Wednesday, November 11, 2009

San Antonio vets want to help others deal with PTSD with "Walter's House"

Ask Tres Maddox, a San Antonio businessman, what veterans need today and he'll tell you it's a group of fellow peers who have experienced the horrors of war.
After World War II, Maddox said former soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors came home and build neighborhoods with their VA housing benefits. "These guys came home and lived next to each other," he said. "If someone had post traumatic stress disorder issues, they had someone in their neighborhood they could talk to about it."
Several years ago, Maddox rode his motorcycle to Washington, D.C., to pay tribute to his friend, Walter, a fellow Vietnam veteran.
It was during this ride that Maddox said he had a vision to create a house in San Antonio where veterans could meet with peers and get professional help. Today, "Walter's House" is a prototype that needs financial assistance and professional advise.
John Hartman, one of Maddox' friends, served in the military and has a successful business, thanks to his disabled veterans status. He's one of the volunteers willing to help Maddox build his first house.
For Hartman, it's important that former military professionals have a peer group who can help them overcome the issues associated with PTSD. A recovering alcoholic, Hartman said a fellow vet helped him deal with the issues related to his combat service in the Gulf Region.
As a fellow veteran, I agree with Hartman and Maddox that former military professionals need to build a network of friends who have served in uniform. I am hoping that San Antonio's growing base of active duty military, former military and supporters will help Maddox and Hartman reach their goal of building their first home.

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