U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bradley Driver, left, and Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Wilcox, right, fold an American flag during a ceremony honoring the World War II military service of Army Cpl. Floyd Bekins, bottom right, at the Fort Douglas Museum in Salt Lake City on Friday. Bekins served in the Pacific Islands with the Americal Division where he drove trucks carrying live ammunition for an artillery unit. By the end of the war, he became a “human computer,” using a slide rule to calculate trajectory adjustments for battery commanders. These roles placed him in the combat zone for more than two years. After returning to the states, Bekins experienced severe post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms but did not know how to get help. Decades later, he learned that treatment for PTSD was available, but often not offered. He became a passionate advocate for all veterans to recognize symptoms and seek treatment. Currently, he attends a local PTSD support group sponsored by the Utah Veteran’s Health Care System that is one of the longest running groups of its kind in the United States. The ceremony was arranged by Community Nursing Services.
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