Cordova Police Officer Aaron Moseley took a leave from the department last fall to receive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
A visit to a VA Medical Center gave him a name for his problem, but no solution.
“I didn’t know how to fix it. The city didn’t know how to fix it. My family didn’t know how to fix it. It was a situation that we all had to play by ear,” Moseley said.
Moseley, a veteran of the U.S. Army, served 11 months in Iraq in 2009. Upon his return, he pursued his longtime dream of having a career in law enforcement.
A combination of personal and professional stress took its toll in the years that followed.
Moseley lost a loved one and his childhood home in the tornadoes of 2011.
Last year, marital problems led to a difficult divorce, and his relationship with other family members became strained as well.
“It happened over time,” Moseley said of his awareness of PTSD symptoms. “You don’t see it until you reach a point of ‘What do I do now?”
When Moseley came forward about his struggle at work, the situation was complicated by a six-month wait time for the treatment program in Alabama that had been recommended by the VA.
He entered a similar program in Kentucky instead. For nearly two months, Moseley received more education on PTSD than had been offered to him in the one class on the subject provided by the military.
Moseley also used his stay in Kentucky as a time of personal reflection on all the events that had transpired since his days of active duty.
“There were times that I was dealt a devastating hand, and I didn’t respond well, but there is always room to fix that. It’s never too late to turn around and deal with the problem effectively,” he said.
After successfully completing the treatment program, Moseley was soon cleared to return to work.
Chief Nick Smith said Moseley’s contributions to his hometown police department are invaluable.
“He is one of our best officers. He is always either first or second in case load every month, and he plays a big role in the community,” Smith said.
Because of his experience with PTSD, Moseley is in a unique position to offer encouragement to those who run afoul of the law during a season of personal problems.
“If I’m dealing with somebody who is depressed, I always tell them that the sun is going to shine in the morning. It’s true that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It might look rough and ugly right now, but it’s going to get better,” Moseley said.
Moseley credits his faith in God for helping him get through the recent trials in his life.
His career is back on track. Broken relationships have been restored, and new ones are blooming.
However, the sacrifice that Moseley made for his country did not end when he returned to American soil. The trajectory of his life was changed by the time that he spent in Iraq.
“My active duty service time might have ended, but there are lasting effects that continue on. Iraq is going to be woven into who I am for the rest of my life,” he said.