Pike County veteran talks struggles with PTSD

By: Morgan Lentes Email
By: Morgan Lentes Email
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PIKEVILLE, Ky (WYMT) - As investigators try to piece together what led an Iraq War veteran to open fire at Fort Hood on Wednesday, there is a renewed focus on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

So what exactly is PTSD?

Basil Clark is a Vietnam War veteran living in Pike County. He said he is not afraid to talk about his personal struggles with depression.

"Drinking, cursing, crying, praying, weeping, just anger," said Clark.

These are just some of the ways he dealt with life after the military.

"You are more in an area where someone, if they get the opportunity, would like to take your life away or severely hurt you. So that is always there in your mind," said Clark.

Clark, who was hurt while serving in Vietnam, tells WYMT it took him years to find inner peace. He credits writing with helping him get his life back on track.

"I honestly believe if it had not been for my being able to express through poetry, in my case, I would either be dead due to suicide or in a drunken or drug induced stupor," said Clark.

While Clark was never formally diagnosed with PTSD, he does not doubt he suffered from similar symptoms.

"I understand that anger and frustration and the feeling of what is anything worth? You know why not just end it all? I understand all that. I have been at that point," said Clark.

Still, Clark said he has trouble wrapping his head around tragedies like the one at Fort Hood.

He is now an associate professor of speech and theater at the University of Pikeville. He recently wrote a book on the topic entitled "War Wounded: Let the Healing Begin".

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