The marriage vow “…to love, honor and obey…”, is not exactly easy for us to obey. Especially when our very loved military/former military spouse comes home with a TBI or PTSD. That threw my starry-eye vision of love/laughter/rainbows and joy into a bit of confusion and martial turmoil. But, you know, knowledge is power and understanding what has happened to change the love-of-my-life can make a big difference in the re-building a marriage.
Here is a link to an article entitled, Marriage Tips for PTSD $ TBI Families, which gives some very good suggestions to help bridge that gap of “what the heck happened to my husband” to “this will take awhile to get it right, but we can make this marriage work!”
Ever on the lookout for ways to help our warriors/husbands/wives/veterans/active military, etc., I recently popped on the website of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and thought I would share it with you as it’s goal is to – > ” support(s) the military’s Special Operations Forces and their families through three programs:
- College scholarships for the surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces
- Educational & family counseling, and advocacy support
- Immediate $3,000 financial grants to severely-wounded Special Operations Forces service members
Does this interest you or spouse? If so, please log onto http://www.specialops.org/ for more information.
I thought this might be some interest for you Veterans who are having a difficult time getting help from the VA. Below is an excerpt from the announcement from the VA about this new program and a link to the article.
“Many Veterans will now have the option to receive non-VA health care rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.
Beginning November 5, 2014, the new Choice Program will begin to cover non-VA care for eligible Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare. Veterans are eligible if any of these situations apply to you…” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
I know first hand how a loved ones personality can change after a TBI. It is like they are different, yet the same. Strangely enough you can see the difference in their eyes as well as their mannerisms. Yet, should someone who has experienced TBI and suffers from depression be given anti-depressants? Should they see a doctor while taking these medication? Should they be receiving counseling as well?
Here is advice about TBI and meds by Dr. Brian Greenwald.
Four good men died on that fateful day, on September 11th, 2012, Ambassador Rick Stevens; Sean Smith, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer; and former Navy SEALs, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone S. Woods. Former Navy Seals Brandon Web and Jack Murphy wrote a terrific Kindle book, entitled Benghazi, the Definitive Report, that tells of the events prior to, during and after the attack.(Another question to ask the powers that be is why these men’s families have yet to receive any compensation from our government for their loved ones ultimate sacrifice. The answer to that might be most interesting to all of us.)
And yet, many people my wonder why what happened in Benghazi matters. today. If you too wonder, I suggest reading an excellent article written by Reporter, John Kass, of the Chicago Tribune, entitled , “Benghazi Email Coverup,” explaining why we need to hold our powers that be accountable can be reached at this link: http://tinyurl.com/kg2eqg4
ones ultimate sacrifice.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit geared
to serve veterans/service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound(s) , co-incident to their military service (and their families) on or after September 11, 2001.
The purpose of the Wounded Warrior Project as stated on their website is:”To help warriors make the most of their benefits and successfully transition to life after injury, the Wounded Warrior Project provides warriors with the tools they need to become financially secure.”
Unlike traditional models of veterans’ services the Wounded Warrior Project identifies the warrior’s individual needs and provides economic empowerment. The Wounded Warrior’s Project Benefits Service team ensures that warriors and their families have information and access to government benefits, as well as a full range of programs and the community resources necessary for a successful transition for the warrior (and his/her family) to life after injury.
A key part of the Wounded Warrior Project: to advise warriors of their benefits, along with information on how to access those services through the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
It seems the VA is taking seriously the dramatic increase of PSTD in both soldiers/warriors/veteran in the field and at home. Here is an excerpt from the an blog written by Elspeth Cameron Ritchie entitled, “The Importance of Instilling Hope. ”
The 4th Annual Department of Defense-VA suicide-prevention conference was a big deal here in the capital last week, with three days of presentations by top officials from the Pentagon and the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services. I put together the first military suicide-prevention conference, back in 2002. A decade ago, it was done on a shoestring budget (in other words, none), at the Marine Corps’ Henderson Hall near the Pentagon. It had about 100 attendees (some complained there was no coffee!). The keynoter was Kay Redfield Jamison, a great speaker and author of Night Falls Fast,on suicide, and numerous others that delve into the mind.
