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Apr-02-2009 07:28printcommentsVideo

Documentary on PTSD Needs Help to Reach Completion (VIDEO)

The hour-long program could help hundreds of thousands; we are looking for Americans who care to lend a hand.

Soldiers from the Army's 101st Airborne on patrol in Iraq
Soldier from the Army's 101st Airborne on patrol in Iraq during the summer of 2008. Lifelong problems connected to the negative experiences of war, are more easily managed with more education, which is the focus and purpose of this documentary.
Salem-News.com photo by Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - Hundreds of thousands of American combat veterans are suffering from 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 last summer 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.

We are seeking a partner to help with the cost of producing this extremely important program. Significant interest has already been shown by one television organization and the number of stations and venues where it can be used to help educate people about PTSD, is nearly endless.

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 comaradarie beyond the traditional channels.

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.

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

To help, please visit our PayPal link on the upper right side of the Salem-News.com front page, send an email to tim@salem-news.com.

_________________________________________________________

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 91 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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grinder, paul January 30, 2010 3:41 pm (Pacific time)

I must say In agree with anonymous, this seems like a bunch of left-wing journalists wannabes trying to convince us that our boys in Iraq are wasting their time, our tax dollars, and coming back mentally crippled. This country is made of strong men, and women, always was and will be. Those who can take it fall off the map and maybe that's tough but that's why were No1 and every other country comes to us for help. Paul


John Steele December 11, 2009 2:54 pm (Pacific time)

Dear Anonymous,

I just have one question for you. Have you served in the
military?

If your answer is no, then I
would suggest that take some of your money and go to Afganistan. embed with a Marine unit and then reconsider what you have written.


Susan Tackitt July 11, 2009 6:06 am (Pacific time)

I grew up living with the affects of war related stress. The father of my children had it as well. My children just as I know what it’s like growing up tip toeing through life on egg shells. PTSD is real and with my 20 years experience as a VA Volunteer along with life’s experience I should know something. And after looking down the barrel of not one gun but two and having the trigger pilled I know what it feels like. Although they were tazers I thought they were guns and I know I was about to die. I too have what I call the GI jitters and it’s not in the head it’s in the nervous system. I don’t have the answers but I know of three things that many times are a result of PTSD if left untreated. To some suicide isn’t an option so they go AWOL. To some neither are option so they have what I call "crying Marine syndrome" and I have convinced many to go for help. Another thing that is going on as I write this there are Vietnam Combat Veterans who have used Marijuana to stop the GI Jitters and because they are getting up in age they go to the VA for help. Sometimes they get irritated so they ship them off to psyche ward and sedated when all it takes is talking them down. If any Veteran of any war find this happening to them tell the psyche you just want your medication adjusted and you want to go home. If they won’t let you out you have to tell them you are AMA (against medical advice) and you want out. I really wish people would stop treating our Veterans with PTSD as something other than respect. Its real, I am 54 years old and still have a mental vision hiding behind the couch as a small child hiding from the fear of my dad having a meltdown. I am thankful for my military experience helping Veterans because it helped me come to the understanding of the affects growing up under the roof of a combat Veteran with PTSD. So many Vietnam combat Vets are estranged from their children/family. What happened in Vietnam Soldiers was replaced with a new guy after their buddy was killed or wounded. They learned not to get close to them because it hurts to bad when they lose a buddy so they build this wall; I call it the Vietnam Wall no one talks about. This carried over even after they came home which is why they have problems getting close to loved ones and their children grow up feeling unloved and the cycle goes on. War doesn’t stop when a Soldier comes home; it often just begins for the family of many combat Veterans.


Kevin June 24, 2009 12:07 am (Pacific time)

Mr. King - I do not know of the contents of your documentary, but there is promising research into helping individuals with treatment-resistant PTSD by using MDMA in conjunction with therapy. I imagine that if you were to talk to the group who leads this research, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) - at http://www.maps.org/ - they would be excited to assist in any way they can.


Army Wife Candice June 17, 2009 6:01 am (Pacific time)

So you left your comment as "Anonymous"... imagine that! Since you make over 500k, I'm assuming that you have never been to war. My husband has been deployed numerous times. He is now out of the Army and suffers from sever PTSD. Until you live with someone who truly has this illness, you will never know. I deal with people like you all of the time and it's sad. I will be praying for your twisted soul!


Bill Hargadon May 8, 2009 4:41 pm (Pacific time)

I am a Dual Diagnosis Counselor and I know PTSD is very real and such a debilitating disorder that can be helped and dealt with in a healthy manner. I had two brothers in Viet Nam, I was in Desert Storm in '90 and '91 and I would love to be able to talk with the soldier's and help them in their crises and time of need. I just hope they know I am proud of them for what they do and endure. If any soldier wants therapy he should get it without questioning his manhood or thinking he/she is weak willed - it is not about being weak and it would be more noticeable when they are out of the danger area. I would love to work with these fine people when they return if I ever had the chance to do so...


Sgt Greenbbud May 1, 2009 10:55 pm (Pacific time)

WHAT?! I can't believe this. Wait, maybe I can. I forgot we fight for people like you too. So you don't have to remember the foul stench of human entrails or the taste of shit water, or having to hurt other human beings for whom you hold no ill will. So you don't have to see the faces of dead kids and countrymen. American young men innocent to life but intimate with death. Thank God you are so ignorant.

I am thankful for you.

You will never know. And that's the way we intend it to be, and stay, for as long as there are "... rough men who stand ready..."

Semper Fidelis.

Tim King: Sgt., I have no idea how that rotten comment was approved on this story; I sure as hell didn't do it.  It does show that some morons in this world are willing to actually put this crap into words.  I think he's a regular antagonist who claims to be pro-American and then always slams our military reports.  Some people shouldn't bare their rotten souls to the world.  Good to hear from you by the way.


Anonymous April 9, 2009 2:34 pm (Pacific time)

King, there are many of us who don't care about PTSD.  In fact, it sounds like a bunch of weak willed people.  I hate Obama's tax structure, those of us who make over 500k have to pay more taxes, and for what? Immigrants?  Gay rights? PTSD?  Gimme' a break.

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