COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A recent WIS news report focused on the hidden wounds that many veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering back home. Hannah Horne's story centered on the tragedy of a Midlands marine, Mills Bigham, who served two tours in Iraq and took his own life. His family revealed in haunting detail the psychological damage that Lance Corporal Bigham suffered after witnessing the horrors of war.
Corporal Bigham was diagnosed and treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. But his family said the help he got was not enough. The Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledges that the demand for counseling is greater than their staff can handle. The Dorn VA Medical Center here in Columbia is getting ready to break ground on a new PTSD treatment center to expand the services they already offer.
Help cannot come fast enough. Our Senators and Congressmen should work as hard to protect our servicemen and women after the battle as they do to wage war. And veterans and service members need not be ashamed to reach out for help. We have posted information on suicide prevention resources below this editorial.
That's my perspective. I'd like to hear from you.
Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, SC
Telephone Assistance Program
803-647-5829 or toll free 1-888-651-2683
National Center for PTSD
Sidran Institute (traumatic stress education and advocacy)
Anxiety Disorders Association of America