Episode 1045 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature another effective of dealing with the dreaded Vietnam scourge known as PTSD. The treatment method to be highlighted will be the art of surfing. There was a story about the subject of Vietnam Veterans and surfing on KQED News titled: How Surfing Still Helps Vietnam Veterans Heal Wounds of War which was submitted by Alyssa Perry.
In her story Perry covered the visit of three Vietnam Veterans, Ron White, Rick Matthews and Dan Eichstedt to the California Surf Museum. They were there to see the new exhibit China Beach: Surfers, the Vietnam War and the Healing of Wave-Riding. All three of the veterans grew up surfing in California and served in Vietnam. None of the three crossed paths in either California or Vietnam but when they met up at the California Surf Museum they found they had a lot in common.
Eichstedt had just donated a yellow Hobie long to the new exhibit. It was the same Hobie board he had taken to Vietnam and surfed with on the white sand beaches of Vietnam. According to museum historian Jane Schmauss, the new Vietnam related exhibit was two years in the making. It is chock full of items like photos of soldiers standing on beaches, vintage 9-foot wooden boards suspended from the ceiling and text with firsthand accounts from 60 Vietnam Veterans. There’s even a replica of the beach shack at China Beach Surf Club named after the popular in-country R&R location.
As more veterans talked about surfing experiences both in Vietnam and other locations it became apparent surfing can be an effective method of dealing with PTSD. Matthews said this about surfing and PTSD: “Being in the ocean is therapeutic: the solitude, the flow of the waves – It’s a lot like going to therapy.”
Listen to episode 1045 and discover more about how surfing can help PTSD suffers.