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War Comes Home: Public Conversations – The War Within: Veterans and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The Sacramento Public Library presented a Public Conversation event, The War Within: Veterans and PTSD.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has major consequences for veterans and their families, from joblessness to homelessness, and even suicide. There are 2.3 million veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and somewhere between 2% and 14% have been diagnosed with PTSD. Yet PTSD is not a new phenomenon, as literature, drama, and poetry about the experience of war illustrate.

This panel discussion addressed new findings about PTSD and looked at how understanding of it has changed over time.

Panelists included:

  • David Morris, former infantry officer, US Marine Corps, acclaimed author: The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Storm on the Horizon
  • Elisabeth McKenna, PhD, Clinical Psychologist – Family Therapist, Polytrauma System of Care (PSC), VA Palo Alto Health Care System
  • Bill Ludwig, Vietnam veteran, 1st Lieutenant, US Army Infantry, retired professional, diagnosed with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury and other related health issues.

The forum was moderated by Jay Mechling, PhD, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, UC Davis.

This program was one of a series of five Public Conversations organized by Cal Humanities, in partnership with the California State Library, the University of California Humanities Research Institute, hosted by partner public libraries.

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