City Social Magazine

JUL-AUG 2017

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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33 r ecently, i received an email asking a familiar question: " w ith all this talk of P tsd (Post- t raumatic s tress d isorder) and suicide, don't you find this a bit overwhelming?" i n truth, there certainly is a great deal of darkness and pain; yet, there is another side to this story. Every week, there's an elderly couple that drives up onto Berry Brigade Blvd. at Camp Hope in a Sedan roughly 10 years old. There, they pop the trunk and begin unloading four or five gallons of milk, a few-dozen eggs and a few loaves of bread. On one occasion, I saw a Vietnam Vet walk up, tears coursing down his cheeks and the weight of the world falling from his shoulders as he recounted for the first time what he did 45 years ago in the fog of war. He shared how it has kept him awake at night and his belief that he was "damned" to hell no matter what he did with the rest of his life. I find it inspiring when I walk the campus at Camp Hope and see angry men, some with limps, some whose backs have been broken in times of war, some without legs, when I notice their spirit beginning to change. I see a glimmer of life return. I see a smile. I see hope. Obviously, there is plenty of depression around. Regardless, I am inspired when I see an 8-year-old girl selling lemonade or melting crayons into heart shapes and raising thousands of dollars. I am inspired by a community that gives, prays and volunteers so that veterans that they likely never meet can have a new, better life than they have ever dreamed. I am inspired, as well as reminded of the great funeral oration of Pericles, who said: "What you leave behind is not what is engraved on stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others." By David Maulsby Photos provided by PTSD Foundation of America's Camp Hope i 'm i nspired!

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