As he launches his campaign, Carter said he wants the media to drop the “D” from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), saying the condition is not a disorder, only a normal reaction to the horror of war.
And he said that that merely using the word “disorder” implies there’s something with you.
“There’s nothing wrong. In my eyes, I see post-traumatic stress as your body’s natural reaction to a traumatic experience,” Carter said. “In a way, everybody suffers a minor form of it. . . . I’m trying to use this whole experience to let people know that everybody is susceptible to this.”
Reading a statement to reporters outside the White House after he accepted the award, Carter said he represents “the thousands who suffer the invisible wounds of war.”
And he made a plea for Americans to “please take the time to learn about the invisible wounded,” adding that “only those closest to me can see the scars that come from seeing good men take their last breath. . . . Know that a soldier or veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress is one of the most passionate and dedicated men or women you’ll ever meet.”
Carter, who’s headed to New York for an appearance with David Letterman and then to Los Angeles as part of a media tour, said he’s getting used to the media attention, but he never expected to get an invitation to the White House.
“When you’re a kid growing up, you think of the White House and government and all that big-wig stuff as something completely distant and far away,” he said in the interview. “And then even in the military, I tried to avoid anybody over my platoon sergeant. Now that has dramatically changed.”