July 30, 2011
To: Delta Company, 6th Battalion 31st Infantry Regiment
From: Jerry White, Walt Rutherford, Sam Martin
Subject: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – 40 Years Later
Thank you very much for those who answered the call to the brief, but important PTSD survey sent out to you several weeks ago. Although this is not a true scientific survey, it did provide some interesting answers to questions the three of us have been asking ourselves for some time. Without utilizing any names, here are some of the conclusions:
The survey was sent out to 179 veterans on our mailing list. Three deceased names were added for a total of 182 people used in this survey.
48 veterans or 26.4 % of the total responded back to us.
23 veterans or 47.9% said they had been diagnosed with PTSD by the Veteran’s Administration.
12 veterans or 25% said they believed they had PTSD but had never done anything about the condition for reasons such as lack of VA claims process, no time, no help available in the area residing, limited knowledge of PTSD
13 veterans or 27.1% believed they did not have PTSD.
Disability claims ranged from 10% to 100%. The figures are difficult to obtain as often they are mixed into claims outside of PTSD.
The claims process can take anywhere from 10 months to several years.
We were told that initial disability claims were always awarded on a lower scale, thus making the veteran continually re-apply in order to get a fair and equitable settlement.
Placing PTSD veterans and those veterans who think they might have PTSD together, the percentage of this survey seemed quite high at 72.9%.
We can not speculate that these findings would be similar for the other 134 men who did not answer the survey or the rest of the men who served in the 6/31 who are not on the email list.
It would be interesting to compare these figures against any national surveys on file for Vietnam veterans.
A few other thoughts…
For those of you who may or may not know, Dr. Walt Rutherford has worked with thousands of Vietnam veterans as a trained psychologist and Vet Center team leader over the last 40 years. For those 12 veterans or any other veterans reading this memo who think they may have PTSD issues, please reach out to Walt for advice and counsel on the subject. Our aging veteran population will be facing numerous challenges over the next 10-20 years. Discussing such issues as navigating the Veteran’s Administration, PTSD, Agent Orange, Vet Centers and Veteran volunteers are realistic subjects that should be discussed at all forthcoming reunions. The subject matter of our current reunions is not entirely relevant in dealing with our health issues and good leadership is necessary to make these reunions more important to our current members. In the coming months, we will be approaching the leadership to establish an informal outreach program regarding health issues.
(Rutherford's address editied from this message at this point)
Best wishes for an enjoyable summer!
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Jerry White forwarded this message on to me to post here. Here are the PTSD results as of now from the recent survey conducted by Walt Rutherford and Sam Martin.
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