Caleb has been home since 2006, way more than enough time for Brannan to catch his symptoms. The house, in a subdivision a little removed from one of many shopping centers in a small town in the southwest corner of Alabama, is often quiet as a morgue. You can hear the cat padding around. The air conditioner whooshes, a clock ticks. When a sound erupts—Caleb screaming at Brannan because she’s just woken him up from a nightmare, after making sure she’s at least an arm’s length away in case he wakes up swinging—the ensuing silence seems even denser. Even when everyone’s in the family room watching TV, it’s only connected to Netflix and not to cable, since news is often a trigger. Brannan and Caleb can be tense with their own agitation, and tense about each other’s. Their German shepherd, a service dog trained to help veterans with PTSD, is ready to alert Caleb to triggers by barking, or to calm him by jumping onto his chest. This PTSD picture is worse than some, but much better, Brannan knows, than those that have devolved into drug addiction and rehab stints and relapses. She has not, unlike military wives she advises, ever been beat up. Nor jumped out of her own bed when she got touched in the middle of the night for fear of being raped, again. Still.
- “has been home since 2006” is a factual claim that Caleb has been back from the war since 2006.
- “more than enough time… to catch his symptoms” is an evaluative numerical claim because of the first phrase. It’s surprising that it’s been THAT long with NO help.
- “is often quiet as a morgue” is an analogy claim because it compares the house to a morgue. I enjoy the tone the author uses to really set the mood of this article.
- “When a sound erupts-the ensuing silence seems even denser” – casual claim because it is cause and effect with Brannan waking up Caleb, Caleb screaming, the silence seems more intense. PTSD is no joke, especially when it’s affecting your dreams.
- “new is often a trigger” – evaluative claim or casual claim because news is a PTSD trigger for Caleb. This is an interesting trigger; I’m not quite sure why the news would be such a terrible trigger for him (It’s explained a little more in the article but not to the depths I was looking for).
- “tense with their own agitation, and tense about each other’s” – evaluative claim because the are tense with the situation. Understandably, it takes such will and immense strength to continue to fight through these hardships, and I have IMMENSE respect for these two after reading the article.
- “trained to help veterans with PTSD” – factual claim because the dog is trained. Man’s best friend, enough said.
- “ready to alert” – factual claim because the dog is trained.
- “calm him” – factual claim because the dog is trained. It’s such a beautiful thing to see animals, and especially dogs (I’m a dog person if you couldn’t tell), being used this way. I understand this dog is trained for PTSD but emotional support animals in general are such a blessing to have around.
- “worse than some” – comparative claim because you are comparing their situation to others. The fact that she (Brannan) understands her situation to a TEE allows her to handle all of this beautifully. Major props to her. As well as Caleb.
- “devolved into” – casual claim that is stating the cause is PTSD and the effect is addiction, rehab, and relapses. This is the sad truth of vets with PTSD (or vets without it). I wish everyone could help each other out. It would make the whole world such a better place.
- “She has not” – can be considered a factual claim (unless she’s lying, which I doubt) because she is stating a fact that she has not been beat up. This is a really good thing to hear because I’ve heard a plethora of stories about vets with PTSD and abuse.
- “Nor” – factual claim, same reasoning as, “she has not”.
- “Still.” – factual claim with the same reasoning as “she has not”.
Let me know if I missed any please!