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Educational movie aims to help soldiers with PTSD



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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Some realistic scenes from Afghanistan were re-created at Camp Williams Saturday morning for a short movie being made as an educational tool.

The Utah Department of Veterans Affairs is putting together a video about the signs of post traumatic stress disorder. Many soldiers suffer from the disorder when they return home from war but few get help for it.

The department's Darin Farr said, "A lot of guys are afraid to come forward because they don't want to be perceived as a head case or that they've got problems or issues. This is a legitimate issue they are dealing with, and they need help. It's not going to go away on its own."

The goal in creating the video is to show soldiers' families what their loved ones have been through so they'll better understand what they may go through once they're home.

Often, the simplest event can trigger a response, such as a car broken down on the side of the road. It did for Anne DeLong's friend.

"He was driving a Humvee in Iraq and a father threw his 5-year-old little girl in front of him and he had to go right over her. They cannot stop," DeLong said.

It's the type of thing a soldier will never forget, but something he should talk to someone about.

"There's still a stigma from soldiers to want to talk to folks, thinking it might harm their career, people might think they're weak or maybe they're mentally liable for other missions. And that's just not the case," said Col. Robert Dunton, with Camp Williams.

If nothing else, everybody involved in this project just hopes that those who see it will better understand what those who come home from war might be going through. But they say it's even more important to know help is available and encouraged.

"Your relationships can then get back in wonderful working order," actor David Stevens said.

The department says the video should be completed sometime next month and will be available to soldiers who want a copy.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com

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