Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dying Vietnam Veteran Has Message for Younger Veterans with PTSD

Terminal Vietnam vet continues mission to spread PTSD awareness
Lake County Journal
Angela Sykora
April 26, 2016

The point that really touched the veterans, Tuccy said, was they have their whole lives ahead of them and PTSD does not have to damage them and their relationships as it did Hacke.
Vietnam veteran Richard Hacke (center) holds hands with his brother Robin Hacke (left) and personal caregiver David Pasieka. An article about Hacke published by the Lake County Journal last October garnered much attention from area VFW posts in addition to the Thomah VA Medical Center in Wisconsin.
ZION – A story published last fall in the Lake County Journal has helped fulfill an end-of-life wish for Zion resident Richard “Micky” Hacke, a Vietnam veteran who’s suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) most of his adult life.

He wanted to speak to the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to share his struggles and the mistakes he’s made in life, hoping it would encourage them to seek professional help for PTSD sooner than later.

At age 68, Hacke is bedridden and under hospice care for terminal cancer.

“It’s too late for me, but not for them,” he said.

Hacke, who grew up in Waukegan, enlisted in the U.S. Army when he was 17-years-old. He became a sergeant and served one tour of duty in front-line combat. At one time, Hacke was trapped in a tunnel for days. He also captured 37 enemy prisoners and was awarded the Purple Heart.

When Hacke returned from the war, he was in and out of VA hospitals but didn’t receive the long-term mental health care he needed. Things were different back then, he acknowledged, and today’s young veterans have much more help available if they reach out.
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