Project Aims To Help Veterans Heal, Tell Their Story

Reported by: Amanda Stevenson
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Updated: 7/23/2013 6:48 pm
Many who live through war never stop fighting. Wars aren't just fought on battlefields--they're fought in offices and homes.

They're fought in the minds of veterans.

"Surprising, you think eventually it goes away...but it doesn't," said Gerald Belcher, a veteran army sergeant. He fought in Vietnam--he said he was shot five times, and stabbed once with a bayonet.

He also has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

"Years don't make it go away," he said.

A project in Lexington is aimed to help with it--'A Veteran's Legacy Journal.' It's a journal with prompts and pictures in it, all aimed at allowing veterans to write memories on lines away from the front lines.

"The journal is designed for a veteran to put their story in their own words," said Jay McChord, who created and authored the book. He said, "It actually helps accomplish on both sides of the equation. One is we could give a place--a safe place--to capture the story. And at the same time, it's a healing agent."

Inside the book is a picture of The Vietnam War's Belcher.

Outside of it is a man healing day by day.

"I noticed the more I wrote, the more it seemed to come out of me onto the piece of paper. Which...what I mean by that is it was a healing process," said the veteran.

Between 18 and 22 veterans die every day in the United States by suicide, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

If you'd like to help the project send books to veterans, you can help by donating money to their crowd-funding campaign.

Or, to send a journal to the veteran in your life, you can visit the project's website.
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