Veteran Wrote Children’s Book About PTSD

"Who I am post-war is the only version of me my kids know." This veteran needed a way to explain PTSD to his daughter — so he wrote a children's book about it.

3 million service members have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since the September 11th Attacks

Veteran Seth Kastle struggled to explain PTSD to his young daughter. So, he wrote her a book. Kastle spent 16 years in the Army Reserve. When he got home, a different battle began. Kastle’s struggle with PTSD laid dormant and unnamed for years. When his daughter was born, he knew something had to change.

“I felt like I owed her an explanation and I owed her understanding me. I wanted a way to be able to explain to her with just not going into any details but just like, you know, "This isn't your fault, you know, and I love you more than anything." That's a type of thing as a parent that you just wanted to be able to relay to your kids. I was young when I went to war and I didn't have kids until later in life. And so, who I am post-war is the only version of me my kids know. I still remember where I was standing in that trailer house the first time, I felt this, and I didn't know what it was. It was something that I felt inside of my chest that it's a physical manifestation of what I now know, you know, this is my body reacting to what I've been through over the last few years. And like I still remember standing there in our kitchen and it's like, "Oh, that's different." You have to remember. Like this is 2004 when this is happening, right? So, we're very early in the war still. Like I honest to God, like I didn't even know what the VA was or what PTSD was, I mean those weren't topical conversations that were happening at the time,” Seth Kastle tells Brut.

Through counseling, Kastle was able to begin healing but found there were fewer resources available for kids. Kastle’s self-published kids’ book has received an overwhelming response from military parents.