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'The American Veteran' Targets TBI and PTSD

VA's In-house Production Highlights Treatment and Services

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "The American Veteran," a monthly half-hour news magazine from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), spends a full third of it's January edition on two of the most talked about health problems of combat veterans -- traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

"We are committed to informing veterans and military personnel about the VA programs and staff dedicated to helping these warriors recover from their physical and mental injuries," said Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gordon H. Mansfield. "These stories put a spotlight on the determination, commitment, and discipline of these combat veterans and the support provided by earlier generations."

One feature looks at the state-of-the-art technologies used to assess and treat even the unseen damage done to the brain by the weapons and tactics of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. A second feature looks at the services available to any combat veteran suffering from the often debilitating effects of PTSD, as well as the benefits of having veterans of previous wars available as a support network for veterans recently returned from combat. A third story examines the benefits of alternative therapies, including the use of horses in helping veterans to re-engage in managing their lives successfully.

The series is designed to inform active duty members, veterans, their families and their communities about the services and benefits they have earned and to recognize and honor them. VA's Office of Public Affairs and the VA Learning University/Employee Education System (VALU/EES) produce the program and broadcast it to VA facilities on the department's own internal network, around the world on The Pentagon Channel and to community cable outlets.

Aimed at veterans of all eras, VA also tells stories of heroism and sacrifice, and relives moments in history with those who lived them, reminding veterans of the bond of service they all share.

The VA Office of Public Affairs offers the program to local broadcasters and cable outlets and makes it available for viewing on the VA Web site, Just click on "Public Affairs" and then "Featured Items."

"The American Veteran" schedule on The Pentagon Channel is available at where people can also view the program as it is broadcast. The Pentagon Channel has more than 1 million military viewers and is delivered domestically via DISH, EchoStar, T-Warner and Cox cable systems. (Check for service in your area.)

A preview of the January edition of "The American Veteran" follows:

-- Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury -- Powerful blasts from new types of weapons being used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan are inflicting multiple wounds, including previously unseen injuries to the brain. VA is responding to this challenge with new treatments and protocols.

-- Bereavement Counseling -- VA's Vet Center bereavement counselors are helping the families and comrades of our fallen soldiers. The family of Army Specialist Brad Beard received help at the Raleigh, N.C., Vet Center.

-- Combat Veterans Recovering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. -- VA is testing all veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who seek treatment at VA facilities for PTSD. At the PTSD Center in Batavia, N.Y., younger service members are benefiting from the experience of older veterans who served in Vietnam.

-- Philadelphia Sleep Center -- Sleep doesn't come easy to many veterans and disorders such as sleep apnea are more common in the VA community compared to the national population.

-- Returning Soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas -- Service members are either training for battle or returning from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. We follow one career soldier on the verge of retirement and VA's efforts to streamline the transition from military to civilian life.

-- Horse Therapy -- VA is constantly exploring new ways to care for patients with traumatic brain injuries. In Tucson, Ariz., a community of volunteers is teaming with VA in a special program to get these veterans back in the saddle.

-- Automated Blood Lab -- VA utilizes cutting-edge technology for many treatments in its hospitals and clinics. In Tucson, Ariz., a new automated laboratory points the way toward the future of diagnostic testing.

-- Targeting Cancer with Technology -- The VA Medical Center in Albany, N.Y., is the first government hospital to have a cutting-edge technology that specifically targets cancer tumors. Doctors say it is revolutionizing the way cancer is treated and cured.

-- Wheelchair Chaplain -- A former VA and Army chaplain returns to Vietnam to help children in need.

For information about "The American Veteran" program and how to obtain it for local programming, contact VA at 202-273-5730.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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