Army SSG Sharon Clark joined the military to serve the country and to provide the means for a better life for her family. She initially served in the Air Force from 1995 to 1997, before enlisting in the Army, where she served for 13 years. She was medically retired in October of 2014. SSG Clark served in Iraq in 2010 and 2011. She has been diagnosed with posttraumatic disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder, lumbar degenerative disc disease, Intervertebral Disc Syndrome (IVDS) and migraines. SSG Clark has a 100% disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq have brought PTSD among military personnel to the attention of the American people as never before. Blast waves from explosions rattle the brain and can cause traumatic brain injuries which are often linked to PTSD. Most PTSD sufferers repeatedly relive the trauma in their thoughts during the day and in nightmares when they sleep. While the condition varies from person to person, more and more studies have linked PTSD with chronic depression and suicidal ideation.
During her time in the military, SSG Clark was awarded the Army Commendation Medal (2x), Army Achievement Medal (3x), Army Good Conduct Medal (4x), National Defense Service Medal w/ Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal w/ Campaign Star, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (2x), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, USAF Training Ribbon, and the Driver and Mechanic Badge w/ Driver-Wheeled Vehicles Clasp.
SSG Clark and her two children will be gifted a mortgage-free home in North Carolina.