Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Toymaker

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Bruce Empol joined the Navy at 17, and was assigned to the USS Fechteler.

Soon after checking onboard, the destroyer was sent to conduct operations off the coast of Vietnam.

With a close view of the action, Bruce saw things most young men never have to see.

That's when the nightmares began.

My wife, at that time, we didn't know what PTSD was.

I just had the attitude that I would rip somebody's head off if they got in my way.

After a violent outburst, Bruce knew it was time to face his problems, and seek help.

Bruce's doctors recommended he find an outlet to help him cope with his PTSD.

That's when he decided to pick up an old hobby from before the war.

I got involved with the wood, and it took some of the pressure away

Of everyday living - I would have something exciting to build.

As for his toys, Bruce found a way to use his newfound passion to give back

To other veterans and active-duty service members and their families.

I'll take some of my toys and I'll go down to the VA hospital

And I'll see a Sailor, or anybody, and I'll just say "here, have one - it's yours."

The fulfillment is seeing a child have one of my toys.

When asked what advice he had for other veterans struggling with PTSD, he was blunt.

You can't do it yourself.

There are doctors at the VA that are very good.

The more you talk, the better it is. Do not hold it in.

Because the only one you're gonna destroy is yourself.

The Description of The Toymaker