Marine Corps Veteran Daniel Fahey served for years before being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. It is an anxiety disorder that can start after psychological trauma, like warfare.
“If you don't at least recognize and make that first step, it can really start to tear you up and tear everybody else around you down,” said Fahey.
He served in Afghanistan and in Iraq counseling other soldiers.
Fahey said he considered suicide by driving off the road to get rid of his problems. That was when he realized he had a problem.
“It can seriously just cause you to implode slowly, and that's a very lonely place to be.”
Staunton Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) members wanted to make sure people have information about PTSD, in case they suffer from some of the symptoms. They held a forum so other people could learn about PTSD.
Veteran Karen Jeffries works with veterans with PTSD through therapy dogs.
This is Josh and he was named after a Marine, Josh Davis, who died while serving.
“We have watched the magic,” said Jeffries. “We have watched people feel better, be motivated to go to their therapy, to take their medicine, to go outside, walk, exercise, because of a dog that can help them.”
Veterans with PTSD wanted other veterans to know they were not alone if they felt depressed. Fahey said his time in the Marines was well-worth it, despite his diagnosis.
“There's a respect and a brotherhood that I will be proud of for the rest of my life,” said Fahey.
The Staunton VFW post works all round to make sure valley veterans have resources and support.
There are several resources here in the Valley for people who think they have symptoms of PTSD. To find all your local resources, check this website: ptsd.va.gov
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