Boston Marathon bombings opened door to PTSD dialogue, military families say

Military families and others suffering with PTSD say the marathon bombings have given them a platform to talk more freely about the trauma, said blast survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis.

"The Boston bombings have made it easier to bring out these stories," she said Monday night after the story of her husband's struggle with post-traumatic stress was featured in a Herald front-page story.

"I've received messages from military families and others affected by PTSD," she added. "I'm glad I can help. Their thoughts and what they're going through are similar to what marathon bombing survivors are dealing with.

"Even if it helps strike up a conversation with their family it helps," she added. "Many shared very personal stories with me."

Haslet-Davis, 34, who has used her survivor spirit to help people afford prosthetics and more, is now turning her attention to help others struggling with PTSD.

The ballroom dancer — who first vowed in the pages of the Herald to dance again — said she's now stepping up to help USO New England host a Bravery Bash June 10 at the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy to raise funds for PTSD.

Her call to help comes as her husband, Adam Davis, 35, a major in the Air Force who served in Afghanistan and suffered skin, nerve, ear and artery damage, deals with PTSD.

An estimated 260 people were injured by the marathon bombs — including 17 who lost limbs — and three were killed. The healing process, many survivors say, will last generations.

"This will be with us for the rest of our lives," said Haslet-Davis. "But all of Boston is family and we'll get through together."
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