Clinic for Military Veterans with PTSD

Veterans who believe they may be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder were encouraged to get more information about the condition and its impact on veterans and their loved ones when the Coweta Veterans Club hosted its third clinic to benefit veterans Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.

The Coweta Veterans Club is at 130 Veterans Club Drive, off U.S. Highway 29, just north of the Hwy. 34 bypass across from A&W Nursery.

The Oct. 26 clinic concentrated on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, focusing upon the veterans who might be suffering from the emotional damage of war. This clinic included immediate family members who want to support their veteran.

PTSD is a scourge of every war in which the United States has fought but was first recognized medically for the veterans of the War to End All Wars -- World War One, noted Hank Berkowitz, local volunteer Veterans Service Officer, who is coordinating the evening events.

Today, PTSD is known to occur either immediately after a wartime traumatic situation, or even decades after military service. Either situation becomes a difficult medical issue for a veteran.

This is compounded for our current Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, who because of a small all-volunteer military force, are required to spend two, three, four or more tours in full combat situations and then cope with the resulting stress, Berkowitz said.

Michelle Lindsey-Bailey, a PTSD Trauma Specialist from the Decatur VA Medical Center, led the Oct. 26 clinic program.

According to Lindsey-Bailey, veterans are known to make every attempt to cope with this stress that can limit productivity whether in work or personal life.

Active military members have habitually covered up PTSD symptoms, rather than have any mention made in their military medical jackets that would prevent promotions or even cause their discharge, said Berkowitz. Now, there are resources available for assistance, no matter the life stage of the veteran, and greater acceptance of PTSD within active service members.

Mike Hudson, manager with Georgia State Veterans Services in LaGrange, was available to answer all VA compensation questions related to PTSD or other VA issues. Guests were urged to bring all VA related questions and or issues for discussion.

Dinner was served at 7 p.m. with the clinic beginning at 7:30 p.m.

This VA medical clinic was hosted by American Legion Post 57, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2667 and Coweta-Fayette Marine Corps League Detachment 1325. Veterans from all military conflicts were encouraged to attend this event, Berkowitz said.