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Good 4 You: Giving Back To Service Members

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HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) – This week’s Good 4 You goes to people volunteering their time to help others in honor of the victims of 9/11.

President Barack Obama recently spoke about the importance of giving of yourself during this time of reflection on the events that took place ten years ago.

Now it seems an entire medical community is taking the president’s advice.

The wounds of war can reach far beyond physical injuries received on the battlefield, they are often conditions hidden deep within the minds of the men and women who risk their lives.

“What we saw in the military and what a lot of people have to do in the military is very difficult and not something most people can live with comfortably,” said a retired service member whose identity CBS4 is concealing.

The retired service member, a medic in the navy, witnessed tragedy people only hear about and that took its toll. He retired from the military after less than two years.

“The front of my head would hurt so much that I would pass out for a few seconds. The brain tumors or whatever you want to call it became too strong so I was really not in control of myself,” said the veteran to CBS4’s Jorge Estevez who is being treated by Dr. Dan Bober of Hollywood.

“Service members have very unique needs because of things they are exposed to in battle field,” said Dr. Bober.

Dr. Bober is one of many mental health professionals with the American Psychiatric Association offering free services in the month of September to men and women in the military dealing with among other things post traumatic stress disorder.

“I think this is an excellent idea not only to help them, but to raise awareness about a very troubling issue in our society,” said Dr. Bober.

Mental health is such a concern in the military, that service member suicides are now being tracked.

There have been 1100 deaths since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began. There have been a record 301 deaths in 2010 alone and a record 32 deaths just this July 2011, according to the website Stripes Central.

The suicides are a sad reality for the men and women who give so much of themselves and can truly benefit from anyone willing to lend a hand.

“I think it has improved my life which I wouldn’t have done without my doctor,” said the retired service member.

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