After a long break from writing in this blog, Memorial Day 2012 also inspired me take it up again. It is with some difficulty and emotional discomfort, for personally we have been through a lot since I last posted over two years ago. And, the nation is only beginning to grasp the cost and work to be done to pay back those who have served so bravely and given so much. Pay them back we must.
On this Memorial Day, I want to thank and link to agencies and organizations I know of that are actively working to support the vets. If you know of others, please post them in a comment. Most of these groups have both websites and facebook pages (that I have included) and many can be followed on Twitter. Many have local or regional chapters or facilities.
If one vet or vet’s family can find the help they need because they happened upon this spot, I will feel my time has been well spent.
I’ll start with the VA Health Care system. On facebook: Veterans Administration. No matter what you have heard or read, this is the starting point for health care. I cannot say enough good things about our VA hospital and the fact that it has been the difference between life and death for my spouse. Make contact; go there.
One of the best known groups that helps and supports recent vets is the Wounded Warrior Project. Their target group is warriors wounded following Sept. 11, 2001. You can also connect with them through their WWP facebook page. On their fb page you will find links to PTSD services and other areas of support. There is contact information for suicide prevention, as well.
American Women Veterans is a particularly important recent addition to the support systems for veterans, as women face some unique challenges in their return. They are also on facebook AWV and have links to the first all-female inpatient PTSD clinic, in Salem, VA.
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is better known to the older vets, but experiencing a regeneration. Also on facebook DAV. It is a good way to keep up on what is happening with policy and funding for disabled vets. Blue Star Families is a support system for and by military families. You can connect through their website or the BSF facebook page.
For us, one of the most important groups is AmVets. This is the organization that aids in the filing of claims. This claims page gives you the information you need, including what documentation is required, to file your claim and helps you find the service officer who can help you. On facebook AmVetsHQ.
So, let me say thank you to all these groups and others who make it their mission to help our troops and veterans. And if you are a veteran or a family wondering about the long term, I hope you will read my previous posts. Start at the beginning.
Being or caring for our veterans is a life-long project. For some it is easier than for others. But, the reality is that we send young, brave people to the battlefield, where – no matter what happens – they see and do things that are hard to comprehend. And these things affect who they are. Some are fortunate…genes and life have provided them with resilience. Others, not so much. But, they are all marked. There are no unwounded warriors.