Saturday, September 29, 2018

“Dads Matter" VA program for healing families with PTSD

Dads back from war, struggling with PTSD, discover how to be good fathers in new Veterans Affairs program
Orange County Register
PUBLISHED: September 27, 2018

Kevin Lynch looks at seven of his fellow veterans and wastes no time revealing how tough it is for men who have been splattered with the blood of war to be good fathers.
Tristan Foust, with his 3-month-old son, Tristan, and Mason Donnell, attend a group meeting for combat veterans who want to become better dads, at the North Orange County Vet Center in Garden Grove on Saturday, September 22, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)
“Let’s admit it, except for one of us, we’re all in a 12-step program,” Lynch exclaims, leaning back in his chair and throwing his hands up in the air. “Most of us here are rebuilding our lives.”

It is a recent Saturday and Lynch, along with his brothers in arms, is 10 weeks into a new model program called “Dads Matter.” If successful, the Veterans Administration could roll it out across the nation.

Sure, Lynch, a former Navy search and rescue corpsman, just blew up the dumbest tenet of many 12-step programs and that is to dump stigma on top of stigma by so-called experts who insist on anonymity. But on this day, not only have the men agreed to share personal battles — they have mustered the courage to go public.
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