Helping Veterans Cope in a Mental Battlefield

By: Kieran Wilson Email
By: Kieran Wilson Email

Chris Smith served in the army from 2003 to 2006 and one of those years was spent in Iraq. He says, "it was an experience I definitely learned from, I just wish it hadn't had such a negative impact on my life."

Smith says his experience fighting for Operation Iraqi Freedom has left him suffering from panic attacks, anger issues, and vivid flashbacks. This is not just Chris’s problem either, his wife Kimberly is also affected, "I had no idea of the mountain we had to climb after he came back, because that's when the real problems surfaced."

Kimberly and Chris were married while he was on leave from Iraq almost three years ago and she says she could not image things getting tougher once Chris was home, "I thought his homecoming was going to be great and our lives were going to pick up and be great, and that's just not how it was."

Then the couple found the Vet Center in Grand Junction. The center offers individual and group therapy sessions free of charge for eligible vets.
Chris says of the Vet Center, "before I went down there I didn't think anyone would understand me or be able to help me, but it has really surprised me and helped me a lot."

The Vet Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 4:30.

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