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Combat Troops in Iraq Talk About PTSD

by Tim King (SALEM, Ore.) – Hundreds of thousands of American combat veterans are victims of the effects of combat and war. The symptoms of PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, are wide ranging. The current conflicts continue to generate PTSD in our troops, and they join the ranks of veterans of the Persian Gulf War, Lebanon, Vietnam, Korea and WWII as survivors of things that no man or woman should ever witness in a civilized world. My goal in Iraq in the summer of 2008, was to gather interviews for a television documentary on PTSD. What veterans are doing while at war is part of what we will explore, and even more importantly, we will show all types of different therapies that are being used successfully by vets and people who help veterans, in their adjustment back to a peaceful society. It’s well into 2011 and the documentary is still not produced, and as the editor of this online news group I am very restricted and have been unable to accomplish this goal. I am sorry, the need is clearly as large as ever, larger in fact. While we have received some assistance to get as far as we have, and that particularly helped with our trip to Arizona and California two summers ago where we recorded significant additional footage for the program. We are still seeking a partner to help with the cost of producing this extremely important program. It will be a valuable tool to help educate people about PTSD. The National Institute of Mental Health states that millions of Americans get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder every year. A large number of those Americans are our combat forces serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Veterans Administration’s almost immediate medical answer is to provide morphine-based drugs that create vegetables and addicts. There are better, more creative ways for those who suffer from PTSD to find relief and therapy. Among those who have Iraq War and Afghanistan, one study looked at members of four United States combat infantry units (3 Army and 1 Marine) who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to About.com: PTSD in Military Veterans. “The majority of soldiers were exposed to some kind of traumatic, combat-related situations, such as being attacked or ambushed (92%), seeking dead bodies (94.5%), being shot at (95%), and/or knowing someone who was seriously injured or killed (86.5%).” They report that, approximately 12.5% had PTSD after being deployed, a rate greater than that found among these soldiers before deployment. They need the support of a nation. The video documentary we are producing on PTSD will change things greatly by educating sufferers and their families as to the multiple ways they can seek therapy and recreation and camaraderie beyond the traditional channels. Please visit Salem-News.com to learn how you or your company can help. We are interested in moving this forward quickly as the need has already existed for a long time. Simply enter PTSD in our search box and select Salem-New.com, and you will see years of reports dealing with this tragically widespread disorder. I have also spent time covering the war in Afghanistan and we have the footage from that available for this program. We’ve gone out of our way to get the footage from the combat theater and the interviews that will be the centerpiece of this project. We appreciate your help for these Americans who suffer from PTSD. Here is a link to our latest update on the documentary: War and PTSD: A Discussion Regarding the Documentary (VIDEO) – Bonnie King & Dr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com Beyond the increasing rate of veteran suicide, the dark side of PTSD for too many who served their nation can be alcoholism, homelessness, drug abuse, depression, and sometimes destructive behavior. Some of the Marines and soldiers that I spoke with in Iraq about PTSD are Army S/Sgt. Ryan Ahern, Marine Sgt. Cory Marcus, Jake Witt USMC of Chicago, Illinois, Army Spc. Clarence Ariola, Marine Sgt. Gabe Stall of Indiana, Marine Cpl. Michael Patton who was on his second tour in Iraq, Marine Cpl. Tyler Reuter of Minnesota. In this report you will hear their words, as they share their thoughts in PTSD, from what has been the number one PTSD-inspiring place in the world; Iraq. As retired Oregon physician Dr. Phillip Leveque, who for years specialized in treatment of veterans with PTSD says, “the level of Post Traumatic Stress that a person suffers from, ultimately is graded on a scale of one to ten.” He says veterans or anyone else with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can generally be treated and if educated properly, gain personal skills that help them deal with it. I talked to these Marines and soldiers in different parts of Iraq during the summer of 2008 to learn what their thoughts are on PTSD, and to discover what they are doing to help offset problems from it later in their lives. To help, please visit our PayPal link on the upper right side of the Salem-News.com front page, send an email to [email protected]