A Time to Heal

Altoona, Pa. - There are some things 65 year old Ron Curtis of Bedford just can't get rid of. Like the guilt he feels after seeing so many men die on his Medevac chopper in Vietnam. Recently, he did something he's never been able to do, after getting enough time to heal.

This is the first time Ron Curtis has had the ability to visit the Vietnam Memorial in Altoona.

He's got a bad case of PTSD and survivor guilt. 

As a medevac pilot in Vietnam, his job was to get wounded servicemembers back to the hospital. Many didn't make it. Curtis says "It was so serious that I had let these guys down, I had no way to make up for that." Curtis, still has nightmares about what happened over there.

Years after he returned stateside, in 1982, Curtis marched with those dedicating the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. "But I couldn't go up to that wall, couldn't touch it, I wanted to turn around and run away" he says.

He's been in therapy since 1979. Sometimes 7 or 8 times a week. Finally, something changed.
In October, he and other Bedford County veterans were invited to visit the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. He begged to be on the list. "This is a healing moment I really need. I have to make myself, if I have to make myself, or get somebody to carry me, I'm going to go touch that wall, I'm going to get this off my back."

Finally touching the monument, after all these years. He learned first hand why its called The Wall That Heals. "Its like a load lifted off my shoulders. I've carried this around for so many years since i got home."

Ron will continue his therapy. He hopes his story inspires someone to get help. And wants to make sure his fallen brothers are never forgotten.

Leading up to this weekend we'll be highlighting Veterans day events throughout the region.
Head to this story on our web site to learn more about the wall that heals.

Click here for help with PTSD

Click here to learn how sign up as a volunteer at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.
Click here to learn about the mobile Wall That Heals.

Click here to learn more about Altoona's Wall That Heals.

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