Helping Veterans' Families - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Helping Veterans' Families

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KENNEWICK, WA -- Soldiers are now returning from the Iraq War and many families and friends have to deal with changed husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters.

Point Man Ministries held a seminar Saturday for soldiers and their familes . Counselors were there to tell families just how big of a responsibility returning soldiers can be.

Mental Health Councilor Mike Patterson said, "The families and communities that they return to can be very helpful in making the transition back to home."

Alayna Robertson has a husband on his second deployment in Iraq. She says the responsibility of a returning soldier is huge.

She says, "You just have to be really loving and accepting, and realize that they're not choosing to go through this."

Veterans say that seminars like the one today do help. Vietnam Vet Dick Willums says, "You become aware of others that are doing the same thing."

Willums says Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has plagued him since the end of the Vietnam War. Councilors say anxiety, restlessness, and flaskbacks reoccur in a soldier's mind long after the war is over.

"It's there, probably all the time, there are some things like a loud noise or large groups that will flip the switch."

And mental health counselors say, family members can be the people to talk to. Willum says, "We can't do this on our own."