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'We Pretend The Vets Don't Exist'

Author and former marine Anthony Swofford gets to the bottom of an epidemic.

I was sitting next to Melissa, a call responder at the VA Crisis Hotline in Canandaigua, N.Y., when she looked at me and whispered, 'He just said he thinks he should walk out into traffic on Interstate 5 and end it all, that life is not worth living.'

Posted in Veterans News



442nd Vets Lead to Better PTSD Therapy

By MELISSA TANJI
Staff Writer
, The Maui News

Thanks to the local World War II 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team veterans he has treated for decades, Makawao psychologist Richard Sword has developed a better way to assist those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sword has teamed up with internationally renowned psychologist and former Stanford University professor Philip Zimbardo on a new book released last month titled "The Time Cure: Overcoming PTSD with the New Psychology of Time Perspective Therapy."

 

1877 Views | 164 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



A Marine's Death Brings Together His Dad And His Battlefield Buddy

By Michael M. Phillips
Wall Street Journal
Pg. 1

HOOVER, Ala.—Two years ago, Matthew Proctor dropped to his knees in the Afghan dirt and watched his best friend bleed to death.

These days, when dreams get disturbing or guilt eats at his gut, there is one person the former Marine corporal is likely to call: Thomas Rivers Sr., his dead friend's father.

When Mr. Rivers, 60 years old and a pharmaceutical executive, feels himself sinking into black depression or misses the pleasures of raising a son, it is the 24-year-old Cpl. Proctor he confides in or invites over for a boat ride. "He lost a best friend, and in a sense I lost a best friend as well as my son," says Mr. Rivers. "That is a bond we share."

War sunders some relationships and forges others. More than 6,500 Americans have died in Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving gaping holes in families across the nation. Out of duty or kindness, guilt or need, the troops who survived often step forward to fill the voids their buddies left.

1489 Views | 137 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



A War Veteran's Identity Crisis

July saw a record number of suicides in the Army and among recent veterans. I was nearly one of them.

I suffer from both traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, the two most common conditions of suicidal veterans. Sometimes life becomes overwhelming.

This summer, as has happened often before, I experienced severe depression, which leads to isolation. Then, when I was feeling most hopeless, I also started feeling tremendously reckless. I found myself feeling aggressive and impulsive, feelings that fuel erratic behavior. With each passing week of the summer, as I pushed yet another friend or family member away, it became easier to envision suicide as an option to break this insufferable tension.

Posted in Veterans News



A Welcome-Home Gift For Veterans: Jobs

By Mike Mullen and Steven A. Cohen

Our nation is finally emerging from one of the worst recessions in American history, yet for our military veterans there is no recovery in sight. The nation's unemployment rate is 8.1 percent. But the unemployment rate of our youngest military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan hovers at a stunning 29 percent.

Posted in Veterans News



Army Changes PTSD Evaluations

Forensic Methods Led To Loss Of Pensions; Soldiers retested after problems at Madigan

The Army Surgeon General's Office has issued new guidelines for diagnosing PTSD that criticize an approach once routinely used at Madigan Army Medical Center.

The policy, obtained by The Seattle Times, specifically discounts tests used to determine whether soldiers are faking symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. It says that poor test results do not constitute malingering.

The written tests often were part of the Madigan screening process that overturned the PTSD diagnoses of more than 300 patients during the past five years.

3218 Views | 171 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Army Establishes Hotline

The Army Medical Command has a hotline available for soldiers and veterans who have been screened by forensic psychiatric teams since 2007 as part of the evaluation process for medical retirement. Soldiers and veterans with concerns about their diagnosis may call 800-984-8523.

Posted in Veterans News



Army Joins Veterans Affairs and Other Military Services in Standardizing PTSD Diagnosis and Treatment

USNavySeals.com

The Army, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other military services, is standardizing the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, otherwise known as post-traumatic stress disorder, in an attempt to increase the soldiers’ level of trust and fairness in the system.

1319 Views | 144 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



As Attitudes Shift On PTSD Media Slow To Remove Stigma

In 1999, President Bill Clinton convened the first White House Summit on Mental Health. The aim of the conference and the public campaign that followed was, in part, to educate the media on the moral and ethical imperative related to dispelling the stigma associated with mental illness. In a radio address to announce the conference, Mr. Clinton said, "Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all."

In recent years, the Department of Defense has made unprecedented progress toward eliminating the stigma associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues affecting service members. This cultural shift within the military is a sea change, as more and more of our service members are seeking and receiving the support they need and deserve from a grateful nation. In the face of that progress, it’s unfortunate that some in the media continue to perpetuate a stigma linking military service to mental illness and violence.

2149 Views | 327 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Bill Would Expand Fertility Coverage For Veterans

WASHINGTON -- The roadside bomb that exploded outside Andrew Robinson's Humvee in Iraq six years ago broke the Marine staff sergeant's neck and left him without use of his legs. It also cast doubt on his ability to father a child, a gnawing emotional wound for a then-23-year-old who had planned to start a family with his wife of less than two years.

