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    Marine Corps Museum Opens ‘Respite Room’ as New Way to Help Visitors Deal with PTSD

    Marine Corps Museum Opens ‘Respite Room’ as New Way to Help Visitors Deal with PTSD

    Next to the upcoming Global War on Terror exhibit at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia, there is now a quiet place for veterans to reflect and find respite from images and artifacts in the museum that may evoke stressful memories of combat and service.

    The respite room, as officials dubbed it, was unveiled Wednesday in front of a crowd of roughly 100 people, including veterans, Marines, sailors and loved ones celebrating the commemoration of a yearslong effort to bring the space to reality — and further a still-difficult conversation about the effects of post-traumatic stress.

    The idea for the respite room was born in 2019 when a retired Marine Corps major general, James Kessler, asked Ron Zaczek, a decorated veteran and helicopter crew chief, and his wife Grace to create a space for veterans like Ron — who experienced post-traumatic stress from their time in combat — to find a moment of peace.

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    The couple jumped at the chance to continue the “mission of keeping our Marines safe in their home,” Grace said. Ron, who authored two books about his combat experience, passed away early last year. Pictures of him during and after his military service temporarily adorned the respite room in his honor.

    Partially quoting Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, Grace said, “All wars are fought twice…

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