Katrina Goldby said she suffered from post-tramatic stress syndrome about a year after she was deployed to Iraq as a civil affairs officer in 2003 with the U.S. Army.
“Loud noises can be really difficult for me,” said Goldby, who retired from the U.S. Army Reserves in 2007 after 16 years of service.
Goldby still deals with the disorder, but said she has greatly benefited from the services provided by the Amarillo Veteran’s Healthcare System, where she is women’s veterans program manager.
She spoke about these benefits Thursday at a veterans health fair at the Clovis Community Based Outpatient Clinic. The event was held to promote telehealthcare services available at Clovis’ VA outpatient clinic. The clinic provides counseling services in areas such as mental, sexual and social health, substance abuse and post-tramatic stress syndrome.
The telehealth option eliminates travel time to Amarillo and waiting time for an open clinic appointment in Amarillo, Goldby said.
The front entrance of the veteran’s clinic was lined with tables containing military merchandise displaying U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs insignia such as caps, hand bags, dog tags and pens. Throughout the morning veterans stopped by to see what the health fair had to offer.
Goldby estimated about 20 veterans visited the fair. She said most veterans who visited were already enrolled in services at the Clovis clinic, but a few inquired about services for the first time.
One of those was David Cordova, who said he served in the National Guard from the 1976-1982. He inquired about healthcare services since coverage with his civilian medical insurance is about to end.
“They (health fair coordinators) helped me pretty quick and offered me some stuff I can use,” said Cordova, who is unemployed, has no children and lives by himself.
“This is my first time coming here. I need to check my heart, my legs and everything else. I enjoyed it.”
Goldby said she has undergone anger management counseling and mental health counseling for post-tramatic stress syndrome, from which she still suffers.
She said the VA clinic’s primary care, lab and radiology and mental health resources were important to her recovery.
“When you leave the military you leave a family,” Goldby said. “The VA kind of offers that same environment again. You have people you can identify with who understand you. Especially when you go back to a civilian workplace and your coworkers don’t understand why you’re about to dive under your desk when a door slams. At the VA everyone knows why you do the weird things you do.”
Goldby said the Amarillo Veteran’s Healthcare System is considering opening more veteran’s clinics in Eastern New Mexico.