Soldier's Stress Post War - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Soldier's Stress Post War

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Many soldiers who return from deployment deal with the stress of becoming the person they once were before they left.  For some the transition is not easy.

Dealing with the memories of the war while trying to laugh with family members can be challenging, but that's where veteran centers come in.  They help solider's battle their way back into the civilian world. 

When soldiers head to war they risk their lives and their futures.  The return for many can be as hard as the deployment and many return with mental struggles.  Dr. Steven Vender, a psychologist at Sam Rayburn Memorial Veteran Center, says, "How do they cope with what they lived through, with what they have seen when they have been involved in training to kill and have seen others killed.  To now return to civilian life is very difficult."  And returning veteran Chad Theiss agrees saying,  "Explosions happen you can't get away from it so that stresses you out.  It's just the stress of being away from everything you know and your basically in a desert, sleeping in a tent.  Your worried if mortars are going to come in that night or do I really need to sleep with the 50 lb vest on my chest."

On the field solider's try to occupy their minds admist the turmoil but find it difficult.  When they return home, many find themselves changed from who they once used to be.  "I know I am a different person from when I joined the military.  I was the class clown, now I don't joke around as much", says returning veteran Chad Theiss. 

The number one most common hurdle for soldiers is post traumatic stress disorder.   As the soldiers try to ease back into the day to day life the veterans centers assist in the process providing treatment, focus groups, one-on-one therapy and many other programs.   Gary Stone, an addiction therapist at Sam Rayburn says, "When patients come in, we look at a wide variety of issues and we try to help then with a number of things that prevents them from having a full productive life."

If you or a loved one needs help you can contact Sam Rayburn Memorial Veteran Center at (800) 924-8387 or (903)583-6390.  The hospital is located in Bonham, Texas at 1201 East 9th Street.

Christina Lusby, Reports.