The catastrophic spinal cord injury meant the couple's best hope for children was in vitro fertilization, an expensive and time-consuming medical procedure whose cost isn't covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robinson and his wife were forced to pay out of pocket, with help from a doctor's discount and drugs donated by other patients.

1376 Views | 183 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



California: Call For Veterans Agency Fixes Is Reversed

By Associated Press

A federal court on Monday reversed its demand that the Veterans Affairs Department overhaul its mental health care system. A special 11-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that any such changes need to be ordered by Congress or the president.

Posted in Veterans News



Companies Wrestle With Hiring Veterans

By Gregg Zoroya, USA Today

Most companies canvassed in a study published Monday say it's good business to hire veterans because of their leadership and teamwork skills, but some negative perceptions about veterans persist among business leaders.

1536 Views | 227 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Defense And VA Can’t Track PTSD Treatments, Report Finds

Neither the Defense nor the Veterans Affairs department -- which operate the world’s largest electronic health records systems -- tracks treatments used for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a report the Institute of Medicine issued last week. What’s more, Defense does not even know how many PTSD treatment programs it or the services provide.

956 Views | 125 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



First Lady Marks 1-Year Point For Military Effort

By Nancy Benac, Associated Press

WASHINGTON--Michelle Obama has been everywhere from a West Point mess hall to a NASCAR speedway in the past year to drum up support for military families, and now she's capping the yearlong effort with a two-day, four-state tour to take stock of what's been done.

Posted in Veterans News



For Ex-GIs, Next Battle Is Finding Job

By Beth Brown
San Antonio Express-News
September 20, 2012

The transition into civilian life hasn't been easy for Michael Jenkins.After 23 years in the Army, he retired as a sergeant first class in February. He has been unemployed ever since.

Jenkins is not alone in his struggle. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that while veterans have a nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 6.6 percent, Gulf War-era II veterans — or those who have served in the military since Sept. 11, 2001 — have an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent. The country's overall unemployment rate is about 8 percent.

2617 Views | 233 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



For Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress, Pain Killers Carry Risks

By James Dao

Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to be prescribed opioid pain killers than other veterans with pain problems and more likely to use the opioids in risky ways, according to a study published Wednesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Posted in Veterans News



For Vets, Fireworks Can Stir Memories Of Gunfire

Many who served on battlefields seek refuge from and ways to cope with Fourth of July displays

He knows it's just fireworks, but Andrew Sabin's heart races anyway and he starts to sweat profusely.

The concussive booms sound like Iraq.

The 26-year-old Army veteran from Racine, Wis., didn't have trouble when he returned from the war. But gradually fireworks displays began to affect him.

This Fourth of July, many combat veterans like Sabin will try to stay far away from fireworks displays. Fireworks take them back to combat, when the sound of explosions meant death and injury, not colorful rockets lighting the sky on a peaceful, happy holiday.

3373 Views | 193 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Former War Commander Fighting For Funds To Combat Brain Injuries

More than 244,000 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with some form of brain injury over the past 12 years, according to Pentagon statistics.

They are the most common injuries among combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, and yet little is known about how to treat these wounds or cure the illnesses that result from them, says Peter Chiarelli, retired four-star general and former vice chief of the Army.

For a nation that takes pride in taking care of its wounded soldiers, he laments, it is a shame that the so-called invisible wounds of war get so little attention.

Posted in Veterans News



Gen. Odierno Discusses Army Efforts To Limit Traumatic Brain Injuries

MATT LAUER: It is a startling number. More than 244,000 U.S. troops have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries, an issue that is front and center for the NFL, a league dealing with the problem of concussions among many of its current and former players. The league is now teaming up with the U.S. Army and National Institutes of Health to research ways to limit these types of injuries. Roger Goodell is commissioner of the NFL. Dr. Story Landis is the director of the NIH's Neurology Institute, and General Odierno is the chief of staff of the Army. Good morning to all of you. It's nice to see you.

General, that's a huge number, 244,000 returning military personnel with these brain injuries. I know the seriousness of those injuries varies from person to person, but it's a problem that has to be addressed.

GEN. ODIERNO: Absolutely, and one of the problems we have are soldiers coming forward first to say I have a problem. And so one of the things we're really focusing on is making sure that the same qualities -- mental toughness,physical toughness,dedication to mission accomplishment -- does not impede people from saying "I have a problem and I need to get help." That's why this initiative is important to us. We're now putting sensors in helmets, our kevlar helmets for the first time. About 7,000 soldiers have those in their helmets. As we're collecting more and more data, we're learning more and more information, but we have a lot of work to do yet.

