NEW HYDE PARK - First Sgt. Clint Castro spent 15 months on the front line as a medic in Iraq. When he came home to East Meadow, he faced another kind of battle against post-traumatic stress disorder.
He says it led him to drink and lose his temper, and he isolated himself from his family.
Castro turned to Northwell Health's Rosen Family Wellness Center for help. He admits it wasn't easy initially to ask for assistance.
Kevin Lacz, who served as a Navy SEAL, says that reluctance to admit there's a problem is something he has seen time and time again. Lacz played himself in the film "American Sniper" and was good friends with Chris Kyle, the SEAL who was the subject of that film.
Lacz says veterans should never be ashamed if they are having problems. "A lot of men and women put on that uniform that armor, and they don't want to talk about it. And I think one of the most important and therapeutic things to do is talk about it," he said at an event for veterans on Long Island Monday. Northwell Health held the event to spread awareness of its treatment program.
Doctors say there have been great advances in PTSD treatment and that places like the Rosen Center are a great resource for vets on the Island. Sgt. Castro agrees, but says troubled vets need to take the first step.
"You have to ask, and if you don't, you are going to continue to struggle," he says.