A Soldier’s Homecoming

by Siegfried Othmer | November 8th, 2013

by Kimberly Smith Van Metre, BS, OMC

EEG Info NewsletterAfter serving in Iraq, wounded Marine Lance Corporal Chris Allen couldn’t shake images of losing his best friend after their Humvee was hit by an RPG; Chris was the sole survivor. He took shrapnel to his knee, thigh, and eye and, after returning home, he turned to alcohol to help numb the emotional and physical pain. Chris was experiencing the classic signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A fellow veteran and former Homecoming for Veteran participant at Neurofeedback Train Your Brain (NTYB) convinced Chris to do neurofeedback.

Upon deployment, Chris was sent to Ramadi, Iraq, participating in just the second fight after the original “Shock and Awe” invasion. He spent 45 days in Iraq before his Humvee was attacked and remembers, “We lived in fear from moment to moment, never really having a chance to let our guard down.” After the RPG hit the Humvee Chris was riding in, he immediately began checking on his fellow Marines, horrified to discover they were all injured…fatally. His Sergeant and best friend died in Chris’ arms. He was the sole survivor but not without injury as shrapnel injured his knee, thigh, and eye.

After returning home, Chris, like many other veterans, was thrown into civilian life without any coping tools. He turned to alcohol and cigarettes. He complained of difficulty falling and maintaining sleep, anxiety, depression, lack of joy, irrational fears, paranoia, anger, aggression; you name it, he felt it. Finally, after being on suicide watch, a fellow veteran practically forced him to at least try neurofeedback. Chris now agrees, “It saved my life.” Chris quit smoking and drinking, started getting quality sleep, feels more confident and secure, and is enjoying everyday life again. His mom and dad have contacted us several times thanking us for giving them their son back.

Chris’ Symptom Tracking Data (4 of 14 categories)

Where is Chris now?
After completing neurofeedback training in May 2012, Chris graduated with a degree in Information Technology. He has spent the last year traveling around the country sharing his story with fellow veterans and educating them about the resources available to them. He has been sober for over a year.

In his own words, “I can’t believe I went from being drunk all day, stuck in my apartment, afraid to go anywhere or talk to anyone to being sober and a public speaker!”

In February Chris was flown to Texas to join George Strait on stage who presented him with the keys to his new, mortgage-free home. Congratulations Chris!

Kimberly Smith Van Metre, BS, OMC


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