Posted in Veterans News



Good News For Veteran Discharged Without Benefits

More than 20,000 men and women have left the Army and Marines in the last four years with other-than-honorable discharges, jeopardizing their benefits and leaving some of them struggling to find treatment for health problems.

Jarrid Starks, a troubled Army veteran who received the Bronze Star for Valor but was dismissed from service with an other-than-honorable discharge, has been granted health-care benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Starks was featured in an Aug. 12 Seattle Times story that examined the plight of veterans whose other-than-honorable discharges have put their veteran's benefits at risk.

Starks had been told that it might take a year or more for the VA to undertake a review to see if he is eligible for benefits.

Posted in Veterans News



Hiring Our Heroes

NBC Nightly News, March 25, 6:35 PM

LESTER HOLT: Tonight we're proud to announce our NBC News network-wide initiative in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help more than a million unemployed veterans get back into the workforce. Tonight we're focusing on unemployed women veterans and the mentors helping them realize their full potential.

Posted in Veterans News



Homelessness, Economic Woes Rising For Female US Veterans

By Eric Tucker and Kristin M. Hall, Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Misha McLamb helped keep fighter jets flying during a military career that took her halfway around the world to the Persian Gulf. But back home, the Navy aircraft specialist is barely getting by after a series of blows that undid her settled life.

She was laid off from work last year and lost custody of her daughter. She's grappled with alcohol abuse, a carry-over from heavy-drinking Navy days. She spent nights in her car before a friend's boyfriend wrecked it, moving later to a homeless shelter where the insulin needles she needs for her diabetes were stolen.

Posted in Veterans News



Improve Care for Veterans With PTSD: Report

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Access to care for U.S. military service members and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) must improve, says an Institute of Medicine report released Friday that also calls for better tracking of treatments and results.

The congressionally mandated report also said that the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs should launch research programs to evaluate the effectiveness of their PTSD programs and make the findings widely available.

1358 Views | 192 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Is The Army Doing Enough To Help Soldiers Suffering From Mental Health Problems?

By Greg Barnes, Staff writer
Fayetteville (NC) Observer

Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick stood in front of 14,000 soldiers on Fort Bragg in February with a message:

"We have got to stop the violence."

Just weeks before, Helmick had closed out the combat mission in Iraq and brought the troops home. Now, as he congratulated them for a job well done, he could not ignore some disturbing numbers. In just the past six weeks, he knew of six suicides and 25 accusations of spousal abuse.

Since Helmick retired in May, the violence at home has only gotten worse.

2539 Views | 116 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Macho Spouse Male Military Spouse Community Has New PTSD Video Series

The Macho Spouse, Male Military Spouse online community, has started a new video series on PTSD. Check out the first video, Defining PTSD with Nicholas Lind, and view the other great videos they provide on topics ranging from depression and deployments to finding work and career building.

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious battle injury we wanted to know more about, so we found Nicholas Lind, PsyD, Co-Owner of Post Traumatic Resources (Columbia, SC).  In this multi-part series, Dr. Lind defines PTSD, explains the symptoms, shares how and when to seek help, and offers insight into living with someone who struggles with PTS symptoms.  This first video offers a thorough explanation of what causes PTSD and how it may affect our families."

Posted in Veterans News



image for Macho Spouse Second PTSD Video

Macho Spouse Second PTSD Video

Macho Spouse Male Military Spouse Community Released Second PTSD Video: Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The Macho Spouse, Male Military Spouse online community, has a great video series on PTSD. Be sure to check out this video series and the other great videos Macho Spouse provides on topics ranging from depression and deployments to finding work and career building.

The second Macho Spouse PTSD video, Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,  is now live! Dr. Nicholas Lind, Co-Owner of Post Trauma Resources (Columbia, SC), discusses typical PTSD symptoms while offering some advice on how best to start an initial conversation with a loved-one who may have PTSD.

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious battle injury we wanted to know more about, so we found Dr. Nicholas Lind, Co-Owner of Post Trauma Resources(Columbia, SC).  In this multi-part series, Dr. Lind defines PTSD, explains the symptoms, shares how and when to seek help, and offers insight into living with someone who struggles with PTSD symptoms.  This second video discusses typical PTSD symptoms while offering some advice on how best to start an initial conversation with a loved-one who may have PTSD."

Posted in Veterans News



Making A House Home For Veteran

Caleb Getscher's new home means a lot to him.

The 21-year-old Marine lance corporal lost both of his legs and part of an arm while on duty in Afghanistan last year. His parents' home in Chaptico, where he spends weekends when he is not at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, was not easy to get around in a wheelchair or with prosthetic limbs.

Now he is able to live more comfortably in an addition built to that house, thanks to a program administered by Patuxent Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers and elected officials gathered at the house Aug. 25 to dedicate the new living space.

Posted in Veterans News



Military Bonds Draw Veterans to Mental Health Jobs

by: Rob Kane

Veterans have turned to psychology to become mental health professionals, and they’re filling in gaps in veteran care that government and civilian efforts have left open. And while they are still rare, programs to train them are slowly emerging at universities and nonprofit organizations around the United States.

