[Podcast] #14: Christian Benedetto – Marine Corps Veteran, PTSD Journal


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Episode 14 of the #VApodcast features Marine Veteran Christian Benedetto.

Christian Benedetto was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in November 2013. In the nearly 25 years that have passed since his military service with the United States Marine Corps in the First Gulf War and the early 1990s, he felt something was terribly wrong with him, yet he believed he was hiding it well. After being diagnosed, Christian founded and launched the PTSDJournal.

PTSDJournal is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers and their loved ones. Each issue delivers in-depth research articles, personal narratives and alternate solutions that highlight the causes of PTSD and the keys to recovery. PTSDJournal advocates for the PTSD community, focusing on early intervention, diagnosis, treatment, and awareness initiatives. Each issue provides physicians, scientists, doctors, patients and families an outlet for PTSD awareness and educate the PTSD community and the general population about how to live with PTSD and where to get help.

Covered in Episode 14:

  • An ExploreVA Facebook chat occurring on January 25 at IVMF’s Facebook page
  • Interview with Marine Veteran Christian Benedetto
    • Christian”s decision to join the military.
    • How service introduced him to diversity
    • Leaving the military
    • Being diagnosed with PTSD
    • Launching the PTSDJournal
    • Using the East Orange VAMC
  • Research and apply for health care benefits with VA
  • #VeteranOfTheDay Air Force Veteran George Watson

The full transcript of episode 14 can be found here.

The #VApodcast is now available in iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and Spotify. Search “Borne the Battle” in your podcast app of choice to subscribe.

Author

Timothy Lawson

Timothy Lawson has been a member of VA’s Digital Media Engagement team since April 2016 and is the host of VA’s official podcast, Borne the Battle. He graduated from American University’s School of Communications in 2016 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Tim is a Marine Corps Veteran having served as a Marine Security Guard posted at embassies in Algeria, Russia, and Peru.

Comments

  1. Christopher Arthur    

    Christian is a phenomenal example of an individual not letting something such as PTSD define him. His positive attitude and driven nature have compelled him to help others! He is a terrific role model and a great American!

  2. Gina G    

    Fabulous Podcast! True life being shared with veterans and their families. PTSD Journal is an amazing resource for those having PTSD, as well as their family and friends.

  3. John Plunkett    

    Tim/Christian – thank you both for your sacrifice to our great country. Christian your leadership and team building effort to create the PTS Journal is second to none. You and your colleagues bring love and service to another level…saving lives. Thank you.

  4. Dany Bouchedid    

    It’s an honor to know this man in every facet of his life. An exemplary father, friend, business man and philanthropist. You deserve all the success this life can offer.

  5. Judy Diethelm    

    THANK YOU for producing a terrific podcast and for featuring Christian M. Benedetto, Jr of PTSD Journal on it, Timothy! I’ve had the pleasure of working with him on a project over the last year and it is such a pleasure. He is a tremendous human being, a wealth of knowledge and committed to not only sharing ALL via PTSDJ and more, but he continues to amaze me by each step he takes is always to help others. Especially in today’s culture, the spirit of giving and assisting mankind is truly to be commended. He is a true patriot and I’m GRATEFUL for his service, sacrifice and dedication…and your podcast enables even more people to hear him share some of his insights….THANK YOU! You should have him on more often too- he’s got LOTS to share! 🙂

  6. Deepika P Das    

    Of all that I have understood of PTSD, the one thing that stands out is that it would probably take a person a lifetime to try to forget those moments of tragedy and despair. The fact that Christian has not only better managed what he himself is suffering from, as well as is helping others suffering from it and advocating for them, requires great passion, strength and an emotional commitment. I wish him the best and extend all my support to him and PTSD Journal.

  7. GIl Spaier    

    Now that the VA is so threatened, it is good to hear how services specifically for our veterans can help them in ways the civilian world cannot. We owe them than and more. Also a journal like Christian’s is helpful in giving outsiders a window into the personal struggles that are usually opaque to non-veterans.

