Showing posts with label after combat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label after combat. Show all posts

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Does the person in your life know you love them?

PTSD Patrol and Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 25, 2021

Does the person in your life know you love them? If you have PTSD and you are not talking to them about what is going on with you, then they will think you just don't love them anymore. Today the featured video is Bonnie Raitt, I Can't Make You Love Me because there have been too many conversations from women giving up on their marriages and relationships with veterans.

This can apply to husbands, because we also have to face the fact that there are female veterans too. It can apply to anyone with PTSD in a relationship because you are leaving them to believe you don't love them anymore. What other choice can they make if you won't tell them why you changed?

They can only base what they feel on how you treat them, how you act toward them and how you talk to them. It sucks!

You may be destroying a relationship that is strong enough to last the rest of your life because you won't talk to them or even try to get them to know what is in your heart.

"You can't make your heart feel something it won't," is what they think. I know because I almost gave up on my marriage. I remember driving and this song came on the radio. I'd cry hard enough I had to pull over until I could see better and wiped the tears from my face. I had no way of knowing if there was any love left or not, even though I knew what PTSD was.

What made it harder for me was dealing with what my ex-husband did when he tried to kill me, proving my life didn't matter to him, even though he said the words out of his mouth. My second husband and I have been married for over 36 years now and because he started to make the effort to trust me enough to talk about Vietnam, I was sure that while his actions had nothing to do with me even though it effected me deeply.

It is time to think about the person you share your life with or you won't be doing it much longer.
Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight
'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't

Remember, it is your life...get in and drive it! 
#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD

I Can’t Make You Love Me
Bonnie Raitt

Turn down the lights
Turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me
Tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don't patronize
Don't patronize me
'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't
I'll close my eyes, then I won't see
The love you don't feel when you're holding me
Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight
'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Michael Reid / Allen Shamblin
I Can’t Make You Love Me lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Amplified Administration 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Survivors Network assists crash survivors with PTSD

Group helps flight nurses resume ‘life of purpose’
Health: Survivors Network assists crash survivors with PTSD
Staff writer
Published August 20, 2012

As her emergency medical helicopter began to plummet after losing power while lifting off with a patient from an Olympia hospital, flight nurse Krista Haugen couldn’t help thinking “not again.”

One month earlier, three of her colleagues at Airlift Northwest were killed when their helicopter crashed into Puget Sound near Edmonds.

With their memorial services fresh in her mind, Haugen was left to consider her own mortality as she fell from the sky.

The Oct. 28, 2005, crash from 70 feet above Providence St. Peter Hospital totaled the aircraft, but everyone made it out alive.

For Haugen, however, the effects would linger in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder and would eventually lead to the end of her career as a flight nurse.

“It proved to be pretty overwhelming,” the 44-year-old Gig Harbor resident recalled last week. “It’s not what the aircraft looks like post-accident; it’s what happens in your mind.”

Though PTSD cut short one part of her professional life, it led to the start of another: She helped form the Survivors Network for Air and Surface Medical Transport.

Last month, she was honored with the University of Washington Tacoma’s Distinguished Alumni Award for her work as co-founder and chairwoman of the Survivors Network. She earned a master’s degree in nursing from UWT in 1998.
read more here

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vietnam Vet Doug Sterner, curator of the courageous

A Vietnam vet's growing database and quest to prevent 'forgotten valor'
Stars and Stripes
Published: July 16, 2012

WASHINGTON — Wiry and quick at age 62, Doug Sterner nearly leaped out of his chair to pull a folder off a shelf. It was a list of Army medal recipients that couldn’t possibly exist. Officials believed the only copies of personnel files needed to assemble it — along with some 18 million files in total — were consumed in a fire at a military personnel records center in St. Louis in 1973.

Yet there it was, shelved in a converted bedroom in his Alexandria, Va., apartment with hundreds of other color-coded folders containing more documentation of heroism that might otherwise be forgotten.

“That fire is the biggest dodge,” he said.

Thanks to the Army’s bureaucratic redundancy, most of what he needed to assemble this list was filed at National Archives in College Park, Md. Yet the fire was one of several reasons cited by the Department of Defense for not attempting to assemble a list of military valor medals.

“Anyone who says this can’t be done simply doesn’t have the will to do it,” Sterner said.

