After 9/11, More Veterans Dealing with PTSD
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Theirs is a different perspective on the events of September 11th, 2001: the perspective of our military veterans.
"It's probably the most emotional day I've ever lived," says Jim Neider, the chairman of Genesee County's Joint Council of Veterans.
"I think every veteran that day, and every person who's served, including those who were in the service at the time: I think they felt that pull, 'What can I do?'"
At Batavia's Veterans Affairs hospital on Tuesday, dozens of veterans reflected on their own feelings about 9/11. Each veteran saluted as the solemn bars of "Taps" rang out across a small auditorium. Each stood in silent attention during the solemn missing man ceremony.
"We even hear from Vietnam vets, that when 9/11 occurred, they wanted to return to service," says Dr. Lauretta Lascu with the V.A. "Some, in fact, did."
It is every veteran's task - and every American's - to find a way to deal with the trauma of September 11th, 2001. But as the years progress, there are now a vast majority of newly-minted military veterans whom must deal with post-traumatic stress disorder after 9/11.
Extreme feelings of patriotism and duty to country led thousands of young men and women to enlist in our nation's armed forces to fight the "War on Terror," but eleven years later, those same people are struggling to break free of those emotions, and the experiences from that war.
"Many have a sense of pride in their service," says Lascu, who administers the PTSD therapy program at the Batavia V.A. hospital. "They also now are struggling with some of the traumatic experiences that they endured as they served."
From front-line combat to military sexual trauma, Veterans Affairs specialists see hundreds of these cases each year.
"We provide intensive trauma treatment," says Dr. Lascu. "We build coping skills, including relaxation skills; it's all about being able to really take a look at some of the traumatic memories, sort them out, and gain some peace around it."
Even with therapy available, sometimes the best way for a veteran to battle trauma, is to simply face it head-on.
Jim Neider is a firm believer in that method, as well.
"As Americans, I think we always have to remember that day.
"If we forget... it's a piece of our history that's gone."
The U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs offers PTSD services to any armed services veteran who needs them. For more information, you can talk to a veteran's service representative by calling 585-297-1200.