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Oct-05-2011 21:56printcomments

Combat Troops in Iraq Talk About PTSD

We have PTSD interviews from the combat theater that will be the centerpiece of this project.

Clockwise from top left; Army S/Sgt. Ryan Ahern, Army Spc. Clarence Ariola, Marine Sgt. Cory Marcus, Marine Sgt. Jake Witt.
Clockwise from top left; Army S/Sgt. Ryan Ahern, Army Spc. Clarence Ariola, Marine Sgt. Cory Marcus, Marine Sgt. Jake Witt.

(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.

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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Trainwreck October 6, 2011 10:30 am (Pacific time)

Having served 2 Vietnam tours (military) and running convoys in Iraq 2005-2010 I know this: For these young men and women that every minute morning , noon, and night they are pumped, on edge whether somethin is happening or not always at ready. That take adrenalin. Adrenalin is a drug which the body produces when needed. Upon return home that impetus is no longer there but the body still craves that need that only those life and death situations created. So what do they do? Turn to drugs, alcohol, become depressed, and a myriad of other manifestations. No one to turn to that can relate except for their former comrades in arms who are God knows where. The VA fails miserably in addressing these issues and is quick as in my case to dismiss these problems other than a pill. What they need is a lending shoulder, some one that can sit down and make them feel comfortable enough and listen someone who will be there fore them anytime day or night. For even one suicide of there wonderful men and women is to many. I feel that communities need to get involved and engage these returning heroes in joining in on activities involving not only the vet but their families. For they do have families and loved ones that is there base of support. Here where I live we (my community) are trying to organize recreational activities with the help of volunteer businesses lending such services as horseback riding , river rafting, camping, fishing and accommodations for the vet and his family. Showing that you body can get that pumped feeling in a good way and giving the family something they can reflect on as a whole and not just as an individual. As they once were part of a team their family is the new team and they need to know that. My group is located in Colorado and we are trying to organize something called "Adventure Access" designed especially for the Wounded Warriors. We all are part of a community and we can all give a little back to those who gave so much. Now it is our turn to save even one. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I pray that in some way we can all find a way to give back.

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©2018 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


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