SOURCE: Help Hospitalized Veterans

January 10, 2011 17:15 ET

Arts and Crafts Make Time Live for Decorated Vietnam Combat Veteran

WINCHESTER, CA--(Marketwire - January 10, 2011) - In 1968, Paul Klugh of Endicott, New York completed his tour of duty and returned home from Vietnam. Unfortunately, however, Vietnam returned with him, as Klugh has spent the last 42 years suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While horrific images and memories continue to haunt, Klugh, a Bronze Star recipient for bravery in action, is focused on finding ways to push the dark thoughts about Vietnam far away. "If I find myself with too much time to think, or if I have nothing to do, my mind will wander and soon enough I'm in another world. Smells and sounds begin to take on a life of their own, bringing me to a very bad place; a place filled with stench and body bags," said Klugh.

Klugh credits the Syracuse VA Medical Center with the excellent care he receives for his PTSD. He also acknowledges that the arts & crafts he receives through the Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) organization help him cope tremendously. "I appreciate the craft kits so much. They help take my mind off of my problems because when I'm working on a kit something that might normally trigger a PTSD attack often goes unnoticed. I first discovered the craft kits during a lengthy hospitalization. Being hospitalized for any length of time is hard enough, but having the kits to work on makes it actually enjoyable; a great way to pass the time."

Most people will never see or experience what Klugh has, and we as Americans should be grateful for that and for the men and women willing to put themselves in harm's way in order to continue to protect all that we cherish.

From its humble beginning in 1971, when a badly wounded Marine at the Naval hospital in San Diego first asked, "give me something to do with my hands," to today, some 28 million therapeutic arts & crafts and other products later, HHV has become the largest supplier of free arts & crafts to VA and military hospitals worldwide. For more information on HHV products and services visit www.hhv.org or call 888-567-VETS.

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