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‘Beetle Bailey’ Draws Attention to PTSD, TBI

From the Army News Service:

June 27, 2013

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Fans of the long-running comic strip “Beetle Bailey” saw a different approach June 16, when its creator, Mort Walker, chose to set aside his usual military-inspired humor to tackle a more serious subject.

That day’s three-panel strip showed Beetle Bailey experiencing the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD — including nightmares and trouble sleeping. The third panel reminds readers that “Post-traumatic stress can affect any Soldier.” That message from Walker helped kick off a public service campaign by the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program to bring attention to the invisible wounds of war — post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury — during June, which is National PTSD Awareness Month.

The Home Base program, founded in 2009, has provided clinical treatment for more than 600 veterans and family members, and has educated more than 7,500 clinicians nationwide about PTSD and traumatic brain injury, known as TBI.

In a video he recorded, Walker, an 89-year-old Army veteran of World War II, discussed why he used Beetle Bailey to help shed light on this issue.

“I feel so sorry for the veterans that have that post-traumatic stress,” Walker said. “I would do anything to help them — even one, even one, if I could.