Marines take another look at combat stress
POSTED: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - 8:58am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 9:29pm
The U.S. Marine Corps has stepped up the fight against P.T.S.D. and traumatic brain injury.
A tough transition that's left more troops than ever before with P.T.S.D. or post-traumatic-stress disorder and other health issues that effect society, troops, and their families.
"The biggest problem that we as wives run into is that nobody seems to talk to us about what's going to happen with our husbands when they come back from deployment," said wife Laurie Giertz.
That's changing for military families says commanders at the 2nd Annual Marine Corps Combat Stress Conference in San Diego.
"I do see changes, because the Marine Corps has made great efforts to implement programs, groups for Marines to attend, where there is less stigma. They are coming forward, they are seeking help," said retired Marine Dorothy Gordon
Help in a hands on way.
There's military one source - a 24/7 hotline and this flip pocket P.T.S.D. guide for military commanders.
And a "coming home comic book" for troops and their families.
Plus the Marines have even embraced an alternative approach with free yoga, mediation classes.
"I provide yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, mixed martial arts for T.B.I. and P.T.S.D." said alternative health instructor Andrea Lucie.
"I think we're seeing a change in the Marines," said combat stress control coordinator Dr. Tom Gaskin.
The word is getting out.
"Officers and enlisted stand up and say, 'you know, c'mon, I know a lot of my fellow Marines who have been injured by stress, and no kidding they were good Marines and they deserve better than this. If we had nipped this in the bud with them a long time ago, they'd be functioning better now. Let's take care of you guys now," said Gaskin.
Take care of your troops and you take care of everyone else.
"It's to our benefit to nip this in the bud because it keeps our marines ready to fight, and our families healthy and returns them as good citizens in the long run," said Gaskin.
The Marines now refer to P.T.S.D as a mental *injury* instead of a disorder in hopes of taking away the stigma -- so more troops will get help.