Help for Returning Soldiers
WASHINGTON - Posttraumatic stress disorder is a real problem for many service men and woman coming home from war and with tens of thousands of veterans in our area many are affected by the disorder.
Professionals that help these men and woman said many of them do no know what services are available to them and said the affects of post traumatic stress disorder can be very devastating for both the veteran and their family.
Veteran Service Representative Steve Prince said, "They don't realize how bad it can get. It can destroy families, personal relationships, it can destroy jobs. They got to get on it and get on it soon."
Professionals said many soldiers returning from war have a difficult time with the transition from combat life to civilian life in the United States.
Licensed Mental Health Professional Tim Hermsen provides many returning soldiers with help. He said, "Sometimes they are trying to get on with their lives and are mostly concerned with living a normal life and they do not want to hear about psychiatric services available to them."
Prince said there are orientations for the soldiers when they first return, but many soldiers are distracted and focused on being with their families. He said, "When the guys get back we hold orientations and there is just not enough time to explain everything to them. They're told they can either sit around and learn about this or you can go home."
He said many veterans do not seek out help until they are at their breaking point.
Veterans can get help from the Washington State Veterans Administration---800-827-1000.
The Community Based Outreach Clinic in Richland---509-946-1020.
They can also get information about benefits from the Veterans Health Administration in Walla Walla.
Prince said, "If they think they're having a problem it doesn't cost them a dime to call."