- One of the most difficult things that I have been asked to do is to write about disorders related to.... I'm not even certain how to say it. I don't understand what type of label to put on it or even if a label is the correct way to start. So bear with me.
In 1977 I personally had trouble adjusting to my new civilian and married life and my world was spinning out of control. Without being specific as to my particular pathologies, my older sister got me to a psychologist I will remember the rest of my life and will actually identify him. His name was Gary Vandevest. We met weekly for fifty weeks. It would have been an entire year except, the guy deserved his two weeks vacation.
I learned a very valuable lesson that has helped me and many people in my life for many years.
I learned that we get better.
It's not easy. It's not automatic. But, we get better.
Some Veterans have to face these difficulties alone. Others have concerned friends and family that want to help. In either case it is important that we see to it that the professional help that is required is available to all Veterans regardless of all other factors. Help is hope. Help is the responsibility of every free citizen of this country whether you are close to a Veteran or not.
They call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Okay, I get that. The important thing to remember is not what it's called but what it does. It robs its victims of hope. It steals from its victims loved ones and it depletes from the lives of everyone involved. But, with help, we get better.
Sometimes it wears a disguise. Anger. Alcohol abuse. Drug and prescription abuse. Lack of focus. Depression. Inability to fit in. But, with help, we get better.
I don't know because I am a mile away from being an expert. Two miles. Though it seems to me that The American Veterans Alliance and the Veterans Administration are trying hard to become the very best at getting to the Veterans and their families regardless of financial, geographic or language factors. This seems to be an effective approach. Because, with help, we get better.
In this effort, The American Veterans Alliance and The Society of Hispanic Veterans actively are involved in the following programs.
-Complete Psychiatric evaluation and therapy
-Sexual Trauma Counseling
-Marital and Couples Psychotherapy
-Substance abuse counseling
-Outpatient services for children and adolescents of Veterans.
-Outpatient services for adult and geriatric Veterans
-Domestic violence counseling
-Special ops specialist counseling
-In home counseling
Right now, this is a great responsibility. There isn't anyone who is not responsible. There isn't anyone who cannot help. Sure, we need money. Sure, we need volunteers. Sure, we need professionals. We need data and cooperation and coordination and resources and awareness and, and, and....
What we really need is for everyone to care. They volunteered and they all served just the same.