Fort Drum-- ABC50 sat down with one disabled Marine Veteran, who does not fit any soldier stereotypes. Rachel Mazzola is a petite stay-at-home Army wife and mother, who now spends most of her time home schooling her 4 year-old daughter. Though she recalls the memorable day of 9/11 when her life forever changed. Right after high school, Mrs. Mazzola joined the Marines in July 2003 requesting to be deployed to Iraq.
Rachel Mazzola received help after coming back from Iraq with PTSD. ABC50 listened to her story of heroism, as Rachel provides a real “insider” perspective on war trauma. Mrs. Mazzola sustained permanent back and neck injury, insomnia, depression and nightmares. Her first husband was also a Marine, but never deployed and could not cope with Rachel’s post-traumatic stress.
After their divorce, Rachel has since remarried to an Army soldier stationed at Fort Drum. Although she returned from Iraq with more than she bargained for, she told ABC50 “I do not regret serving my country. My husband will more than likely get deployed and we are prepared for that. That is what we signed up for.” Rachel speaks to all military wives struggling with deployments from someone who not only is a military wife, but a disabled Marine Veteran who has once been deployed to a war zone.
For the third year in a row, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) processed over one million disability claims in 2012. By 2013, 56 VBA regional offices will be operating under a new organizational model.
This new model focuses upon workflow, which the VBA hopes will eliminate the previously lengthy process of claims decisions and expedite the process with better quality and efficiency. Currently, Veterans Affairs attempts to process claims within a 125-day window and by the year 2015 the VA hopes to eliminate any backlog.
For more information on post traumatic stress disorder please visit the National Center for PTSD which provides information on understanding PTSD, symptoms, the definition of PTSD, treatment for PTSD, helping family members with PTSD, what can you do if you think you have PTSD, and more.