Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 26, 2009

V8-31

U.S. seeing more female homeless veterans

By Thom Patterson

When Iraq war veteran Angela Peacock is in the shower, she sometimes closes her eyes and can’t help reliving the day in Baghdad in 2003 that pushed her closer to the edge.
While pulling security detail for an Army convoy stuck in gridlocked traffic, Peacock’s vehicle came alongside a van full of Iraqi men who “began shouting that they were going to kill us,” she said.
One man in the vehicle was particularly threatening. “I can remember his eyes looking at me,” she said. “I put my finger on the trigger and aimed my weapon at the guy, and my driver is screaming at me to stop.”
“I was really close to shooting at them, but I didn’t.”
Now back home in Missouri, Peacock, 30, is unemployed — squatting without a lease in a tiny house in a North St. Louis County neighborhood. Read More…

Also in the news:
Stricken boys turn to crime
More than twenty thousand armed services veterans are serving sentences for criminal offenses.
Shock figures show there are currently 12,000 vets on probation or parole and a further 8,500 in custody.
That is twice as many as the number of British troops presently in Afghanistan.

We all have a duty to our troops
Many soldiers are vulnerable, damaged or deprived people given purpose by the army. It’s not surprising some collapse without it.

PTSD: The invisible disorder
Our nation needs a better understanding of PTSD. A recent article by Google News stated, “[U.S. senators] grilled Veterans Affairs Administration (VA) officials over an e-mail that urged staff to make fewer diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and branded troubled soldiers seeking help as ‘compensation-seekers.’” It is absurd that officials would accuse our soldiers of trying to take advantage of medical benefits after what they’ve risked their lives for. Our veterans are only rightfully seeking help for their illness. Such accusations stem from a lack of education and understanding.

Eternal Struggle with PTSD
Not many people who have not experienced Combat, too include the doctors, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists and poly trauma specialists can truly understand how it can and does affect an individuals life. It usually takes 1 year for a Soldier to even accept the fact that they have PTSD or Major depression. By the time they do realize it, it is usually too late when it comes to relationships, friendships, family or just being out in the general public. I have yet to see any VA doctor of any kind be able to connect with what it’s going on in my mind.

Deployed Soldier Uses Salsa Dancing to Help Cope with Combat Environment
Rhythmic beats infused with lively trumpets and bells blaring from multiple speakers gave the crowd at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation center’s Salsa Night the motivation to dance the anxieties of deployment away.
For one Soldier in attendance… the passionate and lively Salsa night serve more to relieve stress and increase confidence.

Outreach brings services to veterans
“We found out there were veterans, especially in the rural areas, who were not aware they were eligible for benefits.” Dan Paupp, veterans benefits representative, said benefits extend beyond education and resources. Medical problems should be identified as early as possible and evaluated to see if a veteran is eligible for compensation or assistance.
“The longer you wait it’s just more money you’re losing,” Mr. Paupp said.

Event take look at PTSD, fights stigma
“It’s a stigma, it’s still a stigma, it’s always going to be a stigma,” Milton said. “But we’re trying to open the doors up. We have a lot of Soldiers that are seeking help today. A lot of Soldiers have identified with the conditions they have and a lot of Soldiers want to be treated.”

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