By Dave Copeland and Peter Jeary
September 25, 2015
Miguel, 27, recently returned from one such trips, which included visiting the Beit Halochem — 'House of Warriors' — rehabilitation center in Tel Aviv, which supports wounded veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces.
U.S. veterans Katherine Ragazzino and Jackie Ann Kirkwood hug after being baptized in the Jordan River in northern Israel. Dave Copeland / NBC NewsFemale U.S. war vets are finding help for their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) far from home.
Thanks to a pioneering program, they've gone to Israel — and speak of a "common bond" shared with their Israeli counterparts.
"I came with the goal that I needed to meet people that I could talk to," said Kamilla Miguel, who was only 17 when she enlisted in 2007 on the advice of her grandmother.
She returned from Afghanistan aged only 22 but drifted, avoided her family, turned to alcohol and hung out with the wrong crowd.
Heroes to Heroes, which is nondenominational, was established by Judy Schaeffer, the daughter of a World War II veteran. Schaeffer said she felt she "had to do something to help" after visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2009.Remember when Sebastian Junger said that "incidence of PTSD is low" in Israel? Well, this pretty much blows that theory. PTSD happens after traumatic events. That is the only way to get it and the best way to heal it is with peer support. Had the female veterans in Israel not had a problem, there wouldn't be anything like this for them.
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