1384 Views | 160 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Military PTSD: All-Star Scientists Start Mental Health Mega-Project

There's no question that plenty of soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But exactly how many soldiers? That's a question that even top medical experts, not to mention military officials, still can't quite answer.

Now a new consortium, manned by some of the nation’s top scientists where PTSD is concerned, is hoping to develop an objective means of diagnosing the condition. In other words, the group hopes that the illness can — one day soon — be diagnosed using medical techniques like blood tests or brain scans, rather than self-reported symptoms.

Posted in Veterans News



Murray: 285 Madigan PTSD Diagnoses Reversed

Senator Calls For New Evaluations; Army investigating screening process

By Hal Bernton, Seattle Times staff reporter

The Army Medical Command has identified some 285 Madigan Army Medical Center patients whose diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder were reversed as they went through a screening process for possible medical retirements, according to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

Posted in Veterans News



Nearly 30% Of Vets Treated By V.A. Have PTSD

Jamie Reno
TheDailyBeast.com

A new study by the Veterans Administration reveals nearly 30% of its patients who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD. Jamie Reno reports.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has quietly released a new report on post-traumatic stress disorder, showing that since 9/11, nearly 30 percent of the 834,463 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans treated at V.A. hospitals and clinics have been diagnosed with PTSD.

Veterans advocates say the new V.A. report is the most damning evidence yet of the profound impact multiple deployments have had on American service men and women since 9/11. Troops who've been deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan are more than three times as likely as soldiers with no previous deployments to screen positive for PTSD and major depression, according to a 2010 study published by the American Journal for Public Health.

The report, which revealed that 247,243 veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars have been diagnosed with PTSD, was buried on the V.A.'s website without fanfare.

2109 Views | 264 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Nursing Schools Examine Efforts To Care For Veterans

Colleges sign on for Joining Forces national initiative

With nurses often at the front lines of medical care, there's a movement in the Chicago area and across the country to ensure that nursing students are better trained to tend to a new generation of patients who are military veterans.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the National League of Nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and other industry groups are calling on nursing schools to take a pledge to do more to educate students on handling veterans and their families. The pledge is part of Joining Forces -- a campaign championed by first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, to support veterans. Hundreds of nursing schools have already signed on, according to nursing groups.

1335 Views | 146 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Planned Invictus San Diego facility would treat veterans, and later civilians, who have had amputations or traumatic brain injuries

By Gretel C. Kovach, U-T

A group of military, veteran and community health care heavyweights began meeting last year in San Diego to think big about improving treatment for amputation and traumatic brain injury.

The plan that took shape is unlike any nationwide, organizers say: a community center offering medical treatment, family and mental health counseling, job placement and education services under one roof.

Posted in Veterans News



Prosthetic Eyes, How A Veteran’s, Custom Prosthetics Company, Makes A Difference

The Center for Custom Prosthetics in Naples, Florida, is making an impact on U.S. military veterans by providing them with unique prosthetic solutions. The Center also provides the same quality service that veterans receive to the general public, which includes creating custom prosthetic eyes, noses, ears, hands and more. Based out of the west coast of Florida, the practice will be expanding its reach this Fall by opening new offices on Florida's east coast.

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Posted in Veterans News



PTSD can harm families of veterans

For 22 years, Shirley Booze attributed her husband’s violent nightmares and depression to “mental fatigue.”

It was clearly more than just everyday stress that was affecting the Army veteran, but Booze had no other way to classify his emotional isolation.

“It was like he was in a foxhole and trying to protect himself,” she said.

1202 Views | 129 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



PTSD Study Halfway Finished

Largest research project in U.S. military history, started in 2001, follows 187K service members for 21 years

The largest research project in U.S. military history aimed at studying the long-term effects of post-traumatic stress disorder has now passed the halfway point.

The Millennium Cohort Study, run out of the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, is a 21-year study that is comprehensively following the lives and habits of 187,000 service members. Researchers began accumulating data 11 years ago, in 2001. The project is scheduled to run another decade, until 2022.

Researchers hope the massive amount of data they collect will help them pinpoint who gets PTSD and why.

1527 Views | 124 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Readjustment Issues May Spur PTSD Treatment

The stress of readjusting to civilian life is a major reason some soldiers seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, a new study finds.

Many veterans who require mental-health care do not receive it, and a great deal of previous research has focused on barriers to treatment. The new study was conducted to identify characteristics and factors that motivate veterans to seek mental-health treatment.

Posted in Veterans News



Returning Veterans Swell Ranks Of US Entrepreneurs

By Michael Melia, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn.--As a truck driver for the U.S. military in wartime Iraq, Ed Young racked up 7,000 miles, facing a constant threat of attack that left him struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.

