A veteran suffering with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) was arrested for DUI last week. The Washington Post reports that Sergeant Joseph Serna was struggling to deal with his mental condition after he witnessed many harrowing events while on duty in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Though there are other methods being trialed to aid the condition, a proper cure has not been found.
Upon returning home, Serna's PTSD managed to dominate his life to the extent where he developed alcoholism. He sought help from the veterans's treatment court program in North Carolina where Gulf War veteran District Judge Lou Olivera was presiding his case.
After lying 25 times about his progress, Olivera sentenced Serna to 24 hours in jail but feared leaving Serna to his own devices would trigger his PTSD. Olivera decided to join Serna for the night in jail, and they spent the night sharing stories of their days in the military.
Alongside being almost killed three times by a roadside bomb and suicide bomber, The Washington Post notes that Serna and three other soldiers were driving along a dirt road when their car fell into a canal. The car started to fill with water and another Sergeant, James Treber saved Serna's life.
"I felt a hand come down and unfasten my seat belt and release my body armor. Sergeant Treber picked me up and moved me to a small pocket of air. He knew there was not enough room for both of us to breathe so he went under water to find another pocket of air," Serna told The Associated Press. Unfortunately Treber later died, along with the two other soldiers in the car.