Military Wives Banding Together to Deal with P.T.S.D

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

Women wait months, even years for their husbands to come back from war but when they do come back, many of them face a struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Now wives whose husbands have suffered in past wars are coming together to help the next generation.

11 News Reporter Jessica Zartler has more on a new support group for military wives.

Carol Chapman's husband served 30 years as a U.S. marine.

"Every time he left it was like a funeral, just the emptiness and I was left with the children and the finances," she told 11 News on Friday.

Carol and her husband Chuck were married nearly 50 years ago and right away, whisked off to live on base.

"They told me if the Marine Corps wanted a marine to have a wife, they would have issued him one," said Chapman.

Chuck served in the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, pretty much every major U.S. operation until he retired almost 20 years ago.

"When Chuck retired, that's when his issues started. He couldn't focus, jobs were left undone, he was isolating himself."

Chapman says her marriage was falling apart.

"We reached a point when we had to decide, do we love each other enough to work through this, because this is not the man I married."

Chuck was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, something many families are not prepared to deal with.

One in eight soldiers returning from Iraq suffers from P.T.S.D. and only about half seek medical treatment according to a 2004 New England Journal of Medicine Study.

And with more than 3,200 men and women from Colorado currently serving overseas, it's leaving a new generation with the same issues Carol and her husband faced.

"A lot of them aren't prepared to for what's coming and a lot of marriages are dissolving because they can't cope," said Carol Chapman.

She and her husband have been in counseling for 15 years and are now finally learning how to live with P.T.S.D.

"I have a heart felt need to help," said Champan.

Something she wants to share with young families, so they too can stay together.

Carol Chapman, Brenda Fhuere and Phyllis Clugston are starting the P.T.S.D. support groups for military wives.

The first meeting is next week:
Tuesday, August 26th
Clifton V.F.W. , 3244 F 1/4 Road

Contact Information:
Carol Chapman (970) 245-6909
Phyllis Clugston (970) 464-5383
Brenda Fhuere (970) 523-6881

The women want to stress that the group is for spouses of veterans from ALL wars, not just those of Iraq and Afghanistan. Again any and all military wives are welcome.

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