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Vets group seeks funds for PTSD facility

Don't be surprised if you're a local business leader and a couple Special Forces retirees show up looking to enlist you in what they say is a good cause.

Members of the 3rd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group [Airborne], located at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, are in the midst of a fundraiser to benefit the Jack H. Wisby Jr. PTSD Treatment Center on the grounds of the Batavia Veterans Administration Hospital.

Letters have been mailed to local business people and the retirees are now making visits for donations for what they say is one of the region's best resources when it comes to helping veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. The drive has been named, "Jump in on PTSD!"

What  impressed members of the former 3rd Battalion was that the center serves both men and women veterans, according to the group's newsletter.

The newsletter offered these impressions from members:

"They have managed miraculously to fund, design and construct 'The Center for Hope,' an inpatient stand-alone facility similar to assisted living for several female veteran victims of PTSD. Our best memory:

"Everyone we met and encountered had a smile, doctors, nurses, counselors, therapists, administrators, clerks, as well as the inpatients and outpatients. It reminded us of one big happy family on a vacation."

Wisby, a Niagara County resident and Vietnam War veteran, died several  years ago.

In addition to business people, donations can be sent to retired Command Sgt. Major Alfred R. LaChance, 4732  Porter Center Road, Lewiston, N.Y., 14092.

The 3rd Battalion, which had been part of the Army National Guard, was stationed at the airbase in the 1960s and 1970s before it was deactivated. There are about 50 members who reside in Western New York.



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