Vets Hit The Links For Therapy

Vets Hit The Links For Therapy


STUDIES SHOW AT LEAST 300,000 SERVICE MEMBERS BATTLED POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. RECENTLY THE TREATMENT HAS SHIFTED TOWARD PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MORE SPECIFICALLY GOLF. CBS 2’S STEVE OVERMYER WENT TO WEST POINT TO FIND OUT MORE. Reporter: GREAT GOLFERS AREN’T MADE OVERNIGHT. THESE GOLFERS AREN’T SEARCHING FOR GREATNESS. [ WHAP ] Reporter: PGA HOPE IS A SIX- WEEK PROGRAM TEACHING GOLF TO VETERANS LIKE BILL AGUILAR WHO NEVER GOLFED DESIGNED TO ENHANCE REHABILITATION FROM PTSD. COME ON, CARMINE. YOU CAN DO IT. THERE IT IS. YEAH! THIS PROGRAM IS CHANGING LIVES. AFTER WAR OR AFTER WHATEVER THEY HAVE BEEN THROUGH THEY DIDN’T KNOW REALLY WHAT THEY COULD COME AND DO AND WE CAN SHOW THEM GOLF AS AN AVENUE. Reporter: FOR THESE VETERANS, WEST POINT GOLF COURSE IS A SANCTUARY, A SAFE PLACE WHERE THEY CAN OPEN UP. MY PLANE WENT DOWN IN CAMBODIA. FOR EIGHT YEARS, THIS IS THE TRUTH, I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I WAS IN THE SERVICE. I HAD AMNESIA. THEN I FIND OUT THAT I HAD TRAUMATIC BRAIN DISORDER. Reporter: AMERICAN SOLDIERS HAVE THE HIGHEST PTSD RATE IN THE WORLD, ABOUT 20% OF THE VETERANS EXPERIENCE PTSD. ANYTHING FROM NOISE TO LIGHTS EVEN SMELL CAN SERVE AS A TRIGGER. I SHAKE A LOT. BUT, UM, AS SOON AS YOU SWING, EVERYTHING GOES AWAY. EVERYTHING GOES AWAY WITH A GOOD SHOT. Reporter: GOLF OFFERS A SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT PROGRAM BECAUSE IT GIVES VETERANS A PHYSICAL OUTLET IN A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENTS AROUND VETS OF ALL AGES WHO HAVE SHARED IN THE EXPERIENCE. IT’S NICE. I ENJOY IT. IT’S MAKING ME FEEL LIKE A NORMAL PERSON AGAIN. IT’S LIKE A PORTAL. Reporter: PAST EVENTS CAN’T BE ERASED BUT MAYBE NEW EXPERIENCES CAN HELP THEM FADE. AT WEST POINTS, STEVE OVERMYER, CBS 2 NEWS. HOW CAN THAT BE RELAXING AND THERAPEUTIC, BEFORE I SAW THAT? IT’S GOLF.

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