Canadian Airborne Regiment veteran Dave Bona woke up with the same question every morning for more than 20 years: “Is today the day I’m going to kill myself?”
He joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1984, served in Cyprus in 1988-89 and the First Gulf War in 1990-91. But he was never the same after missions to Somalia in 1992 and Rwanda in 1993-94.
He had vivid nightmares, flashbacks of horrible deaths of children, hair-trigger rage, vertigo and nausea, seizures, diarrhea, insomnia so bad he could only get to sleep after staying up for days and drinking himself insensible.
Symptoms—and the drinking—persisted after he returned to Canada, resulting in a court martial in 2000 and discharge from the service and loss of his marriage. He was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic...