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COC Helps Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

College of the Canyons will host a panel presentation designed to help the families of military veterans and community members, learn about the various symptoms, causes and therapeutic treatments of war-induced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

The panel discussion, "The Silent Wounds of Trauma: Hearing the Hurt, Helping to Heal, Being a Vocal Partner" will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 11, in Hasley Hall room 101, on the COC Valencia campus.

Being presented by the Santa Clarita veteran organization Vets Back To The War Zone, the panel presentation will address combat stress reactions, how those reactions lead to PTSD, and how the support of loved ones and community partners can help ease the challenge of returning to civilian life.

"The issue of war is about more than countries at conflict, it's about the cost to the human condition," said Dr. Patty Robinson, dean, COC social sciences and business division and panel moderator. "To really understand the nature of human conflict, it's important to examine the subjective side of war and to witness its effect on the human spirit."

This panel presentation is being sponsored by the COC social science and business division as part of the ongoing Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center, in partnership with VBTWZ. The event is part of the college's ongoing 40th Anniversary celebration.

Vets Back To The War Zone was founded in 2006 for the purpose of helping war veterans overcome symptoms of PTSD by returning them to the locations and war zones they served in, as a form of therapeutic treatment.

Featured speakers for the panel include:

· Jose G. Ramos, Founder, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

· Chaplain William K. Bowman, Biblical Counselor

· Dr. Irving Borstein, Clinical Psychologist

· Candye Rucker, Psychotherapist/Women Veteran Specialist; Marriage, Family, Child, Therapist

· William J. Kennedy, Chairman, SCV Economic Development Corporation

· Dr. Bill Peters, President and Co-founder, International Children's Aid Network

· William L. Reynolds, Founder 9th Infantry Division Website Memorial. Reynolds

visited a former Vietnamese war zone along with members of his unit in June 2007.

· Michael T. Reynolds, accompanied father William Reynolds to former Vietnamese war zone and served as the trip's documentary videographer.

· Dr. Patty Robinson, Panel Moderator

This is the second COC panel discussion aimed at informing the public about veteran's issues. In addition, the college's involvement with VBTWZ and the ongoing Veterans History Project has generated more than 130 recorded interviews with veterans about of the realities of war.

These firsthand accounts of American war veterans - primarily from those who served in World War I, World War II, the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War and the current Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts - have been sent to the Library of Congress so that future generations may better understand the realities of war and its effect on society.

However, there is a continued need for both veteran participants and volunteers to conduct future interviews. Event organizers hope this panel discussion will help generate an increased community awareness and participation in this ongoing project.

For more information about the panel discussion contact Patty Robinson at (661) 362-3992.

To learn more about Vets Back to the War Zone and overcoming the effects of PTSD through therapeutic travel, contact Herb Hightower at (661) 299-1487.