PTSD Experience


When you boil it down, much of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is born from the habits that people develop in a warzone in order to stay alive. This includes behavior like hypervigilence and constant suspicion. The trauma part comes in when a person returns home, but their mind is still in the warzone, trying to protect them from perceived threats -- at the mall, while grocery shopping or driving down the road.

Health for women

News 21's Kelly West & the VA hospital's Julie Liss Photo by: Sherri Williams

Women veterans are the fastest growing demographic among the nation’s veterans and the VA hospitals are trying to keep up with the growth and the unique needs of females in the service.

Our Friday visit to the VA hospital in Spokane underscored that.

Interviews and trauma part 2

Screenshot of the Journalism and Trauma course

Looking around on Poynter's News University website, I found some more resources for reporting in traumatic situations:

Journalism and Trauma is a self-guided course that talks about how to recognize traumatic stress, gives interview tips, etc. It includes exercises that walk you through speaking with a traumatized person.

Story Day this weekend

Poster design by David Miller

This weekend, teams from Syracuse University will be on-hand to record radio-style interviews and we hope that veterans will stop by and share some of their experiences. Please stop by or invite a veteran.

Flier information (posted around the area):

Veterans Story Day

Friday, June 18
Tonasket High School
10 am to 2 pm

Saturday, June 19
Republic Elementary School
10 am to 2 pm

We will make a cd of the interview for the veteran to take home with them.

Questions? Call Kate at 303.946.2483 or email

Self-inflicted: military suicides

Matt and I are researching mental health and veterans, including what can be done for returning veterans to help them adjust to civilian life and overcome trauma connected to their service.

A recent USA Today article highlighted the steady number of marines committing and attempting suicide.The article says that 80 active duty marines have committed suicide from January to May 2010, despite a training program meant to educate about this risk.

Struggle for Benefits

Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension

As Sherri mentioned, we went to the Lone Star Cafe in Tonasket, where Mike Stewart and Dale White routinely help veterans with their benefits claims.

Getting benefits can be especially difficult for veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, White said. The rules and regulations for benefits claims are complicated and numerous. Having an informed third party help with claims can make it a lot easier.

"Most of them take one look at (the paperwork), toss it in a bag and that's where it stays," White says.

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