Mildura Weekly : Friday March 6 2015 Vol 9 No 17
12 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2015 SPENDING part of the day living in a world of fantasy can have posi- tive long-term and lasting effects on Australian returned servicemen and women. So much so that Vietnam vet John Heinze, who would be well-known to Mildura’s Vietnam vet community, has included virtual reality games into the popular world-wide monthly ex-service online website ‘Coastline Guardian.’ “There would be a few dozen Viet- nam vets around Mildura who would be very familiar with our content,” John said. “This is another way we can help with things like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety. The experts say it’s generally best to start with psychological treatment, rather than use medication as the first - and only - solution to the problem. “In other words, getting into the fantasy world as an escape can be a fabulous remedy.” Enter Mr Walker...The Phan- tom...The Ghost Who Walks, along with all ‘he usual crew, Guran the Bandar pygmy leader, Devil, Hero and Diana. John told the Mildura Weekly that Ward 17 the Repatriation Gen- eral Hospital in Adelaide held regular PTSD courses for veterans, along with a computer resource facility where patients could engross themselves in a world of reality gaming and fantasy comic characters. “The cornerstone of treatment involves confronting the traumat- ic memory and working through thoughts and beliefs associated with the experience,” John said. • Continued Page 19 THE Phantom is an Ameri- can adventure comic strip created by Lee Falk, who also created Mandrake the Magician. The Phantom is the 21st in a line of crime-fighters who originated in 1536, when the father of British sailor Christopher Walker was killed during a pirate attack. Swearing an oath on the skull of his father’s mur- derer to fight evil, Christo- pher started the legacy of the Phantom that would be passed from father to son, leaving people to give the mysterious figure nick- names such as ‘The Ghost Who Walks,’ ‘Guardian of the Eastern Dark’ and ‘The Man Who Cannot Die,’ be- lieving him to be immor- tal. Unlike many fiction- al costumed heroes, the Phantom does not have any super-powers, but re- lies on his strength, intel- ligence, firearm accuracy and some special friends... not to mention a fearsome reputation of being an im- mortal ‘ghost,’ to defeat his foes. Our Phantom is married (at last) to Diana Palmer, who he met while studying in the United States; they have two children, Kit and Heloise. Like all previous Phantoms, he lives in the ancient Skull Cave, and has a trained wolf, Devil, and a horse named Hero. The series began with a daily newspaper strip on February 17, 1936, fol- lowed by a colour Sunday strip on May 28, 1939; both are still running. At the peak of its popu- larity, the strip had a daily readership of 100 million. Experts say that psychological treatment, rather than medication, is a far better healing tool for ex-servicemen with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. So now... The Phantom helping vets deal with stress For those who came in late... • HELPING HAND: Editor of the online publication Coastline Guardian is John Heinze, who pledges an ongoing role to helping returned vets and their families.
Friday February 27 2015 Vol 9 No 16
Friday March 13 2015 Vol 9 No 18