For nearly 15 years, as the DOD demurred, Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and former Army combat engineer, did the work himself. He abandoned the mountain views of Pueblo, Colo. — he and his wife had led a drive to change the town’s official nickname to “Home of Heroes” to honor four the city’s four living Medal of Honor recipients — for the northern Virginia suburbs to be closer to existing records.
read more here

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Iraq And Afghanistan War Veterans Aren't Using VA Benefits

Yesterday when I wrote that the DOD message has been PTSD is your fault attacking the attitude they can "train their brains" to be tough enough to prevent PTSD. This is an example of how this message translates to the troops.

Iraq And Afghanistan War Veterans Aren't Using VA Benefits, Study Concludes

Though thousands of injured troops in need of medical care have recently come home, they're not taking advantage of the Department of Veterans Affairs services, a soon-to-be-published study reports.

Since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began, only 51 percent of eligible veterans have sought care through the VA, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, that will be published in January, found. Researchers say that these servicemen and servicewomen are reluctant to call on the VA for help for a number of reasons. They may be unfamiliar with the system, live far from a center or doubt the quality of care available.

"To reach young veterans, we need to establish partnerships that cut across traditional institutional domains," Rachel Widome wrote in the CDC study.

When Scott Kimball returned from Iraq and was battling PTSD, he couldn’t bear admitting that he had a problem.

“I was scared to go to the VA,” Kimball, secretary for Iraq Veterans Against the War, told the Huffington Post in November. “I didn’t want to be a messed up veteran.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs is looking to an increased budget and improved communications to reach more veterans.

Next year's budget will hit $61.85 billion, a 10.6 percent increase from 2010. Of those funds, $6 billion will go to mental health care and $52.5 billion in advance money for the VA medical care program in 2013, according to NBC.
read more here

If the VA really wants to improve communications they need to understand what they are really up against. The DOD has done enough damage to them already. After being told to "train their brains" to prevent PTSD, ending up with PTSD because of this "program" makes them feel it is their fault. They feel there is something "wrong" with them or "weak" and that's why they have PTSD. We really need to wonder if the DOD has been informing the troops that all the repeated deployments they have been sent on increased their risk of being hit by PTSD by 50% for each one of them. I doubt it. The Army commission the study around the same time programs came out to "train their brains" oddly enough. The risk of redeployments didn't stop them from doing it but they expected a better outcome.

From December 26, 2011
Study Some veterans reluctant to use VA

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

DOD message has been PTSD is your fault

DOD message has been PTSD is your fault 
by Chaplain Kathie

The Department of Defense has been unknowingly delivering a message to the troops that PTSD is their fault while expecting a different result. Why? Because they still don't understand what causes PTSD in the first place or the best way to heal it.

This is one of those moments I am grateful I am not a "military Chaplain" instead of a Chaplain working with veterans. I don't have to worry about being divided between holding the DOD line and taking care of the men and women serving in it.

Their attitude has been that servicemen and women can "train" brains to prevent it. They point to soldiers that have come through the training and have been able to prevent PTSD. Did it ever once occur to them these men and women wouldn't have ended up with PTSD in the first place? 

The rate is normally one out of three. That means two will walk away from a traumatic event with just memories and not much more than that. One will walk away with it embedded in their soul changing how they think and feel about everything.

When they tell this group they can become mentally tough before combat it delivers a message to them they are weak and didn't train their brains right if they end up with PTSD after combat.

The reluctance to seek help stems from this. Do they think that a tough Marine will admit they have PTSD when they were told weak minds end up PTSD? Do they think they will seek help when they've seen what it did to the careers of others? If the "two out of three" also believe the notion the others were just too weak, do you think for a second they will treat the PTSD soldier the same way afterwards?

When the report came out about another 125 million Comprehensive Soldier Fitness no one in congress has bothered to ask if it works or not. The reports coming out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord prove it doesn't work.
"At Joint Base Lewis-McChord, described by the independent military newspaper Stars and Stripes last year as "the most troubled base in the military," all of these factors have crystallized into what some see as a community-wide crisis. A local veterans group calls it a "base on the brink."
It has been advertised as some kind of new program but is based on Battlemind nonsense that the troops can train their brains to prevent PTSD leaving them with the impression if they do end up with PTSD, they were weak and didn't train their brains right.
Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program aims to equip troops mentally Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum of Gulf War fame has been deployed to lead the military's new program to prepare soldiers for the psychic trauma of war and its aftermath.
"Aims to equip troops mentally" is something they've been trying to do since the Revolution. Bootcamp is supposed to be about training them to be ready for combat mentally as well as physically. The claim of "new program" is also false since it has been tried since 2008 under a bunch of different names so the public will have the impression the military is doing all they can to stop the suicides and suffering from PTSD. Brig. General Cornum earned bragging rights with the trauma she survived but that should not translate into running a program without showing results. She is not alone on this.