  8. Barbara Werry    

    I was Christian’s yoga teacher which led me to be involved with the PTSDJournal Magazine. Its great contents are extremely helpful and encouraging and also a godsend to people all over the world. Thanks Christian for all you do to help so many people with PTSD. Because of you the world becomes a better place. You are a shining light and I’m so glad to know you.

  9. Brian E Skiba    

    Christian is a friend, patriot and human. I have worked with him in a business endeavor in the past, and his commitment and resourcefulness shows his past marine pedigree. His contributions to the PTSD Journal is so important to help others and his way of giving to others.

  10. SMS    

    As a civilian who has not served in the armed forces, I am deeply grateful for men like Christian Benedetto for their sacrifice to our country. When he and others like him return from service we should serve them with honor and provide them with whatever they need to acclimate back to civilian life. PTSD is one of the costs of the trauma to serve and it has debilitating effects on them and on our society. Congratulations Christian on providing a much needed magazine to aid those with PTSD and their families and friends to learn, diagnose and manage this extraordinary condition. Our armed forces allow us to live our lives away from harm and we must return the favor.

  11. Jon schmidt    

    Great interview.
    Christian, thank you for all you do and who you are. We first met for busIness purposes and quickly became friends. Your never say never attitude is one that I admire greatly. The man that your experiences have made you is undeniable. I’ve never known a person so liked and appreciated by all. It still amazes me. Congratulations on the PTSD journal and as always, I thank you for your service….and friendship.

  12. Stanley Wozniak    

    Congrats my pal on spreading the word and educating the world on PTSD . OORAH

  13. Jeff Byard    

    Chris and I served together in the Corps including Desert Storm. He is a brother for life. His work is helping many. We have worked with the Journal and distributed many copies to Alabama veterans. Keep up the good work. Semper Fi!

  14. Monica Davis    

    PTSD Journal is by far one of the best resources for not just veterans, but for the community as a whole – it both offers support to those suffering, and raises awareness about the disease. Christian is a friend of mine, and I am so very proud of his journey and what it led him to do – give back and make an incredible impact. Awesome!

  15. AlDon Bryant    

    Literally almost every male in my family lineage has been represented in every branch of the Armed Forces. I have two uncles that have definitely suffered from PTSD. These recourses being brought to the forefront are invaluable. This is a “worthy work” Benedetto.

  16. Keegan Carter    

    I’ve worked with Christian in the past and have seen first hand his commitment to helping the entire PTSD community. Its awesome to see all of that hard work come to fruition. The magazine serves a very real community in a very necessary way and there is only more to come. Wish him the best in the future.

  17. Brett smith    

    Great work Christian! Semper Fi my brother!

  18. Katie Glenn    

    Enjoyed hearing about the process to create a journal focused on PTSD and a Marine’s determination to figure out how to make it work. Also, learning more about the importance of using the VA and it’s efforts to improve.

  19. Terry McIntyre    

    I have had the pleasure of knowing Christian M Benedetto, Jr for 17 years. I have seen him progress and grow his commercial real estate company along with his various and equally successful businesses. As we are both former active duty Marines we are able to speak our own dialect of English and cut to the chase when communicating with each other. Like, Christian, I also have PTSD, and we have discussed different modes of therapy that have worked for us. When he told me he was going to launch the PTSD Journal, I knew it would be a success. What many people might not easily comprehend about US Marines is that even years after the uniforms have been hung up or sold to other Marines before our final discharge we are still empowered with a sense to serve. We serve each other, we serve our fellow veterans from all five major branches, we serve our communities, and we either directly or indirectly serve our country in other capacities. And we are fortunate to have the backing of our nation and in particular, through the Veterans Administration. I look forward to receiving many copies of The PTSD Journal so I may distribute them at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center. In particular, I want the young veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to pick up copies and perhaps seek help if needed. I don’t want them to wait as long as I did before I got help. Congratulations Christian on a great podcast…..BRAVO ZULU!
    Terry McIntyre, Boca Raton, FL

  20. Alex Conte    

    Christian is a friend and colleague of mine. His work to help our heros does not go unnoticed. Christian, Thank you for all you do and for the outstanding PTSD Journal. We need more good men like you!

