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Dealing with Combat Trauma
Dealing with Combat Trauma

AIR DATE: March 15, 2011

What happens when veterans return home from war? How do they deal with the loss of friends who died before their eyes? How do they re-adapt to work, to the neighborhood... even to being with their own families? Veterans share their stories about PTSD, broken marriages, where they turn for help when therapy doesn't work, and how one writing program is helping them with the memories.

Jason Shaw, former infantryman
Caleb Cage, Dir, Nevada Office of Veterans Services
H. Lee Barnes, English Prof, CSN
Jonathan Shay, clinical psychiatrist and MacArthur Fellow; author of Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in America

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I am the director of the award winning documentary "Who Will Stand" which follows the plights of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. I thought your show on 3/14 was excellent. SPL Shaw ran a camera for us in Iraq for a year and was instrumental in the success of our film. One thing I think many people miss when it comes to solving the reason for the skyrocketing rates of suicides, drug and alcohol addiction, unemployment, homelessness and divorce among today's soldiers compared to WW11 and prior is the incredibly short duration from battlefield to living room and the lack of any counseling in that time. During WW11 when a serviceman was discharged he boarded a boat and for more than a month he and his fellow servicemen had nothing to do but talk. It wasn't professional group therapy but it was what they had. And by the time they returned they felt they had processed as well as they could what they had seen and done. Since Vietnam soldiers are home in a matter of days and most don't have an opportunity to speak to anyone. This is the essence of their issues.
Phil ValentineMar 14, 2011 19:50:53 PM
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