Coming Home – featuring Flight Sergeant, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Medical assistant Manager, Frank Alcantara (Melzer, 2014)
Flight Sergeant, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Medical Assistant Manager, Frank Alcantara has served for almost thirty-five years and been on multiple deployments. Frank recognised he had a problem after deployment to the 2002 Bali Bombings. He shares his traumatic memories of helping the dying and wounded after the Bali bombings. It was a sensory overload that never left his mind. In 2006, after returning from deployment in Iraq, Frank got treatment for PTSD however, he pushed aside and hid PTSD symptoms and returned to work.
In 2012, Frank had a complete breakdown and was sent home from deployment in the Middle East due to his PTSD. Frank struggled with the massive loss of career and is currently in the process of preparing to be medically discharged from the RAAF. Frank is attending a PTSD course at the Toowong Private Hospital and learning strategies to manage his PTSD symptoms. In 2014, Frank participated in a veteran support group, Mates4Mates, Kokoda Challenge. He found the experience therapeutic and wants to go back to the village in 2015 ‘to give something back’.