From: Patti Woodard pazuu@spiritone.com
Sent: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 14:25:53 -0700
Subject: Very interesting on PTSD

Subject: FW: National Guard initiative
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 09:18:45 +0200

Warren Priest is a WW II vet and a member of the 120th Evac Hospital vet's organization. They were the first medical unit into Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945, and he is very active in exchanges between US vets and German groups in Thuringia that commemorate the US Army's role in the area during WW II. He is especially active in Buchenwald-related things. In short, he's one of the good guys.

This message is disturbing.

Even more disturbing is the speech he gave at Hanscom Field. You can find it at www.buchenwaldandbeyond.com

When the site opens, click "archives section" and when that opens click "Events" The speech is the top item "August 26, 2004, National Guard Conference"

From: Warren Priest [mailto:afflwep@worldpath.net]
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2005 10:51 PM
Subject: National Guard initiative

Dear friends,

Last Friday I traveled to Hanscom Field at the invitation of the New Hampshire National Guard Leadership from all 6 New England States. Most in attendance were one or two star generals, with a number of full colonels. I think I saw two NCOs, both staff sergeants. IN addition, there were representatives from all of the offices of the U.S.Representatives to Washington. One two-star general came up to me, and said, I wasn't sure it was the Warren Priest who was my 8th grade teacher in 1965, until you spoke. Then I knew! It was General Chris Henes, now living in Weston! We had a good conversation about the old days.

The conference was called because they are concerned about the frightening increase in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder---estimating upwards of 100,000 expected in the next few years. Their goal is to coordinate their regional efforts, and push for greater VA funding for medical treatment of the severe victims. As many of you know, PTSD was not recognized in WW II vets, and even with the Vietnam returnees, there was too little done to salvage the lives of most of those veterans. A really frightening statistic: 30% of all homeless people in the USA are veterans with PTSD from Vietnam and the First Gulf War!!!

At the request of a number of officers there, I have placed my remarks on our website, in the archives section of .com, under Events. I was concerned before I spoke that I was leaning too heavily on the social concerns, on relationships, on the attachments that people have with people in addressing the issue of PTSD. I used the experiences of Milt Silva, as he described them in the documentary, and Charles Green, as Margie described them to me, along with my own experiences. When I finished my talk, the audience was surprisingly generous in their applause, given standing, and prolonged! It felt so good to sense that I was speaking with people who really felt and understood my words, and who are deeply committed to helping our young veterans returning from Iraq.
It was also especially gratifying for me to be a part of this New Hampshire initiative, and to consider that what these good people in New England decide on, may well have an impact on the rest of the nation. Just as gratifying, and perhaps more significant, is the realization that our 120th website is gathering a much broader credibility, with the potential for making the difference in the lives of our returning vets. Warren

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