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Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Helen Noel, left, dances with the Decades Band.

The community had a chance to get educated last week, at the Black History Month observance, when retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, and motivational speaker, Helen Noel, detailed her family’s history, Post-Traumatic Stress and the causes she’s championed in her life. 

“Black history is my history, your history, Americans’ history,” Noel said. 

Noel said PTS used to be referred to as ‘shell shock,’ during World War I. 

“PTS is a new name to an old story,” she said. 

She detailed her scare from trauma when she was 2 and a near-death experience at age 7. 

“I have intrusive memories, heart palpitations and insomnia. I have been traumatized by many family members’ deaths and have experienced ‘anniversary reactions,’ she said. 

An anniversary reaction is when victims re-experience some of the trauma when then anniversary of their event happens. 

After Noel donated a kidney to a family member, she focused on causes to champion, like research on mercury, neurological issues and water safety. 

At the end of the Black History Month observance, Noel advised those with PTS to seek counseling and therapy. 

“Talking is therapy for trauma victims. Talking,” she said. 

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Attendees listen to the guest speaker, Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Helen Noel, during the Black History Month observance at the Officers' Club, Feb. 26.

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Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Helen Noel addresses attendees during the Black History Month observance at the Officers' Club, Feb. 26.