Iraq Veterans Transition To Life At Home

Saturday, February 28th 2009, 7:24 pm
By: News On 6

Associated Press

NORMAN, OK -- Soldiers from Oklahoma's 45th Infantry Brigade who returned from Iraq in October flocked to Norman today for the state's first reintegration program.

Oklahoma Project Yellow Ribbon Reintegration was set up to make personal, onsite communication with servicemen 90 days after their deployment back, because that is when symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, both mental and physical, can surface.

Many heard the story of Cyndi Collins-Clark, a counselor whose son Joe was diagnosed with PTSD, which can inflict one in five servicemen in combat.

Her son was 19 when he went to Iraq in 2003. In November, Collins-Clark said she noticed her son didn't look well and would stare off into space when everyone else was talking.

Collins-Clark didn't know where to turn at first, then went to a veteran's administration office for help. Her son is still undergoing intense therapy and is unable to work.

Collins hasn't been eager to share stories about his combat encounters in Iraq, but says he's haunted by the memory of a small child being run over by a truck.