Iowa veterans speak out about getting service members the help they need
The DesMoines Register
May 20, 2017
Vietnam veteran Larry Clayton approached a podium under the Iowa State Capitol Rotunda Saturday with a message for Iowans.
He wanted veterans, their families and their friends to realize the physical and mental health problems veterans face during and after their service — and to understand that there’s help.
“I am proud of the part I played in the Vietnam conflict, and I pray for all those soldiers who did not come home and those who came home physically or emotionally broken,” Clayton said. “And I thank God every day that he has seen fit to grant me peace during my life.
"Others haven't been nearly as fortunate."
Clayton talked about the effects of Agent Orange, a defoliant chemical sprayed over South Vietnam to eliminate forests and militia crops used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. The chemical is linked to diseases such as B-cell leukemia and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
He talked about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the high rate of veteran suicides.
He wanted veterans to know this: “Admit to yourself that you or a family member might benefit from some medical attention.
"There’s no need to suffer alone anymore.”
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