Austin Founder Lions Club
Veterans and PTSD
November 10, 2016
Introduced by Lion Tom Orlando
I am a Vietnam Veteran who served in Vietnam in 1970-1971 in “I” Corps are west of Phu Bai and ended up outside the Ashau Valley during the second push to take that region. I was in Vietnam for 14 months earning the rank of Sargent E-5 and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
I came home and spent many years struggling with motivation, pride for having served and things that would now be described as symptoms of PTSD. I did manage to get a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree, but even that did not lead to a career.
I drifted around the county staying a few years here and there even spending a decade here in Austin.
When the current wars began I was in counseling at a Vet Center in Maine and through some intense discussion about my current situation of being laid off from my job and anger about going to war again I decided that if I was to find some peace then I needed to do something positive.
What I decided was to go back to school, earn a Master’s degree in Social Work and be there for the new Veterans struggling as I had. Within 2 months of that decision I was enrolled in a reputable Social Work program and became fully licensed to be a counselor the same day I began my job at the Knoxville Vet Center in Tennessee; that was in 2008.
I have since been a Team Leader and helped open a new Vet Center in Canton, Ohio and, finally, I decided to move back to Austin as a counselor and help with the Veterans in this community at the Austin Vet Center.
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