The notion of training the minds has been around since the reports of suicides going up began to make the news. The truth is, they cannot become more mentally tough. How much tougher can you get than to be willing to die for someone else, ready to endure all kinds of physical and mental hardships than they are when they enlist? The thing is, they can train their brains to heal from where they've been. The key word is "heal" because there isn't a cure anymore than anyone can "cure" their own past. We can learn from experiences, grow from them, become a better person, enjoy simple pleasures more, but we cannot change what happened. On the flip side, we can also be destroyed by the events, especially the ones we had no control over, become so filled with regret we hate everything and everyone, be brought down so low that we find no hope in a better day and nothing reaches our hearts. We can push people away, feel as if we don't deserve to be happy or forgiven and even regret feeling loved.

Here's some numbers for you now.
The military answer has been to medicate the ones they want to keep and kick out the ones they don't want. They send them back into combat medicated and expect them to be able to function? Therapy must be for only for veterans then since the VA does offer it along with medications. As for spiritual healing, you can forget that one too. Reports came out regarding the attitude of 60% of military Chaplains more about getting converts to their own denomination than it has been about saving lives and healing them. Suffering servicemen and women are told that if they do not convert, they'll go to hell.

 This is why the numbers are so high but the most infuriating part of all of this is that none of it had to happen. This all needs to stop but it won't until congress demands accountability and stops funding what has been one failure after another.


If you think this is "new" news, here are a couple of reports from 2008 and 2009 most people have forgotten about. These links are still active and they show what was known back then and how lessons learned did not cause changes needed.

February 11, 2009 3:05 PM

The Military's Showdown Over PTSD
By Kimberly Dozier

(CBS) Twenty-two year old combat medic Jonathan Norrell volunteered for every mission during his year in Iraq.

He was bombed, ambushed, treating wounded under fire - and the memories still haunt him, CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier reports.

"The things that affected me the most weren't the IEDs, which I went through six or seven of, and all the firefights, and all the combat," Norrell said. "It was the psychological stuff, the people I failed to help."

By the time he came off his tour of duty he was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: anxiety, sleeplessness, flashbacks. Military doctors recommended immediate discharge and treatment but the command refused.

Instead they forced him into combat training exercises. He turned to drugs and alcohol.

"I just lost it," Norrell said. "I didn't wanna do it anymore."

So the Army he served so well in Iraq threatened to expel him without medical benefits.

Norrell's case reveals the showdown inside the military, between the new school and old school view on how to handle PTSD - one of the signature injuries of the Afghan and Iraq wars.

And experts warn there's a storm coming: a generation of soldiers coming home with PTSD.
read more here

Antidepressant Use Soars Among Deployed

Stars and Stripes
June 12, 2008
For the first time in history, a sizable and growing number of U.S. combat troops are taking daily doses of antidepressants to calm nerves strained by repeated and lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report in Time Magazine.
In its June 16 cover story, the magazine reports that the medicines are intended not only to help troops keep their cool but also to enable the already strapped Army to preserve its most precious resource: soldiers on the front lines.

Citing the Army’s fifth Mental Health Advisory Team report, using an anonymous survey of U.S. troops taken last fall, Time wrote that about 12 percent of combat troops in Iraq and 17 percent of those in Afghanistan are taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills to help them cope.

Escalating violence in Afghanistan and the more isolated mission have driven troops to rely more on medication there than in Iraq, military officials told Time.

The Army estimates that authorized drug use splits roughly fifty-fifty between troops taking antidepressants -- largely the class of drugs that includes Prozac and Zoloft -- and those taking prescription sleeping pills such as Ambien, Time wrote.

Editorial Board wrong on Joint Bast Lewis-McChord was an attempt to defend what the military has been doing but as the above points out, the results show a different story.

What infuriates me the most is that reporters have a responsibility to report facts, not just what they are told at the moment. That is exactly what has been happening leaving the impression the military has been "learning" on the job instead of repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

When you read the link to my response here are some more facts you may find interesting.
Suicide Prevention
Suicide and Public Policy
• 1997-U.S. Congress -S.Res 84 and H.Res 212
• 1999-Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Suicide
• 2001-National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
• 2002-Institute of Medicine Report-Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative
• 2003-President’s New Freedom Commission
• 2004-Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act
• 2005-Federal Action Agenda
• 2006-Establishment of Federal Working Group on Suicide Prevention
• 2007-Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act

Outcomes of Hotline Referral
1,771 Admissions
143 Enrolled
5,902 Referrals to other services
506 Immediate evaluations
This all happened well after the "training" of their brains to become "mentally tough" enough.

