Those That


Stressor Letters



A Stressor Letter is used by Veterans Affairs (VA) raters to identify potential traumatic events that may have invoked Posttraumatic Stressor Disorder(PTSD) symptoms in combat veterans.  The Stressor Letter consist of three vital parts:  1.  Life before military service;  2.  Life during military service (to include traumatic event(s); and 3.  Life after traumatic event(s).


The Sample Stressor Letter below has been used by thousands of veterans as supportive evidence for their PTSD claim.  Use it for yours (modify as needed).



I was born on March 10, 1949, in Columbus, Ohio.  I am the second of four children born to my biological parents.  My childhood seemed normal and carefree to me.  In elementary school I performed well academically, joined a few school clubs, and participated in the Boy Scouts.  I had a few close friends during that time, and we spent much of our time playing many different sports.  I also had a few hobbies during those formative years.  For instance, I collected baseball cards, and toy soldiers.  I was never sick, never had any broken bones, and was pretty much healthy.  I remember my mother being very protective of me.  She always made sure I was safe and not surrounded by trouble.  It all seemed pretty normal to me.












During high school I was actively involved in athletics.  Football, baseball and basketball consumed a lot of my time.  I also discovered girls, and along with my friends we would do a lot in order to impress them.  For example, when I got my driver’s license I would borrow my parents car so that I could cruise the neighborhood so that the girls would see me driving.  Also, during this time I expressed a lot of interest in the Armed Forces, especially the Marine Corps.  I loved the uniforms and the girls seemed to like them as well.  I was young and impressionable.  My thinking was at the time, if I could join the Marine Corps it would be easy to capture girls.  They seemed to like the uniform a lot.  My senior year in high school I met with a Marine Corps recruiter who pointed out all of the positive aspects of the Marine Corps.  I was hooked.  When I graduated from high school in May of 1967, I joined the Marine Corps two months later.