Four years later, he is driving long hauls again, but now in the U.S. as one of a growing number of veterans turning entrepreneur. The Navy veteran who had seen his post-war life spiraling out of control says his Connecticut-based car transportation business has helped to put him on the road to recovery.

Posted in Veterans News



She's One Of Us

Petraeus -- Holly, that is -- makes mark on military by putting herself between soldiers and swindlers

By Rick Hampson, USA Today

When 18,000 members of the Army's 101st Airborne Division flew back to Fort Campbell, Ky., in 2004 after a year in Iraq, Holly Petraeus was there to meet them, no matter the hour, the weather or her other duties.

Posted in Veterans News



Solace in the sky: Flying helps combat veterans free themselves

by Vince Delvin
Missoulian.com

"Many military veterans who fought for your freedom now fight for their own – a freedom from symptoms of the post-traumatic stress disorder that threatens to take over their lives and relationships."

"Sadly, suicide is not an uncommon escape for those with PTSD. Jesse Roods, director and chairman of XSports4Vets – as well as a wildland firefighter who served as a Marine in Iraq – says an average of 17 veterans commit suicide every day in America."

POLSON – Brandon Bryant has done most of his flying from the inside of trailers.

The U.S. Air Force veteran piloted drones over Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya during his seven years on active duty. He steered the unmanned combat air vehicles with his feet firmly planted on a floor and his eyes not on the skies so much as on banks of computer screens.

So this was a little different, last weekend, when Bryant slipped on a helmet and took off from the Polson Airport on the back of what amounts to an open-air two-seat tricycle with a wing attached, and a motor capable of propelling it all through the sky at speeds up to 90 mph.

Posted in Veterans News



Soldiers' Mental Health: An Emergency

By Arnold Fisher And Bill White
New York Daily News
October 10, 2012
Pg. 32

Be Our Guest

Anyone who believes that our country’s methods are adequate for helping veterans re-adapt to society as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down need look no further than at the following data: In the year 2012, 211 members of the United States Armed Forces took their own lives.

At least 53 of them committed suicide in July and August. That is more than the total number of battlefield deaths in those months. This is a crisis that has gone largely unaddressed in this political cycle, and it’s unacceptable.

Posted in Veterans News



Study Calls For Better Assessment Of Government PTSD Programs

In the first comprehensive review of the government's programs for treating post-traumatic stress disorder in service members and veterans, a panel of experts recommended on Friday that the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs expand access to services, particularly for people in rural areas, in the National Guard or Reserves, or in combat zones.

The report, by the Institute of Medicine, also concluded that the two departments need to improve their assessment of how well their many treatment programs work, as well as find better ways of coordinating care that can begin overseas and then continue on bases or in small towns across the country.

1526 Views | 164 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Study To Examine If Fatty Acids Lower Veterans' Suicide Risk

By Harriet McLeod, Reuters
Reuters.com
October 8, 2012

CHARLESTON, South Carolina -- A new $10 million, three-year study will investigate whether daily doses of a common dietary supplement could help curb the number of suicides among military personnel and veterans, researchers said on Monday.

The study, set to begin in South Carolina in January, is part of the Defense Department's heightened focus on suicide prevention as the number of service members attempting to take their own lives has risen.

Posted in Veterans News



Survey Reveals Veterans Seek Anonymous Treatment of PTSD from Private Organizations

Emerson College Polling Society Survey Reveals Veterans Seek Anonymous Treatment of PTSD from Private Organizations

BOSTON, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- One in five U.S. Military personnel returning from deployment said they are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and 41% of service members know a fellow soldier suffering from PTSD.  However, 46% of service members said they are not seeking counseling, according to a poll conducted by the Emerson College Polling Society (ECPS). The poll surveyed both members of the military, and citizens who personally know members of the military, about symptoms related to PTSD.

Felix Chen, an international student and chief analyst for the Emerson College Polling Society, found the most important reason cited as to why military personnel do not seek PTSD counseling was embarrassment by admitting they needed professional help (25%) and not wanting to identify themselves in order to get treatment (11%). 

10823 Views | 165 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Taking His Doctor's Advice Could Cost A Combat Veteran His Apartment

By Joseph Berger

After Eugene Ovsishcher returned from a nine-month combat tour in Afghanistan, he experienced what his doctors called symptoms of post-traumatic stress: nightmares, flashbacks and a pervasive anxiety. A psychiatrist advised him to get a dog, and last August he did — a shaggy, mocha Shih Tzu puppy that Mr. Ovsishcher named Mickey because he crawled like a mouse.

Posted in Veterans News



The Death Of Peter Wielunski

For every soldier killed in combat, 25 veterans are dying by suicide. It's time to broaden efforts against PTSD.

