Healing war’s wounds
Bobby Patry is the Commander of Titusville VFW Post 4228.
Healing war’s wounds observed annually on Nov. 11, Veterans Day, honors those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Many have sacrificed life and limb. But there is another kind of wound. The Wounded Warrior Homes website puts it this way.
“Every veteran has a story. Sometimes it’s the unseen wounds that hurt the most.”
Topping the list is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event.”
Among these are war, terrorism and violence.
Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, which can be triggered by seeing, hearing or smelling something which recalls the event.
An officer at the Titusville VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) spoke of the difficulty veterans may have opening up and talking about PTSD, despite “tremendous feelings of isolation.”
Other symptoms cited on the Department of Veterans Affairs website, include feeling keyed up, jittery and being on the lookout for danger.
“When these men and women come to us, we let them know they are not alone,” the VFW officer said. “As quickly as we can, we get them to the VA clinic in Viera.”
“We see signs outside schools and fire stations marking them as safe places,” he said. “When veterans see our marquee, I want them to know their name is included. We have served under fire and we understand. Veterans can come inside to find a safe place.”
VFW Post 4228 is at 4411 Capron Road. For more information, call 321- 268-4411.
The American Legion also reaches out to those suffering from PTSD, offering a free book for download on its website: “The War Within, Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” SL
Post 1 in Titusville is organizing a Veterans Day ceremony to be held 10 a.m. Nov. 11 at Veterans Memorial Park, 2 Broad St. in Titusville. For information, call 321-269-9959.
For additional information about PTSD, go to www.ptsd.va.gov