PTSD counselor provides safe place for veterans

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David Seifert counsels Hubbard County veterans dealing with PTSD. Jean Ruzicka / Forum News Service
David Seifert counsels Hubbard County veterans dealing with PTSD. Jean Ruzicka / Forum News Service

PARK RAPIDS, Minn. – Five years ago, Hubbard County Veterans Service officer Greg Remus placed a call to the Veterans Center in Fargo. “I have a few vets I’d like a counselor to talk to,” he said. They were combat veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Remus was seeing people coming in who were “mad at life.” “Could this be PTSD?” he asked them.

“No,” was the immediate, terse reply. Many had never heard of the condition that wasn’t formally recognized until after the Vietnam War.

But family members were nodding yes.

The veterans were dealing with a continuum of symptoms—anger issues, sleep disorders, terrifying dreams. PTSD creates occupational and social impairment ranging from minimal to significant to total, Remus explained. Some are suicidal.

“I’ve seen the whole gamut,” Remus said of Hubbard County area vets’ symptoms.

“For some, it’s all the time,” he said. “For another person, it was just green rooms.” The former soldier was a “tunnel rat” who’d performed underground search and destroy missions during the Vietnam War and now cannot venture into a room painted green.

PTSD can be considered a disability, for which compensation may be available. “PTSD never goes away,” Remus said.

But counseling provides a coping mechanism.

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