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By On June 15th, 2007

Faith Following PTSD

Recently, Larry King interviewed a Vietnam Vet hero, Allen B. Clark, author of Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior. The interview surrounded the topic of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following wartime. Clark, recently retired from the North Texas VA system, is now an advocate on the behalf of soldiers for better post-war transitioning to VA-treatment and compensation systems. In his book, Clark recalls his personal emotional breakdown due to PTSD that ultimately resulted in an in-patient psychiatric stay. Clark tells that following his in-patient stay he found renewed strength from his faith in God. As a result, Clark now spends much of his time working with other vets in a ministry that helps soldiers with PTSD. The following is an excerpt of an article from the Dallas Observer that discusses Clark’s life and efforts:

On June 17, 1967, Clark was serving as a combat medic in a Special Forces camp in Dak To, a base in the so-called “tri-border” area where South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos met. Before dawn the enemy started shelling the camp with mortars. Running with his rifle in one hand and a radio in the other, Clark felt a “sudden jolting thud” knock him forward. A mortar had exploded about 18 inches behind him, sending shrapnel into his body below the waist.
“Oh, God, my legs, my legs! Help me!” Clark screamed. “Oh, God, I’m dead!”
Clark, a Dallas resident, lived through the attack but lost both legs from the knees down. He struggled through rehabilitation but eventually learned to use prosthetic legs to walk. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD) took Clark much longer to conquer. Now he wants to take the lessons of his subsequent four decades to soldiers who have been wounded in Iraq.

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