By Robert Morgenthau
Wall Street Journal
Pg. 23

During the Civil War, they called it "soldier's heart." In World War I, doctors called it "shell shock." In World War II, the war I served in, we called it "battle fatigue." Now we know it as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The name may have changed, but one thing is clear: It is reaching epidemic proportions among our soldiers and veterans.

According to a Veterans Administration report released this March, current or former military personnel represent an estimated 20% of all known suicides in the United States—that's more than 7,000 veterans and service members each year. For every soldier killed in combat, 25 veterans are dying by suicide.

1624 Views | 163 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Treating Veterans Sexual Trauma

Baltimore VA center offers help to victims of attacks and harassment in military

By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun

Machele Fredericks had to face her attacker every day.

She was in the Air Force. He was a fellow service member on the base. And he said that if she told anyone what he'd done, he'd kill her.

"You didn't hear much of people getting raped in the military back then," Fredericks said. "At least I didn't. So, you know, it was like fear every day: 'I hope he's not at the gate today.'

Posted in Veterans News



Treatment Is Available For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

But vets must take first step: seek help

The most common misconception about post-traumatic stress disorder is that there is no effective treatment.

Dr. Matthew Friedman, executive director of the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for PTSD, is working to get the word out that it's "very treatable."

PTSD is more prevalent among service members today, with 17 percent to 20 percent of the troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from it, he said. But studies have shown that 80 percent of those, given proper treatment, are without symptoms after five years.

1654 Views | 117 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Troops' Surge In Suicides Shocks Military Officials

After leveling off in 2010 and 2011, suicides among U.S. service members have jumped to nearly one a day, catching many by surprise.

By Robert Burns, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Suicides are surging among America’s troops, averaging nearly one a day this year — the fastest pace in the nation’s decade of war.

The 154 suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of the year far outdistance the U.S. forces killed in action in Afghanistan — about 50 percent more — according to Pentagon statistics.

The numbers reflect a military burdened with wartime demands from Iraq and Afghanistan that have taken a greater toll than foreseen a decade ago.

1462 Views | 147 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Updated PTSD Program Means Better Care For Vets

For Johnnie Larmore, a veteran of three combat tours in Vietnam, living with post-traumatic stress disorder means bursts of anger followed by wells of depression.

Last week, the Port Angeles man left a recently expanded treatment program at VA Puget Sound American Lake Division in Lakewood. He calls it “the best staff and the best facility” he’s seen in his 41 years seeking help coping with Army combat-related PTSD.

1450 Views | 146 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



VA Disability Problems

CBS Evening News, 6:30 PM

SCOTT PELLEY: Finally tonight, America of course owes a great debt to the men and women who have sacrificed so much in more than a decade of war. But it turns out many are forced to wait months, even years, to get disability benefits. David Martin has been investigating what’s behind the delay.

2004 Views | 228 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



VA Short Of Mental Health Specialists

Need critical as PTSD cases rise

By Gregg Zoroya, USA Today

As thousands of additional veterans seek mental health care every month, the Department of Veterans Affairs is short of psychiatrists, with 20% vacancy rates in much of the country served by VA hospitals, according to department data.

Posted in Veterans News



Veteran Discusses PTSD

CNN Sunday Morning, 6:00 AM

RANDI KAYE: Thousands of U.S. troops are heading home from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But now many of them are fighting a war after the war. We're talking about post-traumatic stress disorder, also called PTSD. It is a term that we first started to talk about in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, but for today's troops, it is as relevant as ever. PTSD is a mental disorder that some get after seeing or living through a dangerous event such as war combat. A person may have a flashback or begin reliving the event. They may have bad memories or even nightmares. They might feel numb or become jittery, or always be on alert or on the lookout for danger.

Even knowing what PTSD does to a person, it's shocking that many veterans commit suicide in this country. How many? On average, as many as 18 every day. Mike Scotti is a former Marine lieutenant who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has recovered from PTSD. Good morning, Mike, thanks for joining us this morning.

1941 Views | 139 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Veterans Help Themselves By Helping Others

Nonprofit grooms ex-military for jobs via service projects

Jeffrey Hall knows the look of an empty pantry.

“I do remember some days when we only had crackers in the house,” said Hall, 45, who recalled frequent trips to a food bank on the North Side. “A family of four, and crackers and water.”

Hall left Chicago to join the Navy, but he will return this week as a fellow with The Mission Continues, a nonprofit group dedicated to involving veterans of recent wars in meaningful service projects. More than 100 veterans will gather in Chicago this weekend to prepare for six months of work at nonprofits across the country.

1820 Views | 123 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Veterans Need Jobs

To the Editor:

Re "Does the V.A. Get It?" (editorial, April 25):

Along with hiring more psychiatrists to provide mental therapy for veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs should also hire a significant array of employment specialists.

Posted in Veterans News



Veterans' Mental-Health Care Is Delayed

Report says department overstated how quickly it provided service

By Steve Vogel

The Department of Veterans Affairs has greatly overstated how quickly it provides mental-health care for veterans, according to an inspector general's report released Monday.

