Inaugural PTSD Awareness Walk for Allamakee County offers resource and growth opportunities ...

A first-ever PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Awareness Walk was held in Waukon Saturday, June 24, as nearly three dozen individuals made the trek from an initial gathering location of the Allamakee County Freedom Rock in Waukon City Park (top photo) down through Waukon via Rossville Road (lower two photos) to the lawn of the Allamakee County Courthouse (pictured in second photo from top) and the Allamakee County Veterans Museum, where information and resources were available for individuals, or their family and friends, whose lives have been impacted by PTSD. The event was part of the Veterans Administration’s National Center for PTSD program observing June as PTSD Awareness Month, with June 27 being designated as National PTSD Awareness Day.

Heather Homewood, Director of Allamakee County Veteran Services says event organizers were pleased with the participation in such a first-ever event held locally, noting that some of the resource providers from Iowa City had remarked that they had been involved in similar events in much larger cities that only drew single-digit participation. She noted there are plans to hold the event again next year. “The biggest reason for holding an event like this is that we want people who may be dealing with PTSD to know that there are people who want to listen to them, help them, make resources available to them, and just to know that they care about them and want to be there for them,” Homewood said.

In addition to the walk itself, the resources available at the end of the walk to those wishing to take advantage of them included the Cedar Rapids Veterans Affairs Mobile Vets Center, as well as representatives from the Suicide Prevention office of the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Iowa City, the Veterans Affairs Clinic in Decorah, Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon and the Allamakee County Veterans Services office, with some additional collaboration between some of those entities possibly emerging from this inaugural event. For more information about the PTSD Awareness Walk, or additional information about PTSD or other matters related to Veterans Services, contact the Allamakee County Veterans Services office in the Allamakee County Courthouse in Waukon at 563-568-6135.