ROCK FALLS, Ill. (KWQC)– One area Vietnam veteran using his own experiences to help other veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
Tim Martins, served in Vietnam as a marine. Once he arrived state-side he eventually ended up in Rock Falls where he currently helps other veterans.
Martin said he has been dealing with his own PTSD since his time in the military. “It’s a constant struggle,” said Martin.
He said his own disorder has gotten worse as time has gone on. To help cope with his emotions and memories, Martin attends conferences for veterans with PTSD.
At one of these conferences a couple of years ago, Martin heard about a veteran who couldn’t cope with his PTSD and committed suicide. This really shocked Martin.
“Vietnam was so, it was rough, but the PTSD, you find out a lof of your marine buddies have died,” said Martin, “I stepped up and felt that I should do something.”
That something started with Martin putting his phone number in a newsletter for veterans in Illinois, with a message encouraging anyone who needs someone to talk to give him a call.
Now Martin spends his spare time taking calls from other veterans and offering advice.
“I tell people that they have to have something to do to keep them active,” said Martin.
That is advice Martin was given and he now has a hobby he uses to cope: caring for feral cats. Martin said another veteran took his advice and now studies and watches birds to distract him.
“Others, I say you know, they’ve got to take it one day at a time, always move forward,” said Martin.
Staying positive is another tip Martin offers. He said he chooses to remember the good things that happened in war instead of the bad.
“No matter what you did in the service uh no matter what your job was you should be proud of what you did,” said Martin.
Being a shoulder for other veterans is helping Martin cope with his own PTSD.
“So when they thank me and they said I did them a lot of help, I also return the favor and say they’ve helped me too,” said Martin.
If you are needing someone to talk to Martin encourages you to give him a call at 815-626-6350 or 815-622-4629. If you get his voicemail, leave a message and Martin will call you back.
For more tips and resources for PTSD head over to this website: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/reintegration/help-for-veterans-with-ptsd.asp