Posted in Veterans News



Vets Struggle To Go From War To Work

Civilian employers are reluctant to hire them, they say.

By David Zucchino

WASHINGTON -- Matt Pizzo has a law degree, can-do attitude, proven leadership skills, and expertise in communications and satellite technology from his four years in the Air Force.

Posted in Veterans News



Wal-Mart Therapy Tried By Pentagon For Traumatized Troops

By Gopal Ratnam and Michelle Fay Cortez, Bloomberg News

No one knows better than Connie Chapman that almost 150 years since troops came home with "soldier's heart" after the Civil War, the U.S. military is still struggling to identify and treat what's now called PTSD.

Posted in Veterans News



War Might Be Making Young Bodies Old

BOSTON -- A litany of physical or emotional problems spill out as Iraq and Afghanistan veterans make their way, one by one, to the 11th floor of a VA hospital in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

The tragic signs of post-traumatic stress disorder or battlefield concussion are all too evident. Even more alarming for researchers is emerging evidence that these newest American combat veterans -- former GIs and Marines in their 20s and 30s -- appear to be growing old before their time. Scientists see early signs of heart disease and diabetes, slowed metabolisms and obesity -- maladies more common to middle age or later.

Posted in Veterans News



Warrior Transition Command Launches 'Hire a Veteran' Campaign

STORY SUBMITTED BY J.D. LEIPOLD, ARMY.MIL

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Army's Warrior Transition Command unveiled its three-pronged Hire a Veteran education campaign plan Monday.

The plan aims to help employers understand that wounded warriors can bring a wealth of leadership experience and skills to the table and to their bottom line.

"This campaign is about setting conditions, not just preparing our Soldiers for a new career as a veteran, but also preparing employers about this unique population who has so much to offer," said WTC Commander Brig. Gen. David J. Bishop in kicking off Warrior Care Month at the National Press Club.

1671 Views | 137 Likes


Posted in Veterans News



Wounded Soldiers Get Lesson In Resiliency

By Greg Barnes, Staff writer

Kyle Maynard implored Fort Bragg's wounded soldiers to set impossible goals for themselves and then strive to reach them.

When he had finished speaking, about 300 strong from Fort Bragg's Warrior Transition Battalion responded with a standing ovation.

Posted in Veterans News



Wounded Warriors Are Fighting A New Kind Of War

A wide-ranging inspection of Fort Bragg's Warrior Transition Battalion found that the program for physically and mentally wounded soldiers has shortcomings - notably a need for better leadership.

Posted in Veterans News



Wounded Warriors Face New Enemy: Overmedication

All Things Considered (NPR), 4:10 PM

ROBERT SIEGEL: When sick or seriously wounded troops return home from combat duty, most are assigned to special units called Wounded Warrior battalions. These units aim to give thousands of soldiers and Marines the month they need to recover.

Posted in Veterans News



image for Veterans Law Project

Veterans Law Project

The Veterans Law Project provides help for veterans and families of veterans by providing Pro bono Legal Resources for Veterans and Military Families.

Transitioning from the battlefield to civilian life is wrought with legal issues for many returning soldiers, sailors, guardsman and marines. Divorce, child custody, bankruptcy, foreclosures, employment, Social Security and issues related to service and post traumatic stress are just a few of the conflicts commonly faced by our veterans and military families.




Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC)

The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) is a part of the U.S. military health system. Specifically, it is the TBI operational component of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). Founded in 1992 by Congress, DVBIC’s responsibilities have grown as its network of care and treatment sites has grown.

Posted in PTSD / TBI



HOPE4PTSDVETS.ORG: By Combat Veterans For Combat Veterans and their Families

HOPE4PTSDVETS.ORG is a registered nonprofit organization founded in 2011, by combat veterans for combat veterans and their families. Their mission is to provide hope and holistic help to veterans and their families suffering from combat trauma.

3194 Views | 445 Likes


Posted in PTSD / TBI



Life Improvement Following Traumatic Brain Injury (LIFT)

Life Improvement Following Traumatic Brain Injury (LIFT) is an interventional pilot study to test the effectiveness of a telephone-based and in-person Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) intervention for treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) following Traumatic Brain Injury.

Participants are randomly assigned to receive one of the following: 1) Telephone-based CBT, 2) In-person CBT, or 3) Usual care (control).

1603 Views | 295 Likes | 1 Comments


Posted in PTSD / TBI



image for Macho Spouse PTSD Video Series

Macho Spouse PTSD Video Series

Macho Spouse PTSD Video Series: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - Treatment

Our friends over at Macho Spouse - the male military spouse online community - have posted the fourth video in their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) series.  In this video on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment, Dr. Nicholas Lind, Co-Owner of Post Trauma Resources (Columbia, SC), shares his philosophy behind what makes PTSD treatments effective and what programs Post Trauma Resources uses to help those suffering from PTSD control their symptoms.

