Trust me, the VA makes no fucking sense), and I am told I am looking at at least a 5-6 month waiting period to hear back on my final findings, so about an 18-month period (much shorter than whatever bullshit timeline they put out there in the media.
It is so ridiculous that I don't even remember what they said at this point). I served in Baghdad for a year in 2006 (during the civil war that precipitated "the surge")I started going to the VA for counseling after getting tired of drinking, breaking down, fighting, and generally feeling like I wanted to strangle someone at all times. I took the counseling seriously because I had a new girlfriend that I didn't want to subject to my breakdowns.
Just before I applied for disability, I started law school.
By that time I had my PTSD under control through anti-depressants, avoiding certain topics on TV and radio, limiting my drinking and going to a pet store when I sensed a breakdown instead of a bar. I haven't lost an "adopted" child to a suicide bomber in my civilian life.
All personal stories are subject to biases, the subtle distortions of memory, and whatnot.