Helmuth Qualmann was a PFC in the 634th AAA AW Bn. During WWII. He served from 1943 – 1945 and in that time he saw action at D-Day, St Lo, and fought his way all the way into Belgium. In Belgium he was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge.
The Germans processed Helmuth through Stalag IV-B before sending him to a labor camp near Leipzig. In the labor camps he had to serve as translator as he is fluent in German. This brought him nothing but hardship as he was never able to sleep due to his translating duties.
He returned home and would marry in 1948 and have 4 children. Many years later Helmuth wrote a book for his family about his experiences during WWII and thoughts of life after and he would go on to write on the subject of PTSD;
“This is the most difficult chapter of my life to write about because it covers the issue of trauma( known as PTSD) and how it affected my family and me.
I really thought I was okay but others could see the difference. Some could have cared less if I had made it. My mother mentioned to someone that, ‘There is something wrong with Helmuth; he’s not acting right.’ but she didn’t know what was bothering me. I just kept glossing and veneering over my problems. A coward dies a 1,000 times, but a combat man keeps on dying”
National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Suicide Prevention Action Network
www.spanusa.org and www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)