Posted in PTSD / TBI



National Center for PTSD

The National Center for PTSD is the center of excellence for research and education on the prevention, understanding, and treatment of PTSD. The Center has seven divisions across the country.

Posted in PTSD / TBI



National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury (NRCTBI)

The mission of the National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury (NRCTBI) is to provide relevant, practical information for professionals, persons with brain injury, and family members. We have more than two decades of experience investigating the special needs and problems of people with brain injury and their families.  With input from consumers and nationally recognized experts, we have developed a wide variety of assessment tools, intervention programs, and training programs. 

2096 Views | 302 Likes


Posted in PTSD / TBI



image for Realistic Hope A Traumatic Brain Injury Community

Realistic Hope A Traumatic Brain Injury Community

The undisputed "experts" at living a fulfilling life with a brain injury are those who "have been there done that."

The purpose of this site is to connect the survivors, their family, friends and caregivers who" have been there done that" to those looking for answers to accomplish the same.

Every brain injury is unique, however, everyone's roadmap has the same elements

Learn how others have traveled their journey and build your unique roadmap.

1771 Views | 277 Likes


Posted in PTSD / TBI



TBI Facts - US Army Website

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a disruption of brain function resulting from a blow or jolt to the head or penetrating head injury.

TBI FACTS:

  • TBIs can occur on the battlefield, on the football field, on the playground, in a car accident, and even at home.

  • There are four categories of TBI including mild, moderate, severe and penetrating.

  • A mild TBI (mTBI), which is also known as a concussion, is the most common form of TBI.

1725 Views | 283 Likes


Posted in PTSD / TBI



image for Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide

Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide

The Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide website is an online book by Dr. Glen Johnson, a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Clinical Director of the Neuro-Recovery Head Injury Program in Traverse City, MI. The website is setup like a book with links to chapters, and the information is focused specifically on TBI and is given very concisely in laymen's terms.

The goal of this online book is to better prepare the person with the head injury and family for the long road ahead.

1984 Views | 222 Likes


Posted in PTSD / TBI



Blinded Veterans Association (BVA)

Blinded Veterans Association (BVA)

The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) is a U.S non-profit organization that was established to "help veterans and their families meet and overcome the challenges of blindness".

Services from BVA are available to all veterans who have become blind, either during or after active duty. The BVA has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. BVA is a 503(c)(3) registered nonprofit; for the 2008-2009 Fiscal year, BVA's income was $4.2 million.




image for Veterans Farm and Adam Burke - 5 Hour Energy

Veterans Farm and Adam Burke - 5 Hour Energy

Adam Burke served a 16-month tour in Iraq and was injured in a mortar attack two weeks before coming home. "It really broke me down and it took years to recover from this injury," remembers Adam. The army vet currently suffers from PTSD and from migraines caused by a traumatic brain injury. He found farming helped him.

After running into a young homeless veteran at a mall, Adam decided there needed to be more programs out there to help vets reintegrate back into society.

In April 2010 he started Veterans Farm in Jacksonville, Florida.

The farm trains veterans during six to nine month fellowships and gets them back on their feet. Fellow Shawn Rankin came to farm from Michigan after no one would employ him due to injuries sustained serving in the Navy. He was homeless and now has a house and is starting a farm.




Apps Designed to Help Wounded Warriors

Handheld technology helping to heal the invisible scars of war.

1852 Views | 233 Likes


Posted in Veterans Videos



Army Surgeon General on Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and Army Medicine is taking this time to increase awareness about it. Watch this video to see Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho's message to the soldiers about how the Army is leading the charge in care, education, and technology to treat those with traumatic brain injuries.

1674 Views | 269 Likes


Posted in Veterans Videos



Occupational Therapy Team helps Wounded Warriors

In a deployed environment servicemembers are subject to risks such as post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. Cases vary in severity but some can be treated in theater allowing servicemembers to return to duty. The Occupational Therapy Team is just one of the specialized groups that work together to help the wounded warriors.

1782 Views | 221 Likes


Posted in Veterans Videos



PTSD: Sgt. Johnny Mangum's Story

Sgt. Johnny Mangum shares his story about struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, and his unique method for coping and overcoming it in the hope that it inspires and helps others to seek assistance.

1662 Views | 224 Likes


Posted in Veterans Videos



Video - Take me out to the Ball Game! A Backpack Journalist Report

A Backpack Journalist interns Hannah and Stacey spend a day at Turner Field Ball Park during the Memorial Day game to interview some interesting people who are dedicated to helping military families, including Gen. (RET) Peter Chiarelli, CEO of 1mind4research.org - a leading organization specializing in treating Post Traumatic Stress Injury.

2066 Views | 227 Likes


Posted in Veterans Videos




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Please, remember our POWs and MIAs.
They still wait. Their families still wait.