Support for the Veterans – PTSD

Many soldiers returning from war have survived one, two, three or more deployments.  They may have returned with serious  physical injuries, traumatic brain injuries, loss of limbs, visual impairments and hearing loss.   Those are the identifiable physical wounds.

Then there are the invisible wounds that surface after soldiers return home.  Loved ones notice changes in their behavior, paranoia, anger, guilt, depression,  and flashbacks during sleep.  Many struggle with survivor’s guilt.  Others can’t find peace within because of the horrors they’ve seen and experienced.  Some are homeless.  I am talking about the veterans who return from war and struggle to adapt to everyday life.

Since 2003, more than 40,000 cases of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) have been diagnosed among veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.  PTSD has existed since the beginning of modern civilization.  It was first identified during the Civil War.  It has been called many names, soldier’s heart, combat stress, battle fatigue, and shell-shock.

The U.S. Army has launched a campaign to reach soldiers at risk.   If you click on the link, you will see on Suicide Prevention and another video, “Shoulder to Shoulder: Finding Strength and Hope Together,” designed to promote health, risk reduction, and suicide prevention.   There also is a book available to soldiers, The Home Front, available through the Army Suicide Prevention Office.

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The National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center (NVWHC), nestled in the beautiful alpine setting of Angel Fire, NM, is a program that offered eight week-long intensive therapeutic programs in 2011 for both veterans suffering with PTSD and their spouses. There was no charge for the 298 people who participated.  For some of the veterans attending (representing various wars), it was the first time they’ve spoken about what happened to them.  And, it was first time spouses spoke.  The retreats are built around traditional, alternative and Native American healing practices.  Those who attended have kept in touch through NVWHC reunions.  The program is accepting applications.   In 2011, news journalist Lisa Ling featured the camp on her program, “Our America,” on the OWN network.  Although the site has a wonderful video, I wanted you to catch a closer glimpse of what Lisa filmed during that week.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

14 thoughts on “Support for the Veterans – PTSD

  1. I can’t imagine the strength it takes to serve on active duty. And I certainly can’t imagine how people manage to come back from that and go on with their lives. The things they have to see and do are things no person should ever have to deal with. And the rest of us are so lucky that they do what they do so we can live the lives we live. I’m glad programs such as these exist, and I think it’s wonderful that you are bringing them to our attention today of all days.

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    • I am so pleased you found the post interesting. It is vital we provide support and places where vets can get help. This is all more recent. Families need to heal when their loved ones return.

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    • Glad you approve Erik. I hope my posts this month have helped people realize that as a nation we need to support our military families. I think now you may understand PTSD. That is why I shared what I did. Maybe others won’t go through what our family did. Sorry I haven’t responded to posts, but am gone. I am using an iPad, and am having trouble commenting.

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    • I hope so too. But,timing is everything. I learned there were military families among our group. I needed to hit reach military families and vet groups. What I shared is really new. Thanks for your comments.

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  4. Thank God there are programs for the returning veterans and their spouses. They must all be thanked over and over again. And told they are loved, just the way they are. PTSD is a very real problem as are physical ones and not to be treated lightly.

    Thanks, Patricia for bring us closer to the military and sharing your knowledge.

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    • I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I noticed over Memorial Day weekend that there was a keen focus on military families and vets. Much of what I shared is new. Needed to reach the right groups. PTSD is very common and we need to support families in trouble. I know from personal experience. Thanks Clar!

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  5. I love the video clips. I taught PTSD in my abnormal psychology class. This post reminded me of so many ‘psych’ memories. Thank you for all the information-filled posts you share with all of us, Pat. 🙂

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