Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Let’s help our heroic soldiers heal

To the editor:

My husband and I read the article entitled “Vet struggles with post-war life” and found it an excellent example of the need for localized services for these combat vets who have already suffered enough. Fortunately, Langley police had the wisdom and presence of mind to handle Orrin’s situation as they did.

The reporter pointed out a truth — that for many veterans, dealing with urban life and traffic and pressures is just too overwhelming, which is why they are here on Whidbey Island and “laying low” throughout Puget Sound. If they are lucky, they have family support here. But they need and deserve much more from their nation.

Before moving here, my husband, retired psychologist Bob “Dr. Bear” Baker, worked as clinical coordinator for the Veteran Administration’s National Center on post-traumatic stress disorder. He also ran contract services in desert outbacks in Arizona, so combat veterans could get counseling no matter where they lived. Sometimes these veterans had no homes at all.

More and more, we have discussed the need for counseling services here on Whidbey. Utilizing all that the island offers, we are hoping to establish counseling services, including an equine psychotherapy practice aimed at helping combat vets. Horses have been shown to help veterans and their families in many ways based on principles established by an organization known as EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association). EAGALA is working with veterans in other parts of the country, and we’d like to see it happen here.

Bob is a pioneer in the field of post-traumatic stress disorder and a disabled combat veteran himself. We’d like to invite anyone interested in learning more to e-mail him at drbearbaker@yahoo.com.

We can help our sons and daughters “come home” again. Let’s band together and make it happen.

Barbara Moran

Bob “Dr. Bear” Baker

Clinton

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