Battle In Distress shall work to be the missing link that connects Veterans and currently serving members of the United States Armed Forces who are in or at risk for being in mental, emotional, financial, or psychological distress to the individuals, organizations, government entities, or other entities that provide services or assistance that can ameliorate the underlying problems Battle In Distress shall work to be the missing link that connects Veterans and currently serving members of the United States Armed Forces who are in or at risk for being in mental, emotional, financial, or psychological distress to the individuals, organizations, government entities, or other entities that provide services or assistance that can ameliorate the underlying problems that lead them to a state of distress.
That’s part of the mission statement of the Battle in Distress organization that I joined a couple of months ago as one of their volunteers. And while this is a good mission statement, I am quickly discovering that it doesn’t do justice to the work that is actually being done. The Battle Response Team (BRT) isn’t just connecting veterans or active duty members to other entities, but connecting with veterans in a way that’s deeper, more personal, and in some cases, life saving. The work that this group of dedicated veterans does to help their brother and sister veterans is nothing less than inspiring. But there is more work to be done and that’s why two of my colleagues on the team and I have started this blog.
We’re calling our blog, “You Are Not Alone.” At Battle in Distress, we know that many of our warriors often feel like they are alone in their struggles. In this blog, we will talk about topics affecting our vets, active duty military, and those who battle with them, to help them know they are not alone. The intent of this blog is to not provide therapy, though we will address some topics from a therapist’s point of view. Rather, our goal is to provide information the reader can use. For example, our first blog posts will cover PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) – what it is, how it is treated, and how it affects the vet and the caregivers. We will post links in our blogs where you can find additional information on the topic we’re covering. And if you need help, or someone to talk to, click on the link to our Battle in Distress or Warrior Pointe pages and someone on the team will get with you. You are never alone. ~ Jane
Meet the bloggers…
Kay: Hello. I’ve been involved with the military for much of my life. I was raised by a master chief in the U.S. Navy. My uncles parachuted behind enemy lines in WW2 before DDay. I had an uncle who damaged his foot in the Korean war, and I’ve had three family members take their lives by suicide. Two were survivors of the Bataan death march, and one died after his tour in Afghanistan. I joined the Army in 1978 (now you know how old I am) and I married a soldier who developed PTSD after two tours in Bosnia and one in Desert Storm One. We had six children together and I am a mother of a son-in-law and a son who are coping with PTSD after multiple deployments in Afghanistan. I live outside Ft. Bragg, NC where I did my internship. I have experience in battle stress, PTSD, dealing with PTSD as a family member, dealing with military life and stigma, and how dealing with multiple deployments and separations drains energy and love from your marriage. I am excited to be part of this forum, which is intended to educate, create community, and provide a safe place to vent as well as provide resources for the journey. Let’s walk together.
Katherine: Let me first begin by saying I thank you all for your service and cannot wait to begin this next journey with fellow brothers and sisters. I am honored to be one of the bloggers having personally dealt with the positive and negative effects that the military can bring. As a child I still remember my father in the prone position in our hallways yelling out commands to those that were no longer there, or him walking around with a weapon at night because he believed he was on guard duty. Both my mother and father were in the United States Marine Corps. I graduated high school at 16 and eagerly joined the United States Army as soon as I turned 17. During my last year in the Army, the attack on September 11 occurred and my job kept me in Germany, but a few good friends were able to volunteer. One good friend hung himself while deployed and the rest who returned were nothing close to the guys I used to know. Things started getting bad with suicides and substance abuse addictions and I just had enough and knew that I couldn’t make a difference where I was. I exited in 2003 and started going to school. I have currently finished all the required classes to receive my Masters in mental health counseling and am just finishing up my last 3 months required for licensure as an LPC. I deal with trauma, helper’s burnout, sexual trauma, depression, and forensic psychology that brings together mental health and the law. I know what it is like to get out of the military and feel completely and utterly alone and out of place, and I’m hoping that together we can continue our journeys as supportive brothers and sisters and not only learn from each other but start making a difference in each other’s lives.
Jane: I bring the Air Force perspective into this group, though as life would have it, my daughter enlisted in the Army, following the path of her “adopted” soldier brother, who came into our lives six years ago when we began to support him while he was deployed to Iraq. My family has a long history of military service. My husband was in the Air Force, as well as two brothers, and another brother served in the Marines during the Vietnam era. My dad and grandfather were in the Army – Korean War and WWI vets respectively. I took a different route into the military, attending college and earning my commission into the Air Force in 1981. I served in Public Affairs while on active duty and then continued in the public relations career field as a civilian. But my heart was always with my military brothers and sisters and for nine years during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars I adopted soldiers and airmen while they were deployed so I could support them on a more personal level. Some of these warriors are still very much a part of my family. A few years ago, I also began to work with other service members, journeying with them through some tough times, and seeing life through their eyes. It was at this time I felt called to do more and found myself in a Master of Arts in Counseling program, where my own myriad life experiences come into play each day (some of which I’ll talk about in future blog posts). I am finishing my internship year, working with clients struggling with a whole host of issues, including PTSD, sexual trauma, suicide, and marital and family problems. I am also trained in EMDR and use this in my practice. My philosophy is that I can never learn enough and I have immersed myself in veteran’s issues. But I find working directly with veterans to be the most rewarding, and have discovered that the veterans who share their lives with me are my very best teachers. I am privileged to journey with them, even for a short time.