Sunday, July 30, 2017

If Helping Veterans Doesn't Hurt You, You're Doing It Wrong

Simple and Easy for You, Not Helping Them
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 30, 2017
If working with veterans does not hurt you, then you are doing it wrong and for the wrong reasons. Simple as that. 

It is one thing that I have dealt with for 35 years. My heart breaks when they are suffering. It shatters when they will not believe that they can heal. My blood pressure rises when they hit their emotional lows, but what consumes my days is knowing what they are like on the other side of their darkest days and trying to get others out of their way.

If you have been a reader of Combat PTSD Wounded Times, you know I have no patience for all these stunts raising awareness that veterans are committing suicide. That "effort" does no good for anyone other than the ones seeking attention for what they know nothing about.

Helping them heal, changing the outcome, requires dedication to those in need of a reason to stay here.

I had to learn the hard way and for selfish reasons because when I fell in love with my veteran, I had to go to the library to learn why he was so different from the veterans in my family. That was back in 1982. Yep, I'm old but I was in my early 20's back then. 

Without the internet, we knew that healing PTSD had to come with an approach of the trinity-mind-body-spirit and we were right. It also requires a great deal of compassion for those working with these veterans but, to tell you the truth, it is all too often coming with a tremendous price we pay. There is no way to do this without getting "air support" through prayer and asking for guidance. To find the right words to use comes with being quiet and listening. To find the will to stop grieving for losses comes with being able to forgive ourselves. 

That is something I had to do after my husband's nephew committed suicide after I tried to get him to listen. It still haunts me after all these years, running the attempts through my head and the "would have, could have, should have" questions there will never be any answers to.

Oh, but I can assure you that there is not a day that goes by when I think this is not worth every moment of heartache or floods of tears that flow reading about one more that never seems to be the "one too many" folks keep talking about.

That one too many is the member of a family. He/she is a brother, sister, friend, and they lost their battle while others judge them and those who loved them judge themselves far too harshly.

So, take about half an hour and listen to an Iraq veteran talking about putting the gun to his head one day and the other day when he discovered he was not just forgiven, he had a new mission to save more lives after war.

The VA is paying attention to this aspect of healing. 
Treating veterans’ ‘inner wounds’: The role of spirituality 

Center of Excellence at the Canandaigua VA making strides in mission to prevent suicide Daily Messanger 
By Julie Sherwood 
Posted Jul 29, 2017
It’s no surprise that helping veterans find meaning in their lives after military service is crucial. Wounds of war, mental and physical, take their toll — not to mention separation from community and loved ones.
Last month, Gulf war veteran Ken Bardo of Phelps talked about the struggle. So did Vietnam veteran Gene Simes of Walworth. Both men have been in counseling for years, among other treatments, and expect they will need help for the rest of their lives.
“Sometimes we cry because it hurts,” said Simes.
What is surprising to some is how powerful a new treatment — based on an age-old philosophy that spirituality is good for you — could be in helping vets find meaning in their lives and thus help prevent veteran suicide.
For many veterans “self-image has just plummeted,” said Canandaigua VA Chaplain Robert Searle, who is behind a research study at the Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center. The study is about the effect of spiritual care on preventing suicide. Veterans feel guilt, they have “inner wounds,” Searle said. When a person is broken and bruised inside as many veterans are, they need to feel forgiveness and that their life has meaning, he said.
read more here

In other words, you fought for those you loved and were willing to die for them. Fight again for those you love and be willing to live for them.
If you are working with a group that is not working for the right reasons, then consider what Jesus told his disciples as He sent them on their way to do God's work,
Matthew 10:14 New International Version (NIV)
14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.

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