Since then the military conference has grown, merged with the VA, and routinely draws over 1,000 people to one of downtown Washington, D.C.’s biggest hotels. I have actually grown a little cynical about the conference over the last 10 years.
All this effort and money, but the suicide rate in the military grows every year – despite the Army and DoD task forces.
However I was impressed by this last conference, and want to share a few highlights.
- Navy-Marine Corps Suicide Prevention, PTSD Conference Underway at San Diego Town & Country Resort (theveteransdisabilitylawfirm.com)
- Why Is the UK’s PTSD Rate So Much Lower Than the U.S.’s? (battleland.blogs.time.com)
- PTSD and Suicide Risk (everydayhealth.com)
- PTSD Military And Veterans Should Receive Purple Hearts, NAMI Urges (medicalnewstoday.com)
Margo was ecstatic. Her soldier/warrior husband, Dean had returned from Afghanistan safe and sound. Her family and friends are greeted him at the airport with signs welcoming him home. There was a flurry of hugs, tears, laughter and relief from everyone, most especially Margo. Dean was home, he looked wonderful, happy and a bit bewildered. She was eager to get him home, but was unsure of herself as he had been gone for almost a year, maybe he had changed. Dean was her hero, her husband, her one true love and she couldn’t wait to show him how she decorated their home in flags and flowers. She was proud of her soldier husband and was eager to show him off to her friends at the huge welcome home party she had planned for the coming weekend.
And yet, as they drove home together, Margo’s hand resting lightly upon his khaki-clad and muscular leg, she could feel that Dean’s tenseness. Wasn’t he glad to be home, did he not love her any more? What was wrong?
The above scenario is not unique. A veteran (a soldier who has been in the armed forces for over 6 mos.) coming home from deployment is understandably, a bit confused and disoriented. He or she has been in an environment where they have had to rely on themselves and their fellow soldiers for support and survival. They have probably seen friends or acquaintances killed or wounded, perhaps right next to them. Their life for months has been of order and fairly predictable. Coming home can be for many a very big…culture shock.
I would recommend anyone who is a friend or loved one read this helpful article-> Ten Things You Should Know to Help Bring the OIF/OEF Veteran All the Way Home By Alison Lighthall, RN, MS (Former Captain in the US Army Nurse Corps) Founder, HAND2HAND CONTACT.
Here is a brief excerpt of her pdf article:
10. OIF stands for Operation Iraqi Freedom, also known as the Iraq War, and it began on March 20th, 2003. OEF stands for Operation Enduring Freedom and is a multinational military operation aimed at dismantling terrorist groups, mostly in Afghanistan. It officially commenced on Oct. 7, 2001 in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks;
9. Returning Service Members do not think of themselves as heroes, no matter how extraordinary their skills, courage, or actions may be. Their heroes are the ones still over there or coming home in a flag-draped boxes;
To read more, click (here) and it will take you to the HAND2HANDCONTACT.org webpage, scroll down halfway and click on the article “10 Things You Should Know About Today’s Veteran.
Other sites to visit:
You might notice that when your military spouse returns home he (or she) might have a hard time adjusting to civilian life. He may suddenly be overly startled by unexpected turmoil or loud noise. This might lead to an involuntary response on his part, putting him into survival mode which may cause him to rapidly retreat from this type of situation, or attack without conscious thought. Remember your military spouse has been trained to survive at any cost.
If this is happening in your relationship, here are some important safety tips:
1. Make certain that any weapons are kept in a secure area other than where your military spouse lives aka your home.
2. Talk to you military spouse if sleeping together is a problem. Perhaps it might be a good idea to agree on separate sleeping arrangements for a while, perhaps using a twin bed or guest room for a while.
3. Never argue or talk about things that upset either of you BEFORE bedtime. Do what you can to resolve negative issues that evening or both of you agree to continue to discuss the matter the next day at an agreed upon time and place.