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Friday, August 17, 2007
Helping Soldiers Heal
This is a totally non-gf, non-Celiac related posting. My brother-in-law, SSG Jay White, served two tours of duty in Iraq since 2003. Luckily, he was done for good as of February 2007 and we have him home safe and sound. Jay is now a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) counselor at a Veteran's Center outside of Hartford, CT. His job is unfortunately now more necessary than ever. The number of soldier suicides rose to 101 in 2006, up from 88 in 2005. We need to help returning Veterans understand that they should not be ashamed to talk about their experiences and that PTSD is very serious and all too real.

I have always admired my brother-in-law for all of the courage and strength he has, even after being on the front lines in Iraq. He is a wonderful man and I am thrilled that he is part of my family and the father to my two new lovely nieces.

Please take the time to read this article, watch this video, and reflect on the physical and psychological trauma that all of our US Armed Forces are dealing with every single day.




Article: http://abcnews.go.com/WN/story?id=3489183

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If you know a Veteran, please encourage them to visit a Veteran's Center and encourage them to not be ashamed to get the help they need.

Each year, approximately 115,300 veterans attempt suicide. That's nearly one in five suicide attempts nationwide.

In May, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) worked with Representative Jim Moran of Virginia and endorsed the 'Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline Act of 2007'. Hearing the demand, Congress pushed The Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a resource for veterans in crisis.

On Monday, July 30, the VA responded by announcing a new national suicide prevention hotline for veterans. The toll-free number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is always open, and is staffed by mental health professionals.

Please pass this information on to anyone you know that is a Veteran and needs someone to talk to today. Thank you.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Natalie said...

Erin,
Great post. My dad died active duty army 6 years ago in a helicopter crash in Vietnam looking for POWs/MIAs from the Vietnam war. It is amazing how long the devastation from a war lasts. Happy reunion with your brother! He sounds like a true American hero.
Natalie

Anonymous Mary Frances said...

Hi Erin, thanks for posting this. I haven't watched the vidoe yet - I'm tearing up just thinking about watching it. My little brother is in Iraq right now and I pray every day that he will come home mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically whole.

Since celiac can be triggered by stressful physical experiences, I wonder how many soldiers are coming home with celiac? Can soldiers even get GF food in the field? I hope so; they deserve the best of everything!

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