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      Summerville PTSD support group open to friends and families

      By Ava Wilhite awilhite@abcnews4.com

      Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) 'The Obligation' by Oliver Stone is an oath of sorts for members of Veterans Family and Friends Military PTSD Support Group.

      "Sometimes people are scared of the VA and there is a stigma around PTSD and calling it a disorder," said Frank Ruse, a Navy veteran.

      Ruse is a founding member of the group, which aims to open the dialogue about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder between the veterans who cope with it, their loved ones, and the community.

      "What makes the group important is not only does it help the veteran but it helps the family members and the friends of the veteran understand what's going on," said Ruse. {}

      Maria Boehler is a group member and a mother of a Marine who returned from battle with PTSD. Boehler said when her son returned communication between them stopped and she had no one to talk to about PTSD.

      "It said 'family and friends.' I thought at the time I'm a mother I have no where else to go,"{} Boehler said.

      When she found her way to the meetings she then learned how to communicate with her son by just listening. Something she says she wouldn't have learned without the support group.

      "It's the family unit that you are trying to heal it's not just the veteran," said Boehler. {}

      Ruse said the group meetings are free, open to everyone and have no religious affiliation.

      The group meets at 7 p.m. on Mondays at the Fellowship of Oakbrook Church in Summerville.

      The church is located at 1400 Trolley Road. For more information call Frank at 843-637-6463 or visit the website at www.shadowwounded.org.

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