Support veterans with PTSD at Memorial Day tournament - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Support veterans with PTSD at Memorial Day tournament

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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 6:45 am | Updated: 3:42 pm, Sat Dec 22, 2012.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a haunting condition that effects thousands of returning United States military veterans. There are options for help out there for veterans who experienced a traumatic event during their time in uniform, with resources such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but there is a group out there who wants to take it a step further.

United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in Scottsdale by veterans Duane Knutson and David Arnold. Their goal is simple in theory, but complicated in execution — they want to help other veterans recover successfully from PTSD, and improve their quality of life when they return to the U.S.

Vince Petroniero, business development director, said the average cost to treat a veteran with PTSD is $1,500. Donations to the organization go to relieve them of those costs, and also toward the implementation of a mobile PTSD treatment center in Arizona.

According to the United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation’s website, www.azptsd.org, there are treatments that can be undertaken, depending on the individual, that can help a veteran through their internal battle. That includes types of psychotherapy — cognitive restructuring, group psychotherapy and medication, according to the website, as well as brainwave optimization.

Cognitive restructuring is described as follows:

“Cognitive restructuring helps patients identify and challenge their erroneous beliefs and interpretations. It is based on the idea that it is not actual events that cause negative emotional reaction but the interpretation of those events. Therefore, cognitive restructuring seeks to replace worry and anxiety with more positive and productive emotions through the way a patient thinks. People undergoing this therapy are taught to look at their negative beliefs and evaluate the pros and cons of maintaining them. They carefully consider the likelihood of their fears and the cost of those outcomes and look for possible alternative explanations and ways of thinking.”

There is no easy solution for a soldier dealing with PTSD, but it is a serious condition that warrants public support.

In honor of Memorial Day and to help raise funds, the foundation is hosting a golf tournament in Ahwatukee Foothills at the Club West Golf Club, 16400 S. 14th Ave., on Saturday, May 26.

The tournament is open to the public and more information on signing can be obtained on the website, www.azptsd.org, by email at vince@azptsd.org, or by calling Petroniero at (480) 993-8941. The cost is $80 in advance and $85 the day of the event.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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