Program Offers Help for Returning Soldiers

Program Offers Help for Returning Soldiers

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Jed Boal ReportingUtah today launched a groundbreaking program to give returning war veterans and their families the counseling they might need. The state wants to be certain they don't fight personal battles when they get home.

Deadly combat takes a toll on troops and strains their families, too. In an all-volunteer military, troops are older, married and supporting families, but returning troops can face psychological problems that threaten their lives.

Program Offers Help for Returning Soldiers

Governor Jon Huntsman: "You're looking at vastly different cultures that people are stepping in and out of, when they go from civilian life into a theatre of combat. This is a very real issue."

The Utah Legislature approved 210-thousand dollars for a statewide counseling program for service members and their families to help them get back into civilian life. The bill sponsor is Tim Cosgrove:

Rep. Tim Corgrove/(D) Murray-Midvale: "Financial strain, divorce, post traumatic stress disorder, are just a few of the issues our military men and women face."

A survey of recent returning Utah vets shows three out of five experience strain with their families, personal health and finances. According to the Department of Veterans' Affairs, 20-30 percent of American troops return with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or P.T.S.D.

Program Offers Help for Returning Soldiers

Colonel Adele Connell has three children serving in the military.

Col. Adele Connell, U.S. Army Reserve: "Many of our soldiers are returning from the long war different people."

Staff Sergeant William Sage got home from Iraq in July. He knows his deployment was tough on his wife.

Staff Sergeant William Sage/151st Security Forces Squadron, Air National Guard: "I think it's scarier being home and watching the news, than it is being the guy over there seeing it. You call home, you don't say what's going on, you're vague, they'll worry. I think programs like this will help a lot."

Veterans can go on line to find the help they need at the Utah Division of Veterans Affairs. October first, a new streamlined web site will make it even easier.

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