Sunday, September 2, 2018

Veterans digging history and healing PTSD...seriously!

U.S. veterans use archaeology to dig through trauma in Israel
NBC News
by Paul Goldman and Francis Whittaker
"Because of their separation from the military culture, a lot of them are really isolated."
The site in Beit She'arim, Israel, run by American Veterans Archaeological Recovery program.Paul Goldman / NBC News

BEIT SHE'ARIM, Israel — Like many veterans, Nichol Fuentes has struggled with some aspects of life since leaving the Marines in 2013.

Fuentes, 38, a retired sergeant, suffered recurring ankle injuries while in Iraq and while stationed in Japan. She has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

But the New Jersey mother of three and wife of an active-duty Marine has been invigorated by an unexpected field: archaeology.

“It’s almost like therapy,” she told NBC News amid the dust and stones of an excavation site at Beit She’arim, a World Heritage site and national park in northern Israel. “It’s helped me a lot. It’s given me something to focus on and a purpose."

Fuentes said that a dig she recently took part in helped her recapture the sense of “camaraderie” she had lost since leaving the military.
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