Wounded Times

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Afghanistan veteran with PTSD healing by helping cats

Therapy from 1 wounded warrior to another
The Leaf-Chronicle
BY PHILIP GREY
January 1, 2014

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — There are four wounded, ill and injured warriors living in the Voris household. One of them is human; the other three are cats.

Aaron Voris treats the animals like soulmates. A former infantry soldier, he served with the "Red Currahees" of 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

As a result of a particularly rough deployment in Afghanistan, he suffers from back and leg injuries, but even more from traumatic brain injury and severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

He's out of the Army now and working toward becoming a veterinary technician.

Together with his wife, Stephanie, and stepdaughter, Ally, he is getting some practice in as the caretaker of three formerly homeless cats — each damaged in its own way.

Aaron said that, like him, they carry the scars and hurts of hard experience.

Lucy, an undersized and sickly cat, has a type of herpes affecting the lungs. It is a permanent condition and expensive to treat, but Lucy is family, and the expense is borne.
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