By Helping Others, Vets Can Save Themselves

Grass roots service organizations are giving some veterans renewed purpose.

I learned from experience that the best way to deal with the experience and aftermath of the Vietnam War came from looking out -- not in -- and helping others.

Joe Klein wrote a powerful piece  today in Time that focuses on Iraq and Afghanistan vets who had the same experience, focused on grass roots vet service outfits such as St. Louis-based group the Mission Continues, which performs community based service projects, and Team Rubicon of Los Angeles, a 7,000-strong veterans group that responds to disasters.

Klein reported that 800 vets, many of them wounded, have gone through the Mission Continues. Eight-six percent reported having a positive, life-changing experience from trading a bottle of booze for a paintbrush, hammer or a cleaning rag.

Simple, yes, but simple is often better than shrinks, Xanxax or booze.