posttraumatic stress disorder

Allison Herrera

Soldiers returning from battle face special challenges. Thousands suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and their care can be more involved and long-term. The nation’s VA hospitals, although under recent scrutiny, will care for more than a million of the nation’s soldiers.


But, the nation’s Native American veterans face a set of extra challenges after fighting on the front lines.


At a warehouse near Dallas, a black Lab named Papi tugs on a rope to open a fridge and passes his trainer a plastic water bottle with his mouth.

Service dogs are often trained to help veterans with physical disabilities. Now, a growing number are being trained to meet the demand from vets with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues.

Those dogs learn extra tricks — how to sweep a house for intruders, for example, so a veteran feels safe.

When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 most residents evacuated safely. But thousands lost homes, careers, and the lives they had known. Since then, many seem to have recovered emotionally from the trauma. But some have not.

The first days home from war are filled with joy, but it wears off. The lucky ones go back to work. Others find putting two feet on the floor every morning as difficult as nine hours in an office.

Brian Allen served in Mosul, Iraq for a full year, starting in January 2009. He’s in a therapy program for post traumatic stress disorder. On top of that a mic, guitar and some high powered computer programs have helped Brian empty his mind.