Local Mansfield veteran advocates for others through social work
By Rebekah Garcia
November 10, 2020
MANSFIELD—Mansfield resident and U.S. Army veteran Antwan Woods takes a short break from his work interning with the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs for a Zoom interview. Sitting in his parked vehicle to chat, he possesses a kind, open demeanor and exudes confidence as he speaks about his past military service and current work advocating for others.
Woods served in the U.S. Army from March 2011 until April 2017. After basic combat training and advanced individual training to be a small arms and artillery repairer—or, “in civilian terms, basically a weapons mechanic”—he was stationed at Camp Red Cloud in South Korea. At Camp Red Cloud, Woods was placed on the 2nd Infantry Division Taekwondo Team.
In his current internship with the Chalmers P. Wylie Veterans Clinic in Columbus, Woods works with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse disorders. He does intervention with female soldiers who acquired PTSD through military sexual trauma.
Although civilians have made great strides in recent years to destigmatize mental health conversations, Woods observes the prevailing mentality within the military remains to adapt and overcome. This leads to many veterans self-medicating with alcohol. He seeks to destigmatize conversations about mental health to ensure everyone receives the health care they need.