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Two military vets form support group

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

By Elaine Rackley

erackley@henryherald.com

A new support group -- called Invisible Wounds -- will be available in Henry County, and the rest of the Southern Crescent area, soon, to help active-duty and former military personnel serving in combat, or who have served in combat, readjust to living a normal life.

Leon Jordan and Bob Van Dunk, both former members of the U. S. Marine Corps, are organizing the group. The two are former sergeant majors. Jordan retired in 2006, and Van Dunk left the Marine Corps in 1964. He later served in the U.S. Army, from 1965, to 1986.

A first meeting of the group is scheduled for Thursday, July 28, from 7 p.m., to 8 p.m., in the Community Room of the Henry County Counseling Center, at 139 Henry Parkway, in McDonough. There are no fees associated with the session.

"Invisible Wounds was not designed to diagnose problems," said Van Dunk, who, along with Jordan, stress that they are not psychologists, psychiatrists, or even counselors. However, they said they have something those specialists generally do not have -- experiences that put them in the same, or similar situations, those they are trying to help have encountered.

They maintain that many veterans, and current service people, need a place where they can share dialogue and experiences. "Many veterans with problems do not know where to get help," said Van Dunk. "Both of us had problems, and knew where to get help."

He said he and Jordan want to share what they have learned with others. "A person can appear to be happy on the surface, but have invisible wounds," added Jordan. "Physical wounds eventually heal, with medication and bandages. There are wounds that cut deep in their minds; they are holding them inside," he said.

"We just want to talk with them, so they can express their feelings to help each other heal from invisible wounds," Van Dunk said.

Van Dunk admitted, however, that, when he enters any room, especially in public places, he immediately scans the room to locate the exit doors. "I usually sit in restaurants with my back to the wall, and my eyes facing the door," he said.

"We've started this group to help veterans and current military personnel," he added. "Sometimes, because of their [combat] experiences during service, they are susceptible to bouts of depression."

Flash backs, nightmares, and isolation, can be signs of distress, according to Jordan.

The two soldiers hope to create a bond with interested military personnel. "Once you form a brotherhood, then, you can lean on each other," said Van Dunk.

For more information about the Invisible Wounds support group, call (770) 880-2234, or (678) 480-5878.

Leon Jordan and Bob Van Dunk, both former members of the U. S. Marine Corps, are organizing the group. The two are former sergeant majors. Jordan retired in 2006, and Van Dunk left the Marine Corps in 1964. He later served in the U.S. Army, from 1965, to 1986.

A first meeting of the group is scheduled for Thursday, July 28, from 7 p.m., to 8 p.m., in the Community Room of the Henry County Counseling Center, at 139 Henry Parkway, in McDonough. There are no fees associated with the session.

"Invisible Wounds was not designed to diagnose problems," said Van Dunk, who, along with Jordan, stress that they are not psychologists, psychiatrists, or even counselors. However, they said they have something those specialists generally do not have -- experiences that put them in the same, or similar situations, those they are trying to help have encountered.

They maintain that many veterans, and current service people, need a place where they can share dialogue and experiences. "Many veterans with problems do not know where to get help," said Van Dunk. "Both of us had problems, and knew where to get help."

He said he and Jordan want to share what they have learned with others. "A person can appear to be happy on the surface, but have invisible wounds," added Jordan. "Physical wounds eventually heal, with medication and bandages. There are wounds that cut deep in their minds; they are holding them inside," he said.

"We just want to talk with them, so they can express their feelings to help each other heal from invisible wounds," Van Dunk said.

Van Dunk admitted, however, that, when he enters any room, especially in public places, he immediately scans the room to locate the exit doors. "I usually sit in restaurants with my back to the wall, and my eyes facing the door," he said.

"We've started this group to help veterans and current military personnel," he added. "Sometimes, because of their [combat] experiences during service, they are susceptible to bouts of depression."

Flash backs, nightmares, and isolation, can be signs of distress, according to Jordan.

The two soldiers hope to create a bond with interested military personnel. "Once you form a brotherhood, then, you can lean on each other," said Van Dunk.

For more information about the Invisible Wounds support group, call (770) 880-2234, or (678) 480-5878.