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This Vet Overcame His PTSD By Hiking 12 US National Parks
When former U.S. Army soldier J.T. Ibanez returned home from Iraq in 2004, just going to the grocery store was a challenge. He’d intentionally do his shopping in the morning or early afternoon when there were fewer people around.
“The more people I was around, the more anxious I’d get. I became hyper-aware I guess you could say. So I’d avoid situations that might trigger any negative thoughts or emotions,” said Ibanez. “I’d tend to stay at home as much as possible.”
In 2000, the St. Louis native enlisted in the U.S. Army, spending four years in the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Then, in 2003, he was deployed to Iraq for a year. When Ibanez returned, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
In order to help cope with his PTSD, Ibanez began researching how other veterans handle their mental health issues. He discovered a lot of veterans would get out and explore the national parks. After learning about the National Parks Service’s 100th anniversary, he decided to grab his camera, get out of the house, and embark on a 25-day, 7,200-mile adventure from coast to coast with a friend. “I put myself in the situation of getting out of my comfort zone and hopefully challenge myself along the way,” said Ibanez.
Starting in Virginia and ending in California, the Army vet visited and filmed 12 national parks including Shenandoah National Park, Lincoln Memorial, Yellowstone, Redwood National Park and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, where he overcame his biggest challenge: a 1.2-mile downhill hike into a cold, massive cave. Although there is an elevator, Ibanez decided to push himself and walk the whole way back through the steep cave.
Check out more on his short documentary, "A Veteran and his Camera," below.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.
Nine years after losing both legs in Afghanistan, he's found purpose in family, friends and inspiring others
There's a joke that Joey Jones likes to use when he feels the need to ease the tension in a room or in his own head.
To calm himself down, he uses it to remind himself of the obstacles he's had to overcome. When he faces challenges today — big or small — it brings him back to a time when the stakes were higher.
Jones will feel out a room before using the line. For nearly a decade, Jones, 33, has told his story to thousands of people, given motivational speeches to NFL teams and acted alongside a three-time Academy Award-winning actor.
On Tuesday afternoon, he stood at the front of a classroom at his alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Georgia. The room was crowded with about 30 honor students.
It took about 20 minutes, but Jones started to get more comfortable as the room warmed up to him. A student asked about how he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I believe in post-traumatic growth," Jones said. "That means you go through tough and difficult situations and on the back end through recovery, you learn strength."
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.