Health & Safety

February 15, 2013

PTSD support available outside VA clinic

Many who deal with post-traumatic stress disorder experience shame and find difficulty expressing their feelings. Following Honorable Allen Clark’s speech on PTSD, those who attended Tuesday’s workshop at the Main Post Chapel were invited to ask questions, in confidence.

The Honorable Allen Clark, founder of the Combat Faith organization and a Vietnam veteran, held a faith-based post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, workshop at the Fort Huachuca Main Post Chapel on Tuesday, where he explained his roller coaster experience with PTSD and how he has learned to cope and assist others who struggle with it.

Clark began the workshop by establishing his credibility, explaining his story and life experiences with PTSD. With 22 years of active-duty service and service to veterans, he is well versed in the effects of PTSD and how to handle the issues that go along with it.

In June 1967, Clark lost both of his legs during the Vietnam War, resulting in a total of 20 surgeries and a 15-month stay in the Brooke General Hospital amputee ward at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Eight months later, his struggles with PTSD surfaced. After four days of no sleep, he was admitted to a closed psychiatric ward and ended up staying for 14 weeks. He spent the next six years on antidepressants and seeing a psychiatrist.

With strong emotion, Clark claimed that after the years of counseling, psychotherapy, group therapy sessions and medicinal treatment, his healing was found not by those sources but by the grace and healing power of God and the love and care of Jesus. He has been anti-depressant and drug-free since 1973.

“There are a lot of people and a lot of organizations that, I think, do a very good job of boosting you up when you have issues and so forth with post traumatic stress and helping you with coping mechanisms,” Clark said. “I go beyond that. The fact is, this is going to be a spiritual approach, and this is what worked for me.”

Using his personal experiences and his interaction with others who fight similar battles, Clark founded the lay ministry, Combat Faith, based out of Dallas. According to the organization’s website, “This lay ministry is dedicated to educate, train, arm and equip individuals to utilize principles from the teachings of Jesus Christ to be healed from negative emotions and thoughts caused by sin, wrong choices, or by trauma or injury to the body, soul or spirit.”

Though he has had extensive experiences and contact with hundreds of veterans, Clark does not claim to have any documented training or formal education. Clark does not formally counsel people, but he speaks with them, telling his story and letting them tell theirs.

“I probably counsel two vets a week, either on the phone or by email, or having a cup of coffee with them in the North Texas area. I have talked to them all. I have heard stories back to World War I all the way through Operation Iraqi Freedom,” he said.

Using his “Boot Camp for Healing and Addressing Life’s Stressors” approach, Clark walks them through their pain, peeling it apart and working through each issue individually. This five-step program audits three different arenas of life difficulties: unhealed hurts, unmet needs and unresolved issues. Once these are established, Clark helps the troubled veteran determine what it would take to heal the hurt, meet the needs and resolve the issues. Together, he and the veteran pray that these plans are fulfilled.

More than 70 people attended the post-traumatic stress disorder, workshop, given by Honorable Allen Clark on Tuesday at the Fort Huachuca Main Post Chapel. Attendees included those struggling with PTSD, Family members, and people who work with the disorder as well. Having struggled with it himself, Clark was able to identify with their feelings and give direction on how to work through them.

Clark and his organization offer many resources for PTSD-related issues. Information regarding PTSD, such as symptoms, spiritual treatment, recommended readings and healing prayers can be found on the Combat Faith website, www.combatfaith.com. Clark and his wife, Linda, a biblical storyteller and dramatist, speak at special events, military functions and for group audiences. They can be reached at allenbclark@aol.com or through the website.

Recollecting on his journey, Clark concluded with, “I believe that Jesus allowed me to be saved from my battlefield wounds to return and be able to live my life again. I now know He was there and with me through all my recovery and rehabilitation, which continues today as I seek to follow Him in all my ways.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers confidential support as well. For more information, visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov or call the Veterans Crisis Hotline, 1.800.273.8255.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Mike Williams

Flooding still underway this year — avoid water runoff problems

Mike Williams Runoff crosses the road during a monsoon storm. Remember to stay safe, and if you see even a small amount of water crossing the roadway, remember to ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown!’ While rain in a desert climate...
 
 

Antiterrorism Awareness Month: Army community must stay alert

WASHINGTON — A suspicious package arrives in the mail. An employee is acting erratically. A group is seen surveying an Army installation. A social media contact you’ve never met has taken a keen interest in your unit’s movements. The Army community needs to be aware of their surroundings and report anything that seems out of...
 
 

2014 Antiterrorism Awareness Message

What are the dangers which menace us? If any exist they ought to be ascertained and guarded against. ~ James Monroe, 1st Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817 August marks the Army’s fifth annual observance of Antiterrorism Awareness Month. Each year, we improve our defenses through increased threat awareness and organizational and individual protection measures. Throughout...
 

 
U.S. Army photo

New Army PT uniforms result of Soldier feedback

U.S. Army photo Capt. Leala McCollum poses in the Army Physical Fitness Uniform running jacket and pants. WASHINGTON — A new Army Physical Fitness Uniform will become available service-wide, beginning in October next year. It...
 
 

How Office of Soldiers’ Counsel can assist with disability proceedings

The Office of Soldiers’ Counsel, OSC, is an organization of judge advocates and Civilian attorneys/paralegals spread out over 30 locations worldwide, with roughly 200 attorneys and paralegals. The organization has representatives ready to assist Soldiers throughout their disability process, with specific counsel for the Medical Evaluation Board, MEB, stage of their case, and other counsel...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

Fort holds memorial ceremony for recently retired FH police chief

Maranda Flynn Andrew and Lisa Shears carry the remains of Ollie James Shears, the recently retired chief of police with Fort Huachuca’s Directorate of Emergency Services, into the Main Post Chapel, Fort Huachuca, Aug. 8, for ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin