4th of July Brings Flashbacks For Vets - New York News

4th of July Brings Flashbacks For Vets

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BUCKINGHAM TWP., Pa. -

Fireworks are the sights and sounds of the 4th of July. For some, it is a sign of patriotism.

But for Thom Shortt, a true patriot, facing 4th of July fireworks on a first date with his wife years ago set off flashbacks.

"The fireworks went off and I just freaked out. I was on the floor of car because everything represents incoming," recalls Shortt.

From the tattooed dog tags on his arm of a fellow fallen Marine, there's no mistaking Shortt is fight or die. 45-years ago he fought for our freedom, but to this day, he's still battling some of the effects of post traumatic stress disorder.

"I won't go out to a celebration tonight because I don't know how I would be," he says.

The 66-year-old Bucks County man says he's learned to cope with PTSD through yoga.

Years ago his wife Maureen introduced him to the ancient Indian practice focused on finding permanent peace.

"My yoga and mediation allow all those things to come to me and I don't block them
off and I think veterans with PTSD do. They compartmentalize and say I don't want to deal.

Shortt says the trauma of dealing with the death of his daughter two years ago and also the effects of war have been softened a bit by yoga.

That's why just last month he decided to offer classes for combat veterans at the Solebery Club in Buckingham.

Hoping he can help just a few of the more than 40,000 vets in Bucks County who may be having a tough time facing the 4th without dealing with their own internal fireworks.

"All we do is look for vets suffering from PTSD and put on yoga and meditation classes 
for them to get some relief," says Shortt.

Here are some helpful links for PTSD:

http://www.vetcenter.va.gov/

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/

http://meghansfoundation.org/

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