This edition of Narrative features an interview with veterans Dan Stover and Sheldon Bullock. Stover served in the Marine Corps during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Bullock served in the Army during the First Gulf War in Iraq. As co-facilitators at The Big Red Barn in Blythewood, they help provide services for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In a conversation recorded by South Carolina Public Radio, they discuss how PTSD has affected them personally, especially as they had to confront misconceptions about the disorder.
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For many soldiers, the end of their tour of duty doesn’t mean the end of their battles. Around 11 to 20% of soldiers who fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Around 12% of soldiers who fought in Operation Desert Storm are diagnosed with PTSD. For those veterans, every day can seem like an uphill battle. (For additional statistics regarding PTSD, visit https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/how-common-is-ptsd.asp.)
The Big Red Barn offers programs to help veterans cope with their PTSD symptoms through group activities such as yoga, art, and gardening. In addition the organization offers equine assisted therapy and group therapy coffee sessions. Click to learn more.
June is national PTSD awareness month, with national PTSD awareness day falling on June 27 in 2018. For more information on PTSD, visit https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/materials/videos/index.asp.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that The Big Red Barn is located in Aiken. It is located in Blythewood, SC.