It’s estimated that one in 10 veterans of the war in Afghanistan experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
That number is even higher for some other foreign wars. Dozens of veterans, wounded in battle, gathered at Camp Perry in Port Clinton on Thursday. They spent a day with each other at the range, thanks to the effort of some local organizations.
Sean Clifton was a Green Beret for 16 years. He deployed to Iraq, then Afghanistan, and in the spring of 2009 he led the way in a hunt for one of the bad guys.
“Kicked in that door and basically walked into a wall of gunfire,” he told WKYC.
Bullets hit him in the wrist, abdomen and leg.
“We may come back injured. We may come back physically and mentally different and it’s events like this that bring us back together,” said Clifton.
Fifty wounded warriors, like Clifton, learned about and shot an assortment of firearms at Camp Perry.
“You’re not really thinking about the problems in life. You’re having fun. You’re enjoying just having the buddy to the left of you and the buddy to the right of you.”
This is the third year for the event which was organized, in part, by the Cleveland Bureau of the FBI and the non-profit Fallen 15.
“If I can be around other guys who have gone through the same kind of shared experience as I have in combat, I can help them or they can help me,” said Marshall Jackson, co-founder of Fallen 15.
Veterans like Clifton take the community’s honor and respect to heart.
“It’s the camaraderie and it’s the understanding that these local communities are still looking out for us and they want to celebrate our sacrifice,” said Clifton.
Thanks to the organizations involved this event was totally free for veterans.