We All Face Challenges

Atop the mountainMy husband doesn’t really enjoy accolades and he’ll tell you that he doesn’t handle compliments very well, to which I respond, “Get over it, because in this family you’re going to get both!” 🙂 This week my husband joined a group of 14 other combat veterans to participate in the Save a Warrior Project hosted here in Kentucky! For those of you who have not heard of this program, in a nutshell it is basically an awesome, tried & proven PTSD Detox program…

Reboot-Refresh: Invisible Wounds Support Group

 

This month, Reboot-Refresh is taking a “field trip”.  We have found out that the documentary, Hell and Back Again, will be coming to Lexington, Kentucky, for one night only. Since the documentary is being presented at the same time we normally meet, we have decided to attend the showing of Hell and Back Again, and then meet afterwards to discuss the film.

We hope you will join us. Here are the details:

The movie is 90 minutes. It is being shown at LexArts, 161 N. Mill Street, Lexington, 40507.  It is free and open to the public. It is being presented by KET as part of the ITVS nationwide Community Cinema program.  We will meet in front of LexArts at 6:00 pm, Thursday, April 19.

Here is some information about our Invisible Wounds Care Group, Reboot-Refresh.   We meet on the third Thursday of each month.  We meet at Southland Christian Church, in Room B133.

Our focus is to support one another and learn to help one another through life after combat.  Many of us are playing a role of primary support for someone who has served in combat at some point in their past.

If you know your loved one is dealing with PTSD or a mild TBI, this group is for you.  If your loved one doesn’t have a diagnosis, but you know life is simply not the same anymore since their return from war, this group is for you.  Statistically, at least 20% of returning troops will have PTSD.  Realistically, everyone who serves will come back changed.

PTSD carries a stigma that we don’t speak of outside our homes. The symptomatic behaviors are often nothing to brag about and we prefer to keep problems to ourselves, hoping and praying that the situation will resolve itself in time. Thousands of veterans return home from war finding themselves unable to fit back into society. These men and women now face a battle on the homefront which can result in broken relationships, substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness, and suicide.

Even if your loved one is seeking treatment, there is much that we, as caregivers, need to learn so that we can help our loved one work towards health and healing.  Often times, our emotional reaction to what is happening will make the situation far worse.  You may even find that you are exhibiting symptoms of Secondary Traumatic Stress and you probably feel overwhelmed and at a loss as to how to get any help for yourself.

We are not experts, but we are survivors.  The purpose of this care group is to provide a safe atmosphere in which participants can share their hearts and their struggles. We have all experienced the spiritual, mental, and emotional battles that come with supporting and loving a combat veteran living with war’s invisible wounds.

We welcome anyone who has already walked this path in supporting a combat veteran.  You can show us some of the lessons and techniques you have learned and teach us to be a better support for our own combat veteran.

If you are a veteran who is willing to share your perspective about living with PTSD, we would welcome your participation and suggestions for helping family members learn to be a better support for their combat veteran.

If you are the parent, spouse, family member, or close friend to one of our nation’s veterans suffering with PTSD and TBI, we hope you will join us on the first and third Thursday nights of each month.  The group will meet monthly, on the third Thursday evening of the month from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.  Childcare is provided.  We will be meeting at Southland Christian Church, Room B133, located at 5001 Harrodsburg Rd., Nicholasville, KY For driving directions, click here.  For a building map, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact Beth at beth@military-missions.org.

Legacy of Service

Not only will this little one grow up to realize that he lives in a free nation, but he will know that it is because of brave men like his daddy who serve and sacrifice for all of us. Military children have the privilege of being American citizens and the honor of knowing their parents are the ones who make it a reality for all of us.

Help us continue on in 2012

2011 brought us the opportunity to support and encourage deployed troops, families here on the homefront, and our veterans in many different ways.  One of the greatest gifts of this past year has been the partnership that we have made with so many of you as we have worked together to support those who have served on our behalf. Words can’t express our gratitude for your support, encouragement, and help throughout the year.

The 3000 names on our Christmas list are now the names on our list for 2012, and it is our hope that we can continue to send packages to these heroes throughout their deployments in the coming year.  We continue to receive new requests every day so your support throughout the year is crucial to allow us to continue our mission to encourage and support our troops and their families.

We need YOUR help!  Any gift you give on or before December 31 is tax-deductible for 2011. By visiting our website you can make a  donation via Google Checkout or PayPal, and bless the socks off a deployed hero and support our veterans and military families here on the homefront.  If you prefer to donate via check, you can mail your check to our office, postmarked by December 31, and your donation will be credited for the 2011 year.

Once again, we thank you for your support and look forward to partnering with you again in 2012.

Please Don’t Leave Me Homeless

If you live in the Central Kentucky area, there is a very unique opportunity for you to attend an event and show your support for our homeless Veterans tonight.  An Evening of Giving Thanks to our Veterans will be held at the Lexington Opera House. Admission is free.

There is a good chance you don’t know anyone personally who is homeless, but these homeless Veterans have served our nation on your behalf and mine.  It may be difficult for you to understand why so many of our veterans are returning from military service only to find themselves living on the streets, but I’ve met many who have ended up without homes, and given their circumstances, it is easy to see why the numbers of homeless Veterans is growing every day.

From 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm, in the lobby of the Opera House, you can view the art exhibit, Please Don’t Leave Me Homeless.  The artwork has been created by Homeless Veterans of Lexington.  Come and meet the artists, hear their stories, and honor their service to our great nation.

Beginning at 8:00 pm, the original, acclaimed play, Please Don’t Call me Homeless….I Don’t Call You Homed, will be performed by men and women who have been homeless in Lexington.  Come and learn about the reality of what life is like for our Veterans who call the streets of Lexington home.

Appalachian Home holiday wreaths will be available to order. These gifts will brighten your home for the holiday and give a home to homeless Veterans.

This event is sponsored by the Catholic Action Center, Central KY Council for Peace and Justice, Christian Appalachian Project’s Appalachian Home, Divine Providence, Inc.’s Lexington Homeless Veteran’s Program, and Friends of Ending Homelessness for Veterans in our Community.

This is a rare opportunity we have here in Lexington to get to know these heroes.  It’s by the grace of God that you and I have a roof over our heads.  Let’s give thanks for what we have, and let’s come out and support this event. We can help our homeless Veterans to get back on their feet.  I think it is the least we can do after all they have done for us.

Secondary PTSD discussed on VOW Talk Radio

Have you heard of Secondary PTSD?  If you haven’t, it’s time that you did. If your Veteran has PTSD, there is a good chance that you may develop Secondary PTSD.  You may already have symptoms and not even realize that you do.  Secondary PTSD can affect spouses, children, parents, and any other significant person involved in the lives of our nation’s combat veterans.

Click here to listen to our latest VOW Talk Radio show airing tonight at 9:00 pm. Shawn Gourley, author of The War at Home: One Family’s Fight Against PTSD, talks about her book and how Secondary PTSD has affected her family. During the interview, VOW Radio hostess, Beth Pennington, will also be sharing about her own battle with Secondary PTSD.  If you think this is something that can only happen to someone else, you are wrong.

Click here to read more.