Yet this was happening in 2010

Suicide Rivals The Battlefield In Toll On U.S. Military
June 17, 2010
Nearly as many American troops at home and abroad have committed suicide this year as have been killed in combat in Afghanistan. Alarmed at the growing rate of soldiers taking their own lives, the Army has begun investigating its mental health and suicide prevention programs.

But the tougher challenge is changing a culture that is very much about "manning up" when things get difficult.

This is the first in an occasional series of stories on the problem of suicides in the military.

Stephen Colley, 22, killed himself in May 2007, six months after returning from a tour in Iraq.
The Case Of Stephen Colley

Military veteran Edward Colley served in the Air Force and the Army. Three of his children also served in the military, and his son-in-law was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq.

Colley, 53, and his wife, who live in Los Angeles, also have three other kids, but the tradition of military service is on hold. "Mom prohibits the younger ones from joining the military now," he says. "You might understand the prohibition in our house."

The mother's ban was imposed after their son Stephen killed himself in May 2007, six months after returning from a tour in Iraq. Stephen, 22, had suffered depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and his young marriage was in trouble.
read more here

When you read anything, remember, it is based on what is known at the time but all too often, they never bother to look back to see what was known before it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A day in the life of a veterans' advocate

A day in the life of a veterans' advocate: Helping those who served

Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011
By Gail T. Boatman Special to the BCT

WESTAMPTON — Walter Tafe is a man with a message to deliver.

He believes that if more people knew what he knows, the world would be a better place.

"I want to get the word out that many veterans and widows of veterans don't know about the benefits they may be entitled to,'' the Eastampton resident said.

A veteran himself, with 30 years of Air Force service behind him, Tafe is director of the Burlington County Department of Military and Veterans Services.

His office is in the county's Human Services Facility, a large brick building at Route 541 and Woodlane Road. A steady stream of veterans and their families files into his book- and photograph-filled space looking for help.

Many are frustrated, bringing with them heartbreaking stories. Others leave with a new sense of financial well-being. These are the success stories, and Tafe celebrates them.
read more here

Sunday, September 4, 2011

4-H students to help train service dogs for soldiers

Centralia 4-H students to help train service dogs for soldiers
A Washington State University Extension and Lewis County 4-H program will train service dogs to help ease the pain and nervousness of wounded soldiers returning to civilian life.

By Christopher Brewer
The (Centralia) Chronicle

Many soldiers returning from war bring with them injuries and emotional trauma that make it hard to resume the lives they knew before deploying.

But one program the Washington State University Extension and Lewis County 4-H will begin soon aims to make that transition easier for wounded warriors and other disabled people by providing service dogs to help ease their pain and nervousness.

Through the Lewis County 4-H Service Dog Project, willing 4-H volunteers in grades six through 12 will raise and train 12 puppies provided by Brigadoon Service Dogs of Bellingham for use in a variety of daily activities.

The dogs will be trained for constant companionship, says project leader Tim Brix, of Centralia, who will run the program with his wife, Deanna.

"We'll get each kid a puppy and they'll raise them in an environment basically where they will be exposed to everything a human would in their daily lives," Brix said. "They're not just learning to sit down and stay, but they'll be taken throughout the community so they're exposed to different noises, different places. We're thinking these will more than likely be used by veterans who suffer from PTSD."
read more here

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Army vet with PTSD sought the treatment he needed by taking hostages

Army vet with PTSD sought the treatment he needed by taking hostages – but got jail instead
Stars and Stripes
Published: August 18, 2011


“I’m Robert Anthony Quinones, but my friends call me Q,” the former Army sergeant told the ER medic as he pointed a 9 mm handgun at the medic’s head.

“Can I call you Q?” asked the nervous medic, Sgt. Hubert Henson.


“OK,” Henson replied. “Well, Q, if you put the gun away, I can take you upstairs to behavioral health to get help.”

Quinones scoffed, instead ordering Henson to carry his three bags: a shaving kit, a duffel stuffed with clothes and books, and a backpack bulging with two assault rifles, a .38-caliber handgun, knives and ammunition.

