July 29, 2011

Politics Aside, We Must Meet the Needs of Our Combat Affected Veterans

Photo by Scott Lee
We have been divided long enough, we must all work together to triage the oncoming wave of combat veterans struggling to readjust to peace. With the war’s end soon, we will have war fighters with plenty of time to think and begin to process the multitude of deployments and traumas they have experienced.

When we come together across bipartisan and ideological lines to make cooperative compromises and sacrifices, our veteran’s families and communities are strengthened and the fabric of our country becomes more whole.

The rates of PTSD and suicide will skyrocket in the following 10 years, even exponentially after the war’s end, if we do not do something now. We must mobilize our drive for innovation and creativity to meet the needs of a massive relief effort to help ‘combat affected’ members of our communities thrive in their new environments at work and home, before they are lost in the sea of Combat PTSD and TBI.

July 6, 2011

Support Family of a Vet in Discover Card Design Contest

Discover Card is holding a design contest to help raise money for Operation Homefront. The winning design will become an official new design for Discover cards and will earn $5,000!


Family Of a Vet (under the name of its founder, Brannan Vines, since only individuals are allowed to enter) has entered the contest. BUT, instead of simply entering a patriotic design, we hope to use this opportunity to not only raise some much needed funds for Family Of a Vet but to also increase nationwide awareness about PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury) in an unexpected way! Just imagine every time someone uses their credit card it will be an opportunity for the cardholder and the person processing the card to talk about PTSD and TBI!

Please help us win this contest! It's absolutely FREE for you to vote and you can vote once a day beginning on Tuesday, July 5th, until Friday, July 15th.

Make sure you click both the VOTE button and the Facebook "Like" button too CLICK HERE.

If you'd like to sign-up for a daily voting reminder from now until July 15th, please CLICK HERE.

We would also REALLY, REALLY APPRECIATE IT if you would forward a link to this page to your family and friends via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter and ask them to help us win the contest.

Used with permission, brought to you by FamilyOfaVet.com

Unspoken High Cost of War No More: Public Acknowledgment of Veteran Suicides

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says that families of service members who commit suicide are now getting condolence letters from the president just like families of troops who die in other ways. http://www.whas11.com/news/national/125047909.html
Photo by Scott Lee
It is sad that this issue has to reach critical mass for veteran issue to be acknowledged but, this is a good thing. The character of our country depends on actions that advance our cause. We teach our children to do what is right, especially if they have put it off.

We cannot ignore the work and struggle of the Vietnam Veteran, since the end of the war, over 200,000 veterans have killed themselves. In 1980 our brothers and sisters were on point for those of us today, they forged the path that we follow today. They fought and won a diagnosis for their troubles, then it was to work on the treatment side. We know that story, we live it today.

It has taken our government 30 years to do what is right; acknowledge that our veterans sacrifices were not in vain. This is a victory for the Vietnam Veteran who took their life after suffering in silence. Today his family has the President of the United States with a public acknowledgement of their struggle, their honor has been restored.

It just dawned on me that I was 7 years old when the Vietnam War ended.

July 4, 2011

Hallowed Day: 4th of July

A friend said to me, "I can't even imagine how the 4th of July feels for veterans..." and "Did you ever get hurt in the line of duty?" I shared with her my being wounded in mind for the last 20 years. She asked me how I deal with it on a day like today. My response, "I cry a lot, mourn some more, write, pray and force myself to be around people." I'm watching the fireworks outside my window wishing I had someone to share the sight with.

ON this day I remember the people who gave their lives so that I may go on. This actually has meaning for those of us who witness these selfless acts of compassion and unabashed brotherhood; they have forever changed us. Can you imagine what it feels like have someone forfeit their life so you may live? How can one live up to a sacrifice so profound? I carry this weight every day, but today I feel it especially deep and heavy.

To find my purpose is to find a way; My Purpose is My Life. My purpose and mission is to bring awareness to Combat PTSD and TBI. The song lyric, "Uncle Sam put you at the top of his list...", makes me think of massive effort needed to help veterans. We've exhausted our most wanted list and our high value targets. Now is the time to move on down to the veterans list, who fought these wars for the last 20 years, let's get on that list.

July 3, 2011

Thinking Patterns of War Can Impede a Veterans Life

People come here because they want to understand Combat PTSD. I appreciate your desire to learn, I am here to educate. War will change the way we think, feel and behave. Our minds can trick us into believing everything within ourselves is fine, the same. It's the world that has changed.

Photo by Scott Lee
Coming home is a seductive force to the deployed soldier fighting for their life; a fantasy island of peace and tranquility. This hairline crack in reality has shattered many a battle hardened warrior at home; the thought of 'coming home will be the easy part' can devastate the unprepared veteran. What I found was a battlefield of the mind and everywhere I turned forced my sanity to escaped me. The Pitfalls of Home engulfed me and a fire consumed my existence, forging and tempering my PTSD, folding my identity, losing who I used to be and believing I was still him. Thus cementing by unreality for decades.

The landscape of the mind has been altered by the experience of war, we now operate from a Warrior Perspective. We have the ability to morph into a sophisticated and skilled range of abilities that can devastate opposing forces. If we are unaware of this change within ourselves and we do not receive the training on how to decompress or disengage from the thinking patterns of war and adopt the Warrior Ethos to a peacetime setting. Then we will direct this energy at our loved ones and if they are unprepared for that consequence of war, then they too can succumb to the oppressive tidal forces of Combat PTSD.
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