Program helps Vietnam veterans cope with PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an issue many veterans face.

A program in Marquette County helps Vietnam veterans cope with PTSD through worship and prayer.

All of the veterans in the group have experienced PTSD, and meet every week in a support group.  A special program is held every other month to add spiritual support to the veterans and their families.

“Spirituality determines everything we do,” Program leader Chuck Tooman said.  “One of the big issues in their lives is fear.  Another one is anger, and suspicion.”

“So what we do is everything in our lives revolves around spirituality, and so anything we can do to support spirituality, lend strength of them and lend strength to their families and some really positive moods in their lives.”

The spiritual program is in its third year, and has helped a number of veterans.

“If you talk to the guys they’d say ‘yes’,” Tooman said.  “Over the three years I’ve been doing this, I think we’ve seen some very positive movement.”

“I think (the program) helps a lot,” Vietnam veteran Sterling Schultz said.  “It gives you solace, time to reflect on what you’ve done in the past, and try to get rid of those feelings.”

“And I think God helps in groups.  Talking to a group that’s been there (in the same situation) helps.  And I think the more we go and the more people we get involved…I wish more people would come that were Vietnam vets.  I think they’ll find it very rewarding and helpful.”

There was also a presentation from Millie Balzarini, who discussed a book she wrote that talks about how post traumatic stress disorder affects veterans and their families.

Tooman said to contact Dan Forrester at Great Lakes Recovery at (906) 228-9699.