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Medical center wages war on combat stress

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Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 12:00 pm | Updated: 4:59 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Killeen Daily Herald

FORT HOOD – Post officials cut the ribbon Tuesday on a new program that will help soldiers reduce the symptoms of combat stress.

The Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program Center is a facility that deals with hyper-arousal and post-traumatic stress disorder before they become issues that affect the home environment, said Col. Casper Jones III, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center commander.

The center and its program were a vision of Darnall's former commander, Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton, who now heads up the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Soldiers can visit the center for a two-week outpatient program that teaches self-control of autonomic nervous system responses and cognitive behavioral therapy, according to information from the center. Those are taught at the center through a variety of methods from biofeedback training to yoga.

Biofeedback is a technology that has been utilized at Fort Hood for more than 10 years, but the equipment and capabilities have been expanded for the center. It involves learning how to control the body's response to physical strain, anxiety and stress, according to information from the center. Participants recognize what their signs of stress are and learn to control them.

The center will be a success if soldiers take advantage of the program, said Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, special assistant to the commander of III Corps and Fort Hood.

Commanders must be active in recommending and educating their soldiers about this unique program, he added.

"We're counting on this to make a bigger difference," Brooks said. "This has to work because we need this."

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at astair@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7547.

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