Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Post traumatic stress cases among war veterans is at an all time high according to the department of Veterans Affairs. Some experts say TV coverage of war is one big factor.

Counselors believe images of war are having an effect on veterans’ mental health, especially those who served in Vietnam.

The Department of Veterans Affairs says post traumatic stress cases have nearly doubled since 2000 and the biggest increase came after the war started in Iraq.

Doctors believe many veterans of past wars re-experience their own trauma as they watch news coverage of the war. That was the case for Vietnam vet Mamerto Perez when he heard about the capture of Kristian Menchaca. Menchaca's family lives down the street from Perez's sister in Brownsville.

" You think about it and you try to let it go but when it hits home, that's when it really bothers you," said Perez, who is also the President of the Brazos Valley Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 937.

John Hince also served in Vietnam and says he's not surprised that thousands of Vietnam vets are seeking help for post traumatic stress more than 30 years after the war.

" There's an element of machismo where you know, I don't need any counseling but when you come back from a situation like Vietnam, when you come back from a situation like the Middle East, there's a certain amount of disengagement with society," said Hince.

Hince and Perez say their healing process is ongoing and it helps to be around other Vietnam vets. Both offer any support they can to fellow comrades and soldiers in the Middle East.

Hince says he can relate to what soldiers are going through today. It can be difficult to readjust to life after returning home from war.

" These young people come back home and then are often sent back to war again. There's no closure. It was the same thing in Vietnam. Your society has become your military comrades and your unit and to come back and be thrown into society is not an easy thing," said Hince.

The Brazos Valley Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 937 is hosting a family picnic Saturday, June 24th from 1 to 7 p.m. at Central Park in College Station. For more information contact Mamerto Perez at 979- 693-1891.