  21. Catherine Wilson    

    I read PTSD Journal every month. As the President and CEO of United Way of Essex and West Hudson, the information is vital to understanding a mental health issue that plagues not only our vets, but those living with violence in the inner cities and urban areas. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  22. Kathleen O'Donnell    

    My father was a Vietnam veteran. I have no doubt that some of his issues/behaviors were related to what we now recognize as the condition of PTSD. Mr. Benedetto and the PTSD Journal are providing a much needed source of information, guidance and support to countless in need. Semper Fi indeed.

  23. ED Danberry    

    Christian is a friend on mine, but also a friend to all our brothers and sisters who served. Christian, Thank you for all you do and for the outstanding PTSD Journal.

  24. Victor Sellers    

    The VA wants veterans to go for PTSD because it dies when you die and your survivors are screwed. Agent Orange claims are despised by the VA and will always deny them and always have. You will have to reapply and fight a long unnecessary battle to prove exposure and even with 100% proof, you will be denied. Little by little you may receive increases and when you are terminal ly ill may receive 100% before you die, but may not either. I was evacuated out of Vietnam with a skin disease they could not treat, and I was disabled while on active duty, but I was lied to, deceived, treated by inept and unskilled medical people. The real damage was internally. I have a Permanent Profile level 3 (4 is the worst), which was issued in Vietnam before i was evacuated and was nondelpoyable on a world wide scale but none of that mattered to the VA. Even a week in a “coma” doesn’t matter. PTSD claims are approved much easier and faster, but not retroactively paid usually. Agent Orange claims are denied because they are retroactive to the date of the claim or when you left the war zone so it is dragged out having you die without resolution, and in my case even medical care was denied. They basically told me to “Fxxx Off” and take care of your ownself or die and that they didnt care either way! Also it is cheaper to treat PTSD than multiple physical conditions. They don’t want to be tied to liability to Vietnamese people either, so they let us die instead of admitting any guilt. That how they work.

  25. Mary Ingrassia    

    I am extremely excited to get ready to read all the articles in your PTSD Journal. Along with being excited to read them, I am even more delighted to pass the info on. PTSD is real. What they all go through is real. I am delighted to be able to do my part as a Veteran and the wife of one who suffers to spread awareness and help those committed to bring forward some sort of closure to put an end to the horrible effects of this heinous demon. I stand beside my brothers & sisters and am extremely grateful to the staff of PTSD Journal for having the faith in me to help you distribute your Journal to try and reach a larger majority of our brothers & sisters and those afflicted and even to those who want to help those afflicted. It is a “WIN/WIN JOURNAL”. Thank you!

  26. Arild Ringoen    

    PTSD Journal contains very well written informative articles in every issue.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the movie “iron Will” that was written about
    in the current issue. PTSDJournal.com serves us all well.

  27. Scott B alswang    

    I just want to say god bless our troops. After digesting all of this o believe my hero dad who passed years ago was a victim of ptsd having been a bubble gunner in WW two – these wars of Afghanistan and Iraq sadly are forgotten by most just as 911 is outside of NYC – Having served as a federal agent and the closest Survivor of the 1993 wtc bomb I remember but our poor soldiers come hope with little hope and dospair – thanks for bringing attention funding and hope to those who have serviced !!! – Scott Alswang

  28. Alejandra Bozzolasco    

    PTSD Journal is a vital resource for those living with PTSD and their loved ones. The articles are insightful, well-written, and salient. It is a much needed resource hub for those who are seeking assistance, knowledge, and support.

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