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Veterans Encouraged to Seek Help for Signs of Stress

Wednesday’s shooting at Fort Hood, Texas raised questions about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. While it’s not clear whether the shooter had PTSD, many veterans in the Greater Rochester Area are dealing with the stresses associated with returning from war.

Todd Baxter, newly appointed Executive Director of Veterans’ Outreach Center, was surprised when he began by the number of service men and women who come in with mental and emotional trauma.

Sometimes, the trauma is severe and requires psychological intervention. Other times, the service member may need assistance readjusting to civilian life. Either way, Baxter encourages them not to wait to get help.

“We encourage people, if you're feeling that you need help you've earned the right to ask for help. You're a veteran; you served our country,” said Baxter. “We encourage people to come through our door, come through any other service provider's door, and ask for help. That's the first step.”

Baxter, a US Army Veteran and former Chief of Greece Police, says too many service men and woman wait until a condition becomes a medical or legal crisis before they seek help.

News of the Wednesday shooting at Fort Hood, Texas could prompt more veterans to come forward.

“We would expect to realize some additional service. It's need after an event like you see at Ft. Hood,” said Baxter. “The fact is there might be people out there that might be concerned about their emotional wellness. There may be people out there that are family members of service members. This might be the time that they really push to get some services provided by those service members.”