From as early as I can remember, a boy named Craig Waterman lived next door to me in a basement apartment with his mother and sister, Michelle. Craig was 9 years older than me, and was friendly and kind. I admired him like a big brother. The Vietnam War raged, and when I was 11, Craig was drafted. A few months later he was killed in action. For me, the war came home in Craig’s place.
This led me to some fairly unhealthy pre-adolescent pondering about what his experience might have been in the firefight in which he died. In my professional life this same fixation settled into a deep interest in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And what emerged as the most significant facet of my interest is what multiple studies have confirmed are the personality factors that protected the 25% of combat veterans who did not develop PTSD. These highly stress-resistant individuals are characterized by 3 traits: