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Two Southwest Florida Locals Share Their Stories of PTSD

June 27 is National PTSD Awareness Day — so we talked to two men with two different stories, but one commonality. Post-traumatic stress disorder.

50-year-old Marine Corps Veteran David Souders has had PTSD since a brain surgery on active duty over ten years ago.

“Being flat on my back and kind of having to walk and talk again, it bothers me,” Souders said.

24-year-old Dylan Meracle was riding a motorcycle two years ago when a car cut him off and he was thrown 900 feet from his bike.

They had to amputate just above my elbow, from where my arm got cut off it just wasn’t salvageable,” Meracle said. “It’s really life changing to lose a limb.”

PTSD can affect anyone. Military Veterans, first responders, and crime victims included. One out of 10 Americans struggle with some form of PTSD.

A total of 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women live through a traumatic event in their life.

For Souders, it’s about keeping his mind occupied. He builds fishing rods and teaches people with the same experience to find their passion.

“That’s so key to be able to teach them things to occupy their minds, their time, and their hands to be able to get rid of the demons in their mind,” he said.

For Dylan, family is the answer.

“It’s not curable but you can learn to deal with it and you can learn to work through it.”

RELATED: Old Soul Brewing Company Throws Benefit For PTSD Victims

Reporting by Terrace Myles