(BONHAM, TEXAS) -- According to the VA, nationwide more than 256,000 veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan have been treated for PTSD over the past ten years, and that number is on the rise.
Fighting on the front lines of battle is tough, a life changing experience..but as Veteran Don Martin explains, the battle doesn't end when a soldier returns home.
Don Martin, " it was difficult at first..and I ran into some obstacles..and that was alcohol and it eventually just took away my every day life."
PTSD, veteran substance abuse, and veteran suicide rates are all on the rise, but a new program at the Bonham VA hopes to make an impact on local vets suffering from PTSD.
Andrew Jay Farrel, LPC-S, ACS, " to have PTSD programs up and running across the nation is gonna be vitally important..and so I'm just glad to be on the ground floor of a program that's starting here."
This is the first residential program in the North Texas Veteran's Healthcare system that will treat more than just combat trauma..
Kimberly Coleman Prier, " if we had veterans that situational or life time occurrence of post traumatic stress disorder we would actually have to refer them out of state..so one of the things we're gonna do here with our program is serve any veteran who is experiencing active symptoms of PTSD"
The residential program will house 18 patients for an eight-week period of cognitive processing therapy, individual and group therapy; including anger management , anxiety and stress reduction classes and activities aimed at integrating the veterans back into society; including recreational and social activities.
They hope to have the first class of 18 veterans moved in by the end of September.