VFW Post 112 welcoming frontline pandemic workers to new mental trauma support group

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Whether it is in combat or the frontlines of the pandemic, PTSD can be a common fight people deal with.

VFW Post 112 is trying to bridge the gap and offer support.

For the last month, they have started hosting weekly support group sessions to offer a space to talk and process any emotions.

“This is a good way to interact with these guys in a way that I normally wouldn’t interact with them,” said Army veteran Robert Hernandez.

Hernandez is one of the veterans taking advantage of the new resource. The guided sessions giving him the chance to scratch beneath the surface.

“Just finding out more about things that we didn’t even know about ourselves. It’s a good way of discovering more about our emotions and how we think about life and what we’re doing,” he said.

Veterans noticing what healthcare workers and first responders are doing on another frontline in a different fight.

“We want to be able to help first responders. We want to be able to help people that are on the frontlines of caring for people during the pandemic. They’re on the frontlines. They also need help too,” said Martin Garcia, VFW Post 112 commander.

The sessions giving them a chance to get help, after helping so many others.

“I want them to be in here. I want them to have a place where they can feel safe, where they can feel like they can really just let go of some of those negative emotions that can take hold during a time like this,” Garcia said.

While the sessions are still new, Garcia he is already getting new perspective by hearing their stories, “It’s helped me get in better touch with my empathy and everything. It’s allowing me to reclaim some of my humanity back.”

The weekly meetings being a silver lining at the end of a tough year.

“Now here we are doing something positive. It really is a positive thing,” Hernandez said.

The support meetings are open to all veterans and workers battling the pandemic.

They are held every Friday at 4:30 p.m. for one hour at VFW Post 112 at 1560 S, Topeka St. However, next week’s meeting is canceled due to Christmas.

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