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Prisoner of War, Rehabilitation
There's a one of kind center at NAS Pensacola where prisoners of war are treated.
It's called the Robert E. Mitchell Center.
It provides unique services to former POWs and their families, including a yearly assessment that includes both physical and psychological evaluations.
The POWs who come through this center are mainly those who served in Vietnam, but the center also treats POWs who served in Desert Storm, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Vietnam POWs suffered malnurtition, general abuse, and various types of torture.
Those POWs were held the longest in US history.
"In fact, their families were prepared and led to believe that they were all coming home with profund psychiatric problems and not be able to bounce back," said Dr. Jeffrey Moore.
But that's not the case at all.
Dr. Moore says most POWs have had much success with being able to re-integrate into society.
In fact, many of them went on to have successful careers in politics, a prime example being Sen. John McCain who was treated at the center.
"Some people bounce back very quickly. Others bounce back later. Some are still dealing with PTSD and getting treatment for that," said Dr. Moore.
POWs face a multitude of challenges, both physical and mental.
A benefit of this center is that it's a long-term medical follow-up program.
POWs come here voluntarily once a year and can do that for as long as it's needed.
"Since we know these people so well, we can look at the type of person that had the experience, not just the type of experience the person had," said Dr. Moore.
The Mitchell Center has evaluated more than 500 of the former Vietnam POWs since its inception.
The treatment here is offered at no cost to the patients.