1. “At home after school, she makes Katie a pancake snack and then, while Katie shows me the website for a summer camp that teaches military spy skills, Brannan gets back to work.”
- Pancake snack- This reminds the reader/listener that Katie seems to always eat some type of “pancake snack”.
- Summer camp- This shows that Katie is influenced by her father’s service and deliberately searches for information on her own to find the summer camp.
- “Brannan gets back to work”- A reminder to the reader/listener that Brannan is constantly working.
2. “Brannan founded the organization in 2007, after panicked Googling led her to the website of Vietnam Veteran Wives (VVW) when Caleb returned from his second tour.”
- “Brannan founded the organization in 2007”- Factual Claim
- Panicked- Emphasis on Brannan’s stress and fear at the problems she was experiencing with her husband.
- Second Tour- Reminds the reader that Caleb only started experiencing the worse symptoms of PTSD after his second tour.
3. “Life after the first tour had been pretty normal.”
- Life- Shows that Caleb’s PTSD affected his family’s entire life.
- “After the first tour”- Implies that the second tour made the real difference.
- “Pretty normal”- Shows that she considered Caleb’s behavior to be odd, but not enough to be considered very abnormal.
4. “‘Things were a little…off,’ Caleb was edgy, distant, but he did not forget entire conversations minutes later, did not have to wait for a stable mental-health day and good moment between medication doses to be intimate with his wife…”
- Off- She admits that Caleb was not acting like his usual self, and that it was affecting “things”.
- But- She states Caleb’s behavior in a negative way, but she is only concerned with comparing it with his symptoms after the second tour.
- This sentence emphasizes how Caleb’s symptoms have taken a turn for the worse, comparing his behavior after his first tour with his now pervasive symptoms.
- “wait for a stable mental-health day and good moment between medication doses”. This statement outlines how rare the stable day and good moment between doses are.
5. “…and then when he finally tried, pray to Christ for one of the times when it’s good sex, not one of the times when a car door slams outside and triggers him, or the emotion becomes so unbearable that he freezes, gets up, and walks wordlessly out the door.”
- Finally- Shows how long it is before the stable day and good moment between doses.
- “pray to Christ”- shows his desperation for a moment without getting triggered.
- “when a car door slams outside and triggers him, or the emotion becomes so unbearable”- This shows just how easy it is for his environment to trigger him.
- Wordlessly- Makes it clear that Caleb is incapable of even explaining or apologizing for his actions.
6. “All that didn’t happen until after the second tour.”
- A reminder to the reader that Caleb’s symptoms severely worsened after the second tour.
7. “Brannan was in a terrible place, she says-until she talked to Danna Hughes, founder of VVW.”
- “Danna Hughes, founder of VVW”- Factual Claim
- Terrible- Explains that Brannan is severely affected by her husband’s trauma.
- “until she talked to Danna Hughes”- shows how much Danna Hughes helped Brannan
8. “Danna had been through the exact same turmoil, decades ago, and had opened a center to help get Vietnam vets benefits and educate their spouses and communities about their condition.”
- Turmoil- Shows how messy it is to try to handle a situation with an immediate family member or spouse with PTSD.
9. “‘What choice do I have?’ Brannan asks about running her own organization. ‘This is the only reason I am well.'”
- “‘What choice do I have?'”- This shows just how hopeless and trapped Brannan feels. It implies that she feels that she has no other option.
- “the only reason I am well”- This puts her situation into perspective, showing how the organization serves as an outlet for her in her tumultuous life.
10. “‘People care when you tell them. They just don’t know. They want to help and they want to understand, so I just have to keep going and educating.'”
- “‘They just don’t know'”- She reminds the reader that for people who have never seen signs of PTSD, it is a mystery.
- “‘so I just have to keep going and educating.'”- She admits her sense of duty toward the people with PTSD to inform those that don’t know about it.
-END OF ONE HOUR-