Kalkaska man finds comfort in restoration of farm

By: 
Stephanie Malcolm

KALKASKA — Only those that have served in war truly know the horrors of military conflict.

However, even after leaving the battlefield many are unable to return to normal life because of what they have seen and heard. In a 2017 study involving 5,826 United States veterans, 12.9 percent were diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event. Because of the nature of their service, military veterans face particular risk of experiencing traumatic events and subsequently developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

Some of the effects of PTSD range from night terrors, flashbacks, avoidance, emotional numbness, or severe anxiety. There is no cure, but it can be effectively managed when treatment is sought. While so many with PTSD seek to cure themselves, they end up suffering with long-term substance abuse problems.

However, one local veteran has found a way to help deal with his PTSD. Steven Brown of Kalkaska lives with PTSD daily. Brown is retired from both a lengthy military and law enforcement career. After graduating from the police academy in 1986, Brown spent over 28 years as a Deputy Sheriff. After joining the National Guard in 1991, he spent eight years stationed in Germany, Korea, Panama, Egypt, Fort Lewis (Washington), and at Fort Bragg, NC. Brown retired from both military (after 26 years combined service and having served in 16 foreign countries) and law enforcement (having worked within several areas and being highly trained in many specialities). He is highly decorated with several awards and certificates honoring his accomplishments, service, and duty to his community and country, including having volunteered in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which he served 19 months.

He has chosen a unique way to help cope with PTSD by helping to preserve Michigan’s farming history with his restoration of Trails End Barn.

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