(Durham, November 3, 2020) - Eric Golnick grew up in a military family where service was important. He served four years in the Naval Reserves and then four years active duty as a Naval officer. When he retired, Golnick imagined the transition to civilian life would be easy, but without a structured military lifestyle the days became difficult. Golnick returned to school but soon found himself in a one room apartment, alone and drinking a bottle of whiskey a day. Realizing he was in trouble, Golnick began looking for help
Veterans like Golnick and the programs they use to re-acclimate to civilian life are featured in the upcoming New Hampshire PBS documentary ROADS TO RECOVERY: KEEPING VETERANS WELL. The program premieres on Veterans Day November 11th at 7pm on NHPBS as the fourth installment in a series of programs on substance misuse and recovery in New Hampshire. This installment follows the journeys veterans take on their roads to recovery, exploring some of the reasons why people who serve their country sometimes struggle when they return home, as well as some of the programs that can help.
After a false start with a psychiatrist, Golnick found a therapist who understood military culture. Golnick got the help he needed and is now sober. He and another veteran saw the need to support others and founded VFR Healthcare service, which focuses on the trauma that some veterans, their families and first responders live with.
On Great Bay, Army veteran Ryan Nunley finds his therapy in a kayak, fishing with a buddy. It’s part of a Northeast Passage program that uses outdoor recreation to help veterans who live with trauma, stress and substance misuse.
Out behind the Manchester VA Medical Center, there are hives. Bee hives. Veterans suit up and move in. They participate in the Manchester VA’s beekeeping program. Veterans Vince Ylitalo and Thomas Scott have discovered that caring for bees helps them in their PTSD recovery. “I didn’t expect this amount of relief,” says Ylitalo. “I actually stopped a lot of my meds – I don’t do that anymore and I’m actually able to just relax and chill out because I’m in the moment because I’m thinking about the bees. I loved this so much that I’ve started two bee hives myself.”
Chris Neiman, Substance Use Disorders Coordinator from the Manchester VA Medical Center says, “The veteran’s experience is unique in the sense that it’s different than the non-veteran population. But we also know that each veteran is unique.”
ROADS TO RECOVERY: KEEPING VETERANS WELL will premiere November 11th at 7pm on New Hampshire PBS. More information and recovery resources are available at nhpbs.org/recovery.
Funding for ROADS TO RECOVERY: KEEPING VETERANS WELL is provided by Kennebunk Savings Bank.
About New Hampshire PBS: New Hampshire PBS inspires one million Granite Staters each month with engaging and trusted local and national programs and services on-air, online, via mobile, in classrooms and in communities. Beyond its award-winning television programs, New Hampshire PBS is a leader in education and community engagement. www.nhpbs.org
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