PTSD: Fighting the war at home

Posted by: Brenda Holmes  | Monday, December 5, 2016

Earlier this year, I nominated Lowell resident James Chancellor to be inducted into the Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame because he has a passion for helping veterans by educating people about post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that a person may develop after experiencing or witnessing an extreme, overwhelming traumatic event. A traumatic event is one that is intensely stressful during which a person suffers serious harm, or the threat of serious harm or death, or witness an event during which another person is killed, seriously injured or threatened.

According to RAND Corporation, a non-profit institution that completes research and analysis, at least 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have PTSD. Indiana is home to 462,221 veterans, who served their country in conflicts dating back to World War I.

Chancellor has created a presentation about PTSD he can share with just about any audience, but he really works to reach young people. He wants to educate today’s youth about PTSD because they are tomorrow’s leaders. He believes if they know how war can affect soldiers, they will be more informed when they are making decisions in the future.

Chancellor, 66, is a U.S. Army combat veteran who served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. As a door gunner, he received a Purple Heart and Heroism Medal of Valor. He is also actively involved in helping fellow veterans.

In October, I hosted a workshop with Chancellor at American Legion Post 20. He presented his program, PTSD: Through the Eyes of a Door Gunner, to those who attended. In November, he was inducted into the Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame. I was able to attend the ceremony and see him receive this much deserved and meaningful honor.

The Indiana Veterans Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization formed by government representatives, the business sector and retired military personnel. The organization’s objective is “to publically emphasize the honor brought to our state and nation by the sacrifice of Indiana military veterans and their families.”

For more information about Chancellor, visit www.veteranscollection.com.

Chancellor is just one of many amazing people volunteering in Northwest Indiana. I’m humbled when I meet people like him who have a passion and are doing wonderful things to make our community a better place to live. It shows just how much we care about each other.

If my office can assist you please call 317-232-9850 or email h19@iga.in.gov. I welcome learning about other veterans we could nominate or your feedback on legislation.

 

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State Rep. Julie Olthoff represents House District 19,

which includes a portions of Lake and Porter counties. 

A high-resolution photo of Olthoff can be downloaded by clicking here.