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Decorated War Hero Rescued From His Veteran's PTSD

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Charlotte, SCVeterans PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a very real hell on earth that some describe as "worse than the bullet." Jeremy Ignont, the much-decorated soldier who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, almost found himself a criminal when he returned to civilian life, instead of being hailed for the hero he was.

The Herald of Rock Hill, South Carolina detailed on 9/11/10 the incredible story of Ignont, who enlisted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and was a force while serving in the Army. However upon his return, with an honorable discharge and a Purple Heart for bravery—among other commendations—Ignont was plagued with what was eventually diagnosed as PTSD.

"I was on autopilot," Ignont said in an interview. "Sometimes I would just start crying. I would see something on TV— violence or the war—and I would remember those guys dying."

Standing six feet tall and weighing 225 pounds, the muscular 27-year-old nicknamed "J-Rock" was a force to be reckoned with during his various tours of duty. The Louisiana native came through an attack on his Humvee with a head injury. He survived burns, a booby-trapped corpse that blew up next to him, and a stab wound from an Iraqi who breached a compound. Having been completely blown out of the gun turret with the head injury to boot, he still somehow made it back to his post in two days. "I would have gone back to them if they blew off my legs," he told the Herald. Ignont was awarded the Purple Heart for his head injury.

Post-traumatic stress disorder for veterans is a common diagnosis, given the kinds of horrors that have been a staple of armed combat ever since WWI. Of his original eight-man squad when he was first deployed, he was one of only two who survived. He witnessed children whom he had befriended, blown apart by the acts of suicide bombers.

What's more, his two marriages failed—the first while he was stationed in Iraq. Discharged from the Army last year, he had no one to go home to and was eventually arrested for sleeping in a car in Charlotte that Ignont claimed was open, unlocked and abandoned.

Thankfully, this veteran's story has a happy ending. He was recognized while in jail for what he was—a decorated war hero suffering from a veteran's disability, with no place to call home and insufficient guidance on how to correctly integrate back into society in the face of his demons and broken marriages.

His felony charge was dropped, the case dismissed and Ignont—with treatment for his Veterans PTSD—is starting his life over in an honorable fashion.

Of the troops who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan—numbering more than a million—tens of thousands have been diagnosed with combat PTSD.


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Posted by

Great story. Ignont is a very unique name and i was wondering if you knew where it originated from. All the Ignont"s I have ever seen or heard of are African American. May be a conection way back in time. Just curious....


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