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Student vets organize PTSD seminar

Organizers hope to convey realistic portrait of returning soldiers

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. - Continuing grim news from Afghanistan serves as a painful reminder of the trauma of war.

Many soldiers returning home are left to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Now UW-Platteville is reaching out to veterans to let them know that they aren't alone.

Most days, Timothy Long may seem like your average college student.

"I'm a junior at school, going to school for a psychology major, emphasizing in substance abuse," Long says.

But long is the road that Long's been on to get to where he stands now.

"I deployed to Iraq in 2006," Long continues. "Eleven months into my tour I was injured by a roadside bomb blast."

Long's service from 2005 to 2009 had an impact that lasted beyond those four years.


After returning from Iraq, he struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"I turned to abusing my medication and alcohol to deal with the mental issues I had," remarked Long.

Long's experience with PTSD motivated him into organizing a seminar featuring speakers who highlighted what veterans go through when they return home.

Other organizers stated that their goals were to raise awareness of combat PTSD and to give people in the community and higher education a better understanding of what goes on when vets return.

The seminar also included a traveling memorial wall for fallen Wisconsin soldiers.

Organizers are hoping the event will let veterans on campus know they haven't been forgotten.

Long is one of more than 300 veterans on UW Platteville's campus, and though he's still struggling with PTSD, he says he's standing on stronger footing than ever before.

"I still suffer with pretty bad nightmares and anxiety and panic attacks and things like that, but I've got so much good in my life that I've got great coping mechanisms to deal with it," said Long.

Long says that he hopes this seminar becomes an annual event, even perhaps getting all UW colleges involved in hosting similar talks on every campus.

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