncoming traffic?’ – I don’t know how or why I was able to make it to work all those days for months thinking like that. My sleep was so terrible. Four hours would be a better night for me. It wasn’t the best living conditions, but it was living.

    It’s crazy to think about going from that, where I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be alive in a month or two – let alone in the Air Force – to being able to deploy again and make rank and be successful. It’s neat how I was back at the same place where the nightmares started, but I had moved on from that and promoted.

    I do have some anxiety opening up to the public, but hopefully it can help someone. They might think whatever they’ve been through isn’t bad enough to seek help, but there’s no trophy handed out for having it the worst. You just have to get help when you need it.”

    - Tech. Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt, 375th Air Mobility Wing photojournalist

    #HumansOfScottAFB is an ongoing photo series featuring the stories of people who work, live, and volunteer at Scott Air Force Base.

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    IMAGE INFO

    Date Taken: 07.02.2019
    Date Posted: 09.16.2019 16:46
    Photo ID: 5754572
    VIRIN: 190702-F-VX890-2004
    Resolution: 6290x4336
    Size: 2.66 MB
    Location: SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, IL, US 

    Web Views: 89
    Downloads: 2
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