Veteran Salute: Combating PTSD with reflection and community

Matthew Johnstone, KSNT - 8/5/2023

Like many that have served, Chris Dunham’s experience overseas changed him. He turned those daily struggles and stressors into a space that helps fellow veterans and loved ones honor those that have served.

Serving for nearly a decade in the Army, Chris was in charge of personnel, fuel and supplies.

"I went in as a 13 Bravo Cannon crewman,” Dunham said. "I finished up my final assignment in logistics over in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.”

That deployment took a toll on Chris, impacting the vet with post-traumatic stress disorder. He turned the struggles that come with the condition into something positive.

"Back in 2017 I decided I wanted to do something for the community and for myself,” he said, "so I built from scratch this pathway and memorial of honor.” 

Found in Manhattan Kansas, the Pathway and Memorial of Honor started as a few bricks, and was originally only meant for immediate family. After sharing the Pathway on social media, the positive reception led the army vet to open the space up to the public.

"If somebody wants to come and see the memorial we can sit here and socialize in a somewhat quiet atmosphere, and talk about their loved ones, talk about this memorial,” Dunham said. "What it means to them, and what it means to me.” 

Using the Pathway to reflect on his service, and sharing that reflection with others that have gone through similar experiences means quite a lot to the army vet.

"It really touches my heart knowing that I’m doing something that not only helps others but helps me heal as well,” Dunham said. 

In addition to the Pathway, Chris put together his book "Daily Thoughts and Inspirations,” taking the struggles he was having and turning them into positive messages that encourage reflection.

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