Fifteen months of carnage in Iraq had left the 29-year-old debilitated by post-traumatic stress disorder. But despite his doctor’s urgent recommendation, the Army failed to send him to a Warrior Transition Unit for help. The best the Department of Veterans Affairs could offer was 10-minute therapy sessions — via videoconference.
read more here

Monday, June 14, 2010

Military wants your poems

Poetry has drawn in observers since the beginning of time, pulling them into worlds and lives they never would have otherwise known. War poetry, perhaps the most heart wrenching of all, explains what the soul lives with. Between losing friends and watching enemy die, to not being home for milestones in their children's lives to missing the one they love back home, and yes, the occasional Dear John letter coming to inform the soldier they will not be there when they return home, poems know no generational boundaries. Reading poems held in achieves from the Revolutionary War all the way thru to the wars of today, while the vocabulary may vary, the message is the same and just as powerful as if it were written today on Facebook or a crunched down to an eloquent tweet on Twitter. These poem not only deliver a message from the soul, they also help to heal the soul of the writer as well as the reader.

This is a wonderful thing to participate in.

Share Your Poetry With Us
Posted by Brigadier General Loree K. Sutton, DCoE Director on June 14, 2010

DCoE Director Brig. Gen. Loree K. Sutton.

The DCoE Blog Team wants your poetry! Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the criteria for poem submissions. All poems should be e-mailed to, in the body of the e-mail, not as an attachment.

The tradition of Warrior poetry is thousands of years old. For as long as wars have been fought, Soldiers have expressed their feelings and experiences with poems and creative writing – a powerful outlet to help heal the invisible wounds of war and foster an unprecedented level of understanding.

Today marks the United States Army’s 235th Birthday, and it is also Flag Day. As the Nation commemorates both, and we’re thinking of our Warriors, Veterans and their loved ones, I encourage you to share your writings with us.
read more here
Share Your Poetry With Us

Monday, October 26, 2009

Female Warriors Engage in Combat in Iraq, Afghanistan

Female Warriors Engage in Combat in Iraq, Afghanistan
Vague Language in Policies Puts in Question Legality of Roles for Women in Combat
Oct. 25, 2009

The image of young women in a hot, dusty combat zone toting automatic weapons is still startling to some.

But right now there are 10,000 women serving in Iraq, more than 4,000 in Aghanistan. They have been fighting and dying next to their male comrades since the wars began.

"I can't help but think most Americans think women aren't in combat," says Specialist Ashley Pullen who was awarded a Bronze Star for valor in 2005 for her heroic action in Iraq where she served with a military police unit. "We're here and we're right up with the guys."

Technically they're restricted from certain combat roles. The Department of Defense prohibits women from serving in assignments "whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground."

Nevertheless, women serving in support positions on and off the frontlines, where war is waged on street corners and in markets, are often at equal risk. There have been 103 women who have been killed in Iraq and 15 others in Afghanistan.
read more here
Female Warriors Engage in Combat in Iraq and Afghanistan

Friday, August 7, 2009

PTSD on Trial:Suicidal Iraq veteran charged with attempted murder

Before you judge too quickly, this veteran's wife said he didn't try to kill her. She stopped him from trying to kill himself.

"If you catch this early, you stop a cycle of people who are self-medicating or acting out in a violent way," says Ron Crowder, a district court judge and retired major general from the National Guard who served in Vietnam.

Soldier's invisible war: Iraq vet charged with attempted murder
Story Highlights
Soldier accused of trying to kill wife, could face up to 15 years in jail

Wife says prosecutors have it all wrong -- her husband didn't try to kill her

Thomas Delgado's case may go before new veterans' court in Colorado

Wife says her husband was trying to commit suicide and she wrestled gun away

By Jim Spellman and Wayne Drash

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) -- Army Spc. Thomas Delgado saved lives as a combat medic on the front lines in Iraq, earning a Purple Heart when a bomb rocked his vehicle during his nearly yearlong tour. Back home, he was sometimes assigned the role of insurgent during combat training at a mock Iraqi village in California.

What really happened?

For the Delgados, the evening of September 24, 2008, just days after their fifth wedding anniversary, began with drinks and an argument. Then everything escalated with whirlwind speed.

Shayla Delgado says her husband grabbed a gun and rattled off suicidal thoughts. "I've been thinking about how I'm going to do it," she recalled him saying. "I just can't live like this any more. I can't do it, I can't do it."

"He was telling me, 'Take our son and leave because you don't want to be here for this,'" she said, breaking down in tears. "I was really, really scared."

She says she pleaded, begged him, to get on the phone with his father. The two spoke. The soldier kept telling his dad how much he loved him, she says. She rushed to the bedroom, cradling their sleeping year-old son, and sprinted out of the apartment.

She dropped the infant off at a neighbor's and returned home, heading straight to the bathroom where her husband was holed up. She kicked in the door. "I see him with the gun in his mouth and I just ripped the gun from his arms and I ran."

It was during that scuffle to wrestle the gun away, prosecutors say, that the soldier tried to kill his wife, breaking her nose and attempting to choke her. Prosecutors have charged Thomas Delgado with one count of first-degree attempted murder and an array of other charges. They have offered a plea bargain of 5 to 15 years in prison -- a deal Delgado has so far rejected.
read more here

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ministries pave a spiritual path to help veterans with PTSD

Ministries pave a spiritual path to help veterans with PTSD

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald, Special for USA TODAY
Hopelessness haunted Tim Pollock for years after an Iraqi insurgent blew off half his skull during a reconnaissance operation in 2004. Back home in Columbiana, Ohio, the retired Army infantryman drank hard, bought a gun and considered suicide.
But today Pollock, 30, has a renewed sense of purpose despite his seizures and other war-related disabilities. He visits soldiers in hospitals. He coaches veterans who struggle as he does with agitation, anxiety and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And he's studying for ministry.
Ministries pave a spiritual path to help veterans with PTSD

PTSD: Puts veterans at increased risk of dementia
ARMY: Monitoring faulted in rise of soldier suicides
CATHARSIS: Stressed troops take cues from ancient plays

"I'll always have post-traumatic stress, but I'm learning through God how to control that," says Pollock, who leads a veteran support group through Point Man International Ministries, an independent non-profit. "I'm learning how to change my feelings of anger into feelings of love and help people with their problems."

As soldiers return home from Iraq and Afghanistan, congregations are discovering how spirituality can help veterans afflicted with postwar stress. But many pastors remain unsure how to help when veterans contend with chronic nightmares, outbursts and panic attacks.
read more here
Ministries pave a spiritual path to help veterans with PTSD

Last year I did a video for Point Man Ministries because they touched my heart so much. Please watch it and see the good these people do.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

VA begins effort to help veterans in jail

VA begins effort to help veterans in jail

The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday Aug 5, 2009 9:17:19 EDT

DENVER — The Department of Veterans Affairs has started a nationwide effort to find veterans in jails for minor brushes with the law and offer them medical treatment in hopes of preventing repeat crimes.

The Veterans Justice Outreach Program was launched this year before an Army study released July 15 found a possible link between intense combat and 11 slayings allegedly committed by a handful of Fort Carson soldiers returning from deployment.
read more here
VA begins effort to help veterans in jail

Friday, June 19, 2009

VA's Suicide Prevention Message Carried on 21,000 Buses

VA's Suicide Prevention Message Carried on 21,000 Buses

WASHINGTON (June 19, 2009) - The telephone number for the suicide
prevention "lifeline" of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is now
being carried on more than 21,000 city buses in 124 communities across
the United States and will run until Sept. 1, 2009.

The advertisements carry a message of hope for those who have served
their country and are undergoing an emotional crisis.

"We continue to look for new, innovative ways to reach our Veterans,"
Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth said. "VA wants to make sure to
exhaust all avenues to reach those in need of our services."

VA is partnering with Blu Line Media, an outdoor advertising company
which specializes in helping businesses and government tell their
stories through educational outreach campaigns, cause-related social
marketing and integrated communications.

Since its inception in July 2007, the VA Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1
800-273-TALK, has rescued more than 3,000 Veterans and provided
counseling for more than 120,000 Veterans and their loved ones at home
and overseas. The lifeline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week
by trained mental health professionals prepared to deal with immediate

Marketing the lifeline through mass transit campaigns was piloted in the
Washington D.C. area during the summer of 2008 with great success.

VA has also promoted awareness of the toll-free number through national
public service announcements featuring actor Gary Sinise and television
journalist Deborah Norville. The bus advertisement and public service
announcements are available for download via YouTube and at

Suicide Prevention
Suicide Prevention is everyone's business, and VA is enhancing its efforts in this vital area of veteran health.
Blue Ribbon Report on Suicide Prevention in the Veteran PopulationKnow the SignsWatch for these key suicide warning signs, and provide the Lifeline number to anyone exhibiting them.
Talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
Trying to get pills, guns, or other ways to harm oneself
Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
Acting in a reckless or risky way
Feeling trapped, like there is no way out
Saying or feeling there's no reason for living.
How to recognize when to ask for help (MS Word) Signs, Myths and Realities
Suicide Risk Assessment Guide (pdf pocket card)