What Can I Do About Ptsd? Without Medications

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To whom it may concern,

I have compiled a list of links, organizations, phone numbers and other resources that may be helpful to veterans. I wasn't aware of most of these programs when I was struggling the most in 2009. If this can help even one veteran from going to that dark place - there is a chance that it could save a life. I know that each one of your organizations is way over tasked and under funded. This is a nation wide crisis. If we all try to work together and stop acting as though we're all help less in this - its about education on what the problem is and the ways to address it. You have constant access to veterans in need. I would like you to ask them to speak up. Send an email to [email protected] highlighting the biggest problems they are facing (ie. financial, relationship, substance abuse, domestic violence, recreational) and what they think was the catalyst. Also, if they have any ideas as to what may help them cope and grow as a civilian. The very least we can do is try, and that is a very small token of our appreciation for the conditions that our young men and women endure on a daily basis for months. lets try to coordinate some better networking strategies and figure out a way into embarrassing our political leaders into addressing the underlying issues, what they're pursuing isn't cutting it - just causing further personality issues. I hope that this list will be of some use and that the feedback will add some fuel to my fire. I will be working on a retreat center in Hawaii that encompasses many different forms of recreational, physical(massage, yoga) and aqua(fishing, surfing, swimming, waterfalls) therapies. It's a holistic approach to retraining the soldier to "deal/cope" with the new found restrictions in their life. It would be a 3-5month process depending on need requirements, but it's focus would be to prepare you for future hardships you may face and how to deal. Some medication is necessary, but it is being identified that there is very little positive response to the medications being prescribed. Its the belief that if the body has the nutrients and encouragement that it needs - it will heal. Thank you very much for everything you've done for me and all the other veterans that are struggling to survive. What you do is most often a thankless job, but please realize that as we put our heads to our pillows at night - we think of you and the efforts you've put forth on our behalf. Even if you can't help, sometimes just listening and reassuring them that they are absolutely not alone - but they need to speak up to be heard. Thank you again and please email me any other resources that I can add to this. If I can be of ANY assistance at all, please let me know.

Steven Stone,
Manual Medicine Practitioner, CMMT
Former Sgt, USMC

***Please, If you know of ANY other resources that could help our veterans - email me back so that it can be added to the list. I will be disseminating it to the troops ASAP.

***PLEASE Share this with your colleagues and veterans ruthlessly - Education is the best tool for helping someone, let a veteran know.

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MY MISSION

I've been trying to come up with something that when your tour of duty is up, you receive appropriate training for civilian life. Preparing soldiers with a 3 month program identifying hardships they may face after service and how to respond accordingly before the problem gets out of hand. When the uniform comes off. it doesn't matter what branch you're from at that point. what matters is what you've endured and what you're going through now, not proving to someone how it happened. that's a bullshit way to approach any diagnosis. Again, you are completely normal for what you've endured. so are the other tens of thousands of soldiers coming back from combat. There needs to be some sort of transitional process back into civilian life. like a boot camp. I'm hoping to create a team of people that can make this a reality. I want ever aspect of civilian life covered. Financial planning, creating a goal focused program for yourself after you separate, assist them with signing up for school and processing the paperwork(it can be intimidating for some, especially if you're already stressed out), connecting you with employers in the area you're relocating to, even develop a professional resume that will actually help get you a job. teach you how the skills you've learned in the service translate to gainful employment. The idea is to cover as many bases as possible before they encounter that type of situation and it starts the domino effect. give them coping techniques, and response strategies. Create a network for them to move back home into and a social worker/counselor in that area to make the transition as seamless as possible. Also make sure to set up the benefits that they are entitled to before they fall behind with bills. Basically its like relearning how to tie your shoe, barney style. There are many therapies that I want to consider as part of the program as well(listed bellow), but I want to make as many of them available 24/7. I feel that if you were expected to be alert and on point at any given second, so should your therapists. If you need to talk, maybe workout and want a trainer, or shoot a game of pool- it needs to be available. We need to learn how to enjoy what life has to offer without drugging ourselves out of consciousness or drinking till we pass out. The principle is simple - we need to find positive therapeutic and recreational outlets to focus our energy after everything we've been through. I think that Bellows Air Force Base would make the perfect place for such a retreat.

*A thought to remember, look around - how many veterans come from single parent families, broken homes or just young parents? think about the education on life they received growing up. It's a proven fact the the majority of those that enlist in the armed forces come from a lower socio-economic status. I know my family didn't have money when I was growing up, parent constantly working and spending less time with you teaching you the necessities of life. How can you expect these kids who only know the military way, and really the only thing that makes sense to them, to rejoin a society that cant even comprehend what their eyes have seen. It's hard for them to fathom the training we go through. Without covering the necessities of civilian life with these guys before they end active duty, you're putting them in a "combat zone" that they are ill prepared for. Most of the families that they are returning to are continuing to struggle financially. Adding someone who's struggling to even sleep at night or with PTSD, isn't a good mix. Then for them to have no way of relating to anyone anymore or understanding how to use a recreational outlet to relieve tension and stress without drugs or alcohol - is just making it all worse. I truly think this is at least the place to start. its not about fixing the problem overnight. It's about baby steps - it starts with an idea. It's