Metro-East News

Roger That: Comic Mark Sweeney to headline benefit to raise money for veterans battling PTSD

News-Democrat

Comedian and Marine Corps veteran Mark Sweeney will headline a comedy show to raise money to help veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, a chronic anxiety condition.

Called “Battle PTSD With Laughter,” the show is set to take place from 8 p.m. to midnight, June 13, at the Hey Guys Comedy Club, located at 5225 N. Illinois St., Fairview Heights. Admission is $15 at the door. Proceeds will benefit Climb for PTSD, a not-for-profit group serving veterans dealing with PTSD and their families.

PTSD, which is linked to depression and suicide, afflicts people who have been exposed to life-threatening incidents, such as natural disasters, violent crimes and military combat. About 20 percent of Iraq war veterans, 11 percent of Afghanistan veterans and 31 percent of Vietnam veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Service members and families are being honored during Military Appreciation Month with a variety of discounts. Below are some highlighted offerings, according to a posting on the website Military.com.

For instance, General Motors is offering all active, reserve, retired and veteran personnel its military discount on Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles until June 30. In addition, all veterans are eligible for Home Depot’s 10-percent military discount on July 4 if they show a DoD-issued ID, a DD214 or a Veterans Driver’s License. Sears Tools is offering a double discount on tools (40-percent for regular priced, 10-percent for sale priced) through May 31.

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The U.S. Air Force confirmed last week that aerospace giant Boeing is helping it develop an electromagnetic pulse weapon that could fry the electronics of individual buildings with pinpoint precision, according to a story on the Motley Fool website.

Called “CHAMP,” for Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project, the device is a cruise missile equipped with a small generator that emits microwaves to target electronic systems, blacking them out and eliminating the need to destroy their physical locations.

CHAMP can fire multiple times, blacking out a radar station in an enemy state, but preserving the electrical grid that supports the civilian population. In a 2012 test flight in Utah, a CHAMP missile reportedly blacked out seven separate targets in succession, in one single mission, according to the Motley Fool.

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Nearly half — 47 percent — of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans said that they served with a comrade that had been killed, according to a Pew Research Center Survey conducted in 2011. That statistic rises to 62 percent among soldiers who were in combat.

Service members who were seriously wounded or knew someone who was killed or seriously wound were more likely to say the wars were worth fighting. In the case of Iraq, 48 percent of these veterans said the war was worth fighting, compared with 36 percent among those not exposed to casualties. For Afghanistan vets, the margin saying the war was worth fighting was higher — 55 percent to 40 percent, according to the survey.

Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at mfitzgerald@bnd.com or 618-239-2533.

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