The mission of the nonprofit 22Kill is hitting close to home.
“There are 22 veterans that kill themselves every day. We are here to stop that,” board member Cory Ryan said.
Now an ArkLaTex native and advocate of the group can be counted among those statistics.
The organization was started two years ago with the goal of helping military veterans fight PTSD.
Patriot Motorcycle Groups led the funeral procession of Sgt. Benjamin Michael Adams through three states to lay the Army veteran to rest in Caddo Parish.
The graduate of Southwood High School in Shreveport was injured in 2005 while serving in Iraq.
After his release from the military, he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Adams then became an advocate for 22Kill.
But last week he lost his battle with PTSD.
Now his friends are working to keep his memory and the fight alive.
“We as a group, it kind of hit right in our foxhole. It is as close as home as it gets for us. It rocked us back on our heels this week,” board Chairman Mike Brower said.
“But we are ready to move forward and continue awareness and prevent it through counseling, both traditional and non-traditional.”
Officials say the Dallas-based group has turned into a global movement to help veterans.
An article published by the U.S. Office of Veterans Affairs says research on veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan suggests that 10 percent to 18 percent of troops are likely to have PTSD after they return home.
Collum and Carney Clinic psychiatrist Dr. Edward Tobey, a former psychiatrist for the U.S. military, has seen the effects firsthand.
“One of the first things the military tries to do is to debrief people as they are coming back from deployment. And we try to normalize that nightmares are common, possibly being hyper-vigilant or concerned about the environment is very common.”
When depression and anger begin to have a serious social impact, Tobey said, it is time for those with PTSD to seek professional help.
“To receive counseling and even medication can do a great deal in helping them lessen their symptoms.”
PTSD is not limited to military veterans
Anyone can develop the disorder if they are a victim of some traumatic act, Tobey said.
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