Holidays Less Than Merry For PTSD Sufferers - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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Holidays Less Than Merry For PTSD Sufferers

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'Tis the season to be jolly for many, but for veterans with PTSD, this can be one of the hardest times of the year. One local organization, however, is stepping in to help. 'Tis the season to be jolly for many, but for veterans with PTSD, this can be one of the hardest times of the year. One local organization, however, is stepping in to help.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

'Tis the season to be jolly for many, but for veterans with PTSD, this can be one of the hardest times of the year. One local organization, however, is stepping in to help.

Honoring America's Warriors hosted more than 100 men and women Saturday evening for the second annual Christmas party for veterans. It provides a unique atmosphere that allows former soldiers to lean on each other for support.

The sights and sounds of the holidays can be overwhelming when bright lights and laughing crowds trigger traumatic flashbacks.

“A lot of us probably at one point in time spent a combat deployment during Christmas in a foreign country, whether it be Iraq, Afghanistan or other nations around the world. We have a lot of animosity. When we come around each other, that subsides,” Army vet Jesse Watkins said.

For family members of PTSD sufferers, the VA suggests giving your loved one some space instead of piling lots of holiday activities on their plate, and don’t push them if they don’t want to talk.

Veterans said the Honoring America’s Warriors Christmas party is different than the rest, though, because they are surrounded by people who can relate to their struggles.

“It’s difficult for other people on the outside to really understand what we’ve done, where we’ve been,” said Army veteran West Long.

Families can rest at ease at the party knowing their soldiers are comfortable. While parents took a break from the stress of everyday life, kids were excited about their own special visitors. Santa and Mrs. Claus handed out stockings to the boys and girls there, allowing the adults to help each other cope.

“It’s really hard to speak to people, but speaking to a veteran who has been through it, knows what you’re going through, that knows how hard sometimes the holiday seasons can be, it really means a lot,” said Watkins.

If you know someone suffering with PTSD this season, you can find helpful resources by clicking here.

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