Air Force veteran’s PTSD triggered by familiar office ringtone


Photo: U.S. Army

DAYTON, Ohio — Air Force veteran Blake Miller is reported to be in “stable condition” after his PTSD was triggered by a ringtone that reminded him of his active duty days.

“It happened so suddenly, like flipping a switch,” says Yara Parsons, who works in the cubicle next to Miller’s at his civilian job. “One moment, Blake and I were chatting right after clocking in, then next thing I knew he was having a meltdown.”

Sources indicate that medically retired Senior Airman Miller, a former Health Services Management Specialist out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, was behaving as he would any other morning during the business week — drinking coffee, BSing with his coworkers while ignoring social distancing, and being in a generally cheerful mood. That all changed when one of the newly-installed VOIP phones rang loudly within his earshot. He reportedly became detached from his environment and quickly panicked as he was overwhelmed by what he described as “memories of the 88th Medical Group.”

“None of us had seen this happen before, so it kind of freaked us out a bit. I ended up calling emergency medical services on him,” said Peter Wilmington, Miller’s section supervisor. “I’m glad he’s okay, but I’m also relieved that he was only in the Air Force.

“So he wouldn’t go all Rambo on our asses.”

After EMTs departed, a sedated Miller spoke to reporters while his coworkers went about unplugging all the office VOIP phones and replacing them with the previous, obsolete handsets.

“Most people just don’t understand what it’s like — working in an air-conditioned building, typing away at a computer and answering phone calls all day,” said a visibly distraught Miller. “Some things, you can only experience when you’ve spent three years in the meatgrinder that is the Air Force. And after hearing that same ringtone from my time at Wright-Pat [sic], all the suppressed memories just came flooding back.

“War is hell.”

At press time, one of Blake Miller’s friends still on active duty said Miller never deployed during his enlistment, and the real reason he has PTSD is because all the “hot girls at medical” turned him down for dates. Miller himself could not be reached for further comment.


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