Tag Archives: United States

Red Circle Foundation – Helping Hand for Special Ops and Their Families

I admit it, I am a follower of SOFREP.com and I am not a veteran. HOWEVER, I was the wife of a veteran and have a Facebook page, which is called, For the Love our Our Veterans which is dedicated to helping veterans and their families. And it is through my daily search for veteran-based helpful information that I discovered, SOFREP.

SOFREP is where, according to the website, you can get – “… insider perspective(s) from the former special operations and intelligence professionals that mainstream news media can’t access.”

Not only that, but Brandon Webb, one of the founders of SOFREP is a former Navy Seal, and co-author of “The Red Circle: My Life in the Nave SEAL, Sniper Corps and How I Trained American’s Deadliest Marksmen,” and several other books as well.

All of which is rather a long way down the rabbit trail, from what I wanted tell you about, which is Brandon’s terrific non-profit, The Red Circle Foundation, a Federal 501(c) Non-Profit dedicated to “helping Special Operations Families by providing with the immediate financial assistance which they need to move forward.” And, 100% of all donations go directly to families in need. I can’t explain their goal better than Brandon can, so click HERE and check out his video explaining what the Red Circle Foundation does and  how it helps Special Ops families in need.

Your Dear Veteran is home, now what?

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:

Called to Serve Ministry

Naval Alliance to End Suicide

Soldier’s Angels

Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded Warrior Wives

 

VA – FREE Online Classes for health professionals and caretakers

The Department of Veterans Affairs is offering free  in-depth online classesFrom the War Zone to the Home Front II, which cover trauma, PTSD assessment and effective treatment. You can also checkout their Archive section for more information.

These classes/sessions are about one hour. Now these classes have already officially end tomorrow, but I believe  you can view them “on demand.” Also, check out the Additional Resources for pdf’s  and pertinent information on past classes.

Also, on May 30th, there will be a special presentation: PTSD Diagnosis and DSM-5 by Dr. Matthew Friedman

Click HERE for more information.

 

Ten Things You Should Know to Help Your Veteran

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
-Reprinted with Permission from Author-

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;
8. Service Members are as varied in their political beliefs as everyone else in America.

Some are adamantly against the war, others staunchly support it, and everyone else falls somewhere in between. Assuming that everyone who joins the military is a card-carrying right-winger will only make you look stupid;

7. No matter what his or her opinions about the war are, every Service Member of every branch of the military takes a solemn oath to support and follow our Commander In Chief, the President of the United States, and therefore cannot say anything derogatory about him;

6. No one can describe how hot it was while deployed in a war zone, so don’t ask a returning Vet about the heat. Instead, imagine yourself putting on every piece of winter gear you own, in multiple layers, putting a metal bowl over your head, turning your oven on to 120 degrees, climbing inside, and living there for 6 months;

5. Worse still is asking any Veteran, “Did you kill anyone?” It is an unanswerable question. Perhaps she did and wished she hadn’t. Perhaps he didn’t and wished he had. Perhaps she did, but it wasn’t fast enough to prevent a comrade’s death. Perhaps it was accidental or perhaps it was so many instances of killing, he lost count. War requires things of us and taps into parts of us that are never otherwise touched—things most people need to work through or want to forget. US military personnel do not take killing lightly, and anyone who has not been there simply cannot discuss it with those who have,
much less pass judgment. Listen quietly if they choose to talk about it, but otherwise, leave it alone;

4. OIF/OEF Veterans often want to go back to the war zone. Sometimes it’s because they feel called to go in to finish the mission or support their buddies, sometimes it’s because they feel they can no longer fit in to American society and its frivolous interests and fads;

But regardless of reason, it is fairly common, so if they tell you they’re planning on redeploying, please don’t look at them as if they are insane.

3. They are exhausted when they get home—physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. They often do not have the energy or focus to talk for long periods of time. It will take some time for them to adjust, so follow their lead;

2. There is nothing black-and-white about what has happened to them. Almost always, there are good things that come from a deployment experience. Likewise, there are some pretty difficult things that they face once they are back home. Do not make any assumptions about their experiences;

And the # 1 thing you should know about OIF/OEF Veterans are…

1. They are not the same people they were before they deployed. But do not assume that is a bad thing. The Service Member may come home more confident, with better problem-solving skills. He may return with a deeper sense of gratitude for the comforts that he used to take for granted or she may have found a greater sense of purpose and direction than she ever had before.

Yes, there may be many unseen wounds of the soul and spirit. But there are tremendous resources to help heal those wounds, both for the Service Member and the Service Member’s family, and an ever growing number of people who truly care and want to help.

If every American understood these 10 important facts about our returning Veterans, life would be a lot easier for them. So pass it on.
http://www.hand2handcontact.org

Why We Are Here to Help our Veterans

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the military trains them to go to war......

THE MILITARY TRAINS THEM TO GO TO WAR, BUT NO ONE TRAINS THEM TO COME HOME

The above is one of the reasons why we created the support group for Wives and Girlfriends of Veterans at Christ the King Church in Bellingham, WA. To learn the tools to help the ladies understand and assist their Veteran in reconnecting with civilian life.

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