Father, Son Reminisce on War

By: Landon Cassman Email
By: Landon Cassman Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- War does things to a person that most of us non-military folks can never understand. Just ask father and son veterans Vern and Rodd Friday.

"Veterans need to help veterans, I mean they really do. That's what it's all about. Helping each other. You know, it's pretty important,” said Rodd.

40 years after fighting in Vietnam, Rodd Friday received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the local VA clinic. He says talking to fellow veterans and VA doctors is helping him to heal, and hopes other veterans find the strength to ask for help.

"I just had problems all my life and I guess I just never realized it. They said “Gosh it's never too late.” I mean they got World War II vets coming out. Even if you think you have a problem, there's people there, wonderful people there to help you,” Rodd Friday said.

Rodd and his 92-year-old father, Vern, who fought in World War II, spend each Veterans Day together reliving the stories of the wars in which they fought.

"I'm just thankful to be here and realizing the freedoms that we have. It changes your whole opinion of life, I mean something like this. I mean it really has a pretty dramatic effect,” said Friday.

Rodd Friday says he began treatment for PTSD a year and a half ago at the Rockford VA clinic, and says it is one of the best decisions he's ever made.

Rodd and Vern both say fighting in war is something they would never wish on another person. They just encourage new veterans coming home from war zones to talk with other vets and get help if needed.
Local vets are now able to get more convenient help, now that the VA clinic on Rockford’s east side is open.


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