Photo Credit: Real Warrior Campaign“Happy to be Home”
Normally you start a blog with the beginning and work your way to the end; today, I started with the closing comments of Master Sergeant Aaron Tippett, US Army. The Blogger Roundtable had the opportunity to interview and listen to the comments of an American hero and how he dealt with the challenges of PTSD. Listen up military spouses! He responded to his spouse after she saw the cumulative effects of multiple deployments. Stay in touch with your spouse! His advise for spouses was, “be there, listen, be supportive,” but don’t push it, each soldier is different. After his wife encouraged him to seek help (“you need to get help”) for his symptoms, he responded to her attention and caring.
Friends, co-workers, other military personnel should be listening too: Another soldier identified the Real Warrior Campaign (RWC) as helpful and that opened the door for Tippett. He said the RWC broke the stigma associated with those needing help which allowed him to respond and opened the door for others who heard his story as well. Friends helping friends is often the best way to reach out to someone in need of professional assistance.
If you would like to hear more of Tippett’s story the RWC has a series of profile videos on their site which is very informative and not long. It also features the stories of other service members such as Sgt Maj of the Army Raymond Chandler and Cmdr. (Chaplain) Steve Dundas. Tippett sought out counseling from RESPECT-Mil (Re-Engineering Systems of Primary Care Treatment) at Ft Campbell and found it to be more effective than a previous post’s efforts at counseling soldiers before and after deployment.
Photo Credit: Give an HourThe Roundtable also heard from Nancy St. Claire, Chief Operating Officer from the RWC campaign partner Give an Hour which provides free civilian mental health services for military members and their families. Nancy said the founder of Give an Hour, Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, wanted to rally the mental health community to support of the military community. They now have 7,000 clinicians in all 50 states and since 2005 have donated 110,000 hours to the community. Available counselors include psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, marriage and family therapists, drug and alcohol counselors, pastoral counselors, and other professional counselors. They have a search tool on their site and telephonic services are available. Services are totally private and skype type capabilities are in the pilot stage!
It is almost the end of PTSD Awareness Month but that should not end our quest to be aware, look out for, seek help and be aware of the symptoms of PTSD and resources available for our service members and their families. If you would like to see more about the DoDLive Blogger Roundtable you can find the audio of this Roundtable at DoDLive.
About the Blogger:
Col K is aretired Air Force pilot who served with the best of the military community fromthe Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force. He flew combat rescueand special operations helicopters, fixed wing trainers and airlift and retiredwhile flying the C-17 as the Vice Wing Commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing atMcChord AFB. He enjoys writing about military issues and is a frequentcontributor to the the DoD Blogger Roundtable at DoDLive. A member of a proud military family that created MilitaryAvenue.com to supportthe troops and their families, he enjoys the continued military ties fromblogging.