Community organizations provide support, encouragement for veterans


By Cameron Martinez


Celebrations of veterans took place across Athens Wednesday to commemorate some of America’s heroes. But for many organizations in Athens, Veterans Day isn’t the only time during the year when they recognize and serve veterans.

These organizations, including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and AMVETS, provide services for veterans who serve in American wars. Some of the services that they provide include visiting Veterans in hospital care and providing care to Veterans suffering from disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Tom McNamara, vice president of National AMVETS local chapter, said these services are important to the community.

“[There are] 22 Veterans a day committing suicide due to PTSD and traumatic brain injury, so a lot of what we do is bring awareness to traumatic brain injury and PTSD,” he said.

Furthermore, according to the Congressional Research Service, at least 20 percent of veterans from the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from Depression and sometimes PTSD. At least 19 percent of veterans also suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury. Even though the effects of service can be dangerous for veterans, some do not actively seek or receive quality treatment.

According to a RAND study, only half of all suffering veterans come in for treatment, and only one-fourth receive “minimally adequate” treatment.

Mike Gin, also from AMVETS, said these veterans are often afraid to come in to seek treatment.

“We’ve got to reach out to these folks and get them some help because a lot of them won’t ask for help,” he said.

These local organizations work diligently to care for veterans in the area.

For Veterans such as Tom McNamara and Mike Gin, any veteran in need is a cause to help.

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