Emily DroobyJun 6, 2018, 10:19 pmJun 7, 2018, 5:29 pm

Missing veteran from Waldwick found safe

Thomas Podschelne, an Iraq War veteran who suffers from PTSD, was found in Orange County, New York


WYCKOFF - On June 1, Thomas Podschelne, a veteran of the Iraq War who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, went missing from Clifton, New Jersey. After walking over 30 miles, through back roads and over state lines, he was spotted in Monroe, New York, on June 4, bringing relief to his worried family.

Podschelne's family says that his disappearance can be explained by his PTSD.

"What he told me was when he walks, it brings him back to the military," said Chelsea Podschelne, Thomas' daughter. "He's tried going for help, but that's his escape; walking is his escape. It makes him forget the monsters he describes in his head."

Thomas is now at a facility to receive help for his PTSD, and his family is sharing their story in order to help others understand the mental disorder better.

"Let them talk about it," said Chlesea Podschelne. "It's okay, if they go back, let them have their flashbacks, but make sure they get help. Bring them to a local hospital, tell them it's OK to get a voluntary psych evaluation. Don't be scared; your families will be with you all the time. They're always there to support you."

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Jersey City, New Jersey