• Sat. May 14th, 2022

Dayton VA launches support group to help local veterans struggling with images of war in Ukraine – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

ByJulie J. Helfer

Mar 17, 2022

Images of the war in Ukraine can be triggering for trauma survivors and our veterans. This prompted the Dayton VA to create a support group, which it hopes will help veterans struggling with the news from Ukraine at this time.

“It’s really awful what’s going on there,” said Thomas Jones, a US Navy veteran. “These are innocent civilians, women, children who are being killed for no reason and their homes and workplaces destroyed.”

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Jones was deployed with the Navy for the Vietnam War. He did not see combat, but served on a ship.

He said what is happening in Ukraine brings him back to other troubling memories.

“It reminds me of 9/11…all the horrible things that happened…war type things,” Jones said.

Clinical social worker Josh Nordstrom and Dr. Jacqueline Allen help veterans cope with stress caused by the Ukrainian-Russian conflict.

“Someone who has experienced trauma first hand knows exactly what can happen when they collapse,” Nordstrom said. “Experiencing trauma awakens you to the fragility of your own life.”

Allen said veterans were in real trouble when the United States withdrew from Afghanistan and then came Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It had a big impact on our veterans who are already struggling with their own combat-related experiences,” Allen said.

Nordstrom and Allen lead the new support group in Dayton VA.

“It gives them a place to talk to other veterans, to talk to mental health providers about what they’re going through, helping them understand that it’s okay to set those boundaries,” Allen said.

At this time, the support group is virtual and open to all veterans.

To join the group, contact Dayton VA at 937-268-6511 ext. 1362

“A lot of times in life, something bothers us, but we don’t really know what’s bothering us until we start communicating about it,” Nordstrom said. “A lot of people and veterans in particular aren’t going to come because they don’t want to take someone else’s place. We have lots of places. »

MORE INFORMATION:

PTSD: National PTSD Center, call 1-800-273-8255 Press “1” if you are a veteran.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255

Secure Helpline 877-995-5247