First responders also suffer from the disorder.
When some American Indian tribes returned from battle, they would stop before they got back to the village and spend a couple of days preparing. This is in contrast to modern warriors.
“We arrive by airplane directly from the battlefield,” said Dean Ehly, a social worker who spoke at a PTSD Awareness Event on July 23 at Ormond Beach Regional Library.
The event was organized by Ormond Strong, the group led by Debbie Kruck-Forrester that walked the Granada Bridge for a year to honor deployed servicemen and now conducts a variety of events to help veterans.
“Debbie started a movement,” Ehly said. “She has created a moral community by walking the Granada Bridge.”
Ehly, who works for Veterans Affairs, gave a presentation on PTSD.
“I work with people who have seen horrific things happen,” he said. “It gets stored away.”
Even modern warfare with drones can create PTSD. He said a serviceman operating a drone “from two continents away” can see his fellow servicemen killed and can’t do anything about it.
He said war not only causes PTSD, but also what he called moral injury, when a sense of right and wrong is violated.
Ehly gives presentations to groups about PTSD and can be reached at [email protected].
In addition to veterans, the event recognized first responders as often suffering from PTSD.
Heather Post, who is running for County Council, is a former Sheriff’s deputy and helped Kruck-Forrester with the event by bringing in Anastasia Miller, who has studied PTSD as it relates to first responders.
“Traffic accidents, suicides, child abuse — these are everyday events for first responders,” Miller said.
Also speaking was Joe DiBlasi, of Ormond Beach, a Vietnam War veteran. He said the servicemen he knew don’t want to show their pain.
“We were tough,” he said. “We were Army guys.”
He said the best way for veterans to get help is to talk to other vets.
The event also publicized help that is available, such as the Veteran Affairs crisis line, 800-273-8255.
The Florida Veterans Foundation sponsors veterans for hyperbaric oxygen therapy for traumatic brain injury and PTSD, and the website is floridaveteransfoundation.org. Tom Wright, of New Smyrna Beach, was one of the speakers and said he has paid for HBOT for several veterans. He can be reached at [email protected].
Vet Center, 1620 Mason Ave., Suite C, Daytona Beach, offers counseling and can be reached at 877-WAR-VETS.
A new initiative was started by Chad Velden, who was a Naval hospital corpsman in Iraq for two tours. He has formed Volusia Vets, geared to those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has 250 members.
He said there’s a gap between the younger veterans and those from earlier wars.
“I want it to be a brotherhood,” he said.
VolusiaVets is on Facebook and he can be reached at [email protected].
Velden was glad to see all of the support shown at the event.
“It’s grassroots efforts like these that sustain the vets,” he said. “Without groups like Ormond Strong, I don’t know how they would end up.”
“It’s grassroots efforts like these that sustain the vets.”
CHAD VELDEN, founder of Volusia Vets
A speaker at the event said even modern drone warfare can cause PTSD. A drone operator thousands of miles away can see his fellow servicemen killed.