I am currently viewing NBC’s “The Brave” and I love the different action packed scenes brought on by the various missions the Special Ops team must undergo. This show has heightened my appreciation of our soldiers. Although I have always admired our soldiers, it makes it more apparent how much they risk their lives to ensure us Americans are safe. This altruistic act is sometimes overlooked by us civilians and some of us may have conditioned ourselves not to think twice about this. This disregard, perhaps, could unintentionally draw away from some of the physical or mental struggles some soldiers must have when transitioning back into civilian life. Civilians are only privy to war scenes on television and social media, however, our soldiers are actually experiencing and viewing inexplicable events that may be hard to mentally process. These experiences most likely could transition in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) causes an individual to have high anxiety after experiencing a traumatic occurrence. According to dosomething.org, “11 to 20% of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been diagnosed with PTSD.” I cannot even fathom the percentage of veterans that have experienced PTSD that participated in past wars or the veterans that are unaware of their disorder.
How can You Be a Part of the Solution?
1. Reach Out
If you have family or friends that were in the military, check on them. Sometimes a small gesture can go a long way.
There are so many non-for-profit programs across the country that welcome volunteers. You could also check out your local veteran’s hospital or facilities to see if they offer volunteer opportunities. Volunteermatch.org is also a great website that helps you find local facilities to volunteer at. If you cannot locate a facility that fit the criteria you are looking for, you can also create your own support group.
If you are not able to volunteer your time, you can always donate funds. Every dollar counts towards a veteran in need. The most recent go fund me I have come across is “Support Vital Warrior” fund. The money collected for this will go towards veterans suffering from PTSD.
By doing these three things and more, we can help our veterans better transition into civilian life and help provide them resources that will help them manage their anxiety. Our veterans are individuals that have risked their life, spent time away from their families and experienced the unimaginable just so we can have our daily liberties. Let’s thank them by giving back.