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'Give an Hour' program helps those with PTSD

Date published: 4/7/2013

Operation Desert Storm was one of the shortest international conflicts in U.S. history, although more than 500,000 of our soldiers served. The climate and the enemy were a struggle for our military and global sense of security, but we achieved a quick and sufficient end. Even though the conflict lasted only 45 days, nearly 8 percent of the veterans who served were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a not-so-old result of the frontline of war.

Post-traumatic stress disorder has cost more American military personnel lives than the physical enemy they were trained to fight. Since 2001, the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, approximately 6,680 soldiers were killed in action by terrorists or insurgents. Even after America's military forces were minimized in the Middle East, troops continued to suffer: Nearly 78,600 more lives were taken by a veteran's own hand. My mom, who works for the National Guard, has introduced me to people she speaks with every day who have suffered from this mental state. One of these men, Jeremiah Workman, wrote a book about the events he went through in the Middle East and his struggle that continues today.

The National Guard and its program 'Give an Hour' are cooperating to help soldiers and families. Give an Hour offers psychologist time for no cost in order to relieve soldiers and families who have been affected by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. If more people were aware of this program, and it were available nationwide, we could greatly help the veterans of America.

Alex Holdeman