I was recently given a website to checkout called Not Alone, which was created to help military personnel who battle the after math of being in a war zone a chance to share their experiences with one another. We are all affected in different ways when we experience a tragic event in our lives, war can contribute many of these events that can manipulate a persons mind that could change them forever.
As I searched through the pages of the website, I stumbled upon an article speaking about Fort Campbell Suicides (by BULLDOG), a subject we are hearing all to often inside and outside the military community. Comments by others had been posted in response of the article and when I came upon a comment by Yvonne and took the time to read it, I realized I was reading a comment left by a soon to be married woman who was excited about marrying her military man, but never saw that day.
Yvonne lost her husband while he was deployed, and yet in the end Yvonne spoke about her fiance’s best friend who after returning home from the war, struggled to fit into civilian life once again do to the lack of support and proper treatment he needed. Yvonne ends her comment calling out to all civilians to be more supportive and understanding of what these brave heroes go through.
Yvonne is 100% correct, our military men and women need more support and war can change a person too a point where they cannot reconnect to civilian life. Many soldiers are affected differently with the trauma they experience while serving in a combat zone and where the Government lacks, organizations such as this one are making a difference.
Communication and support is key to helping these guys who serve our country. The Soldiers Project is another great organization with medical personnel taking a little of their time to help OIF/OEF veterans battling with symptoms of PTSD, though it is slowly expanding throughout the U.S. and needs more volunteers. The same goes for so many other Non-profit organizations, who are looking to do everything they can to help the men and women of the military.
Though we are making a difference in helping veterans when they return from the war zone compared to other past wars, support is still needed in anyway so these great organizations can fully reach out to these soldiers. Just as the many organizations are here to help these returning veterans, so should their families and American citizens. Family needs to support and understand what their soldier may be going through when they return and family too should take time to educate themselves to prepare for the return of their soldier. Instead of thinking their military family member is just having a bad day which then drags on throughout time, take the time to talk and try to connect with them.
Like I said before, talking to a person shows you care, and communication is the main focal point to understanding what a person may be going through. When you show someone your supportive, that’s when you may find the person opening up, revealing to you what troubles them. Though I’m not a professional or a licensed medical personnel, this is something I have experienced with someone and it’s also what I have learned while attending college.
So to all organizations, families and American citizens looking to make a difference in the lives of returning veterans, support and work with one another and maybe we can help even more men and women of the military and the number of suicides from rising.
Whoever you are, My sympathy goes out to you and I will make sure your call to all is heard.
The Soldiers Project – a non-profit organization in the Mental health sector looking to make a difference in the lives of OIF/OEF Veterans
NOW, AFTER – produced by Kyle Hausmann-stokes (Veteran of OIF and Film producer)