MILITARY MATTERS: Veterans Advocates in Alabama & Georgia Help Those Who Battle PTSD

Published: Jun. 30, 2023 at 10:16 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - For many veterans, PTSD is a daily battle. An advocate in Alabama says it’s debilitating, but treatable. And one vet in Georgia is turning his pain into purpose.

“Personally I couldn’t do what I do every day if I didn’t see people getting better because the pain is so real,” Gabrielle Metz said.

For 26 years, Metz - a VA social worker in Birmingham - has been helping those who live with PTSD. She says the stigma surrounding treatment is something she battles year round.

“Pull yourself up by the bootstraps and just soldier on just do and be, and seeking help or having emotions is not acceptable in our society sometimes,” Metz said.

In Georgia, veteran Jim Lorraine founded the America’s Warrior Partnership in Augusta. Now, it’s changing lives for those with PTSD across all of Georgia.

“So my post traumatic stress one of the first events honestly just as I was joining the Airforce I was in a terrible car accident. I had amputated my foot and was reattached and I recovered from that,” Lorraine said.

Lorraine adds, while he was able to recover physically, PTSD requires mental health help.

“There were so many services that were available, but nobody knew how to navigate them. So, what America’s Warrior Partnership does is basically we help navigate the complex veteran’s world for veterans who need help,” he said.

Closing out this PTSD awareness month, experts also say there are misconceptions about it.

“A lot of times the word is misused. ‘oh I had a flashback’ they’re really talking about they had a remembrance but I still know that I’m here with you in this room. A flashback is actually a dissociative event. So their brain does in fact take them back to that time and place,” Metz said.

Part of the mission for her and the organization out of central Georgia is to help veterans who might be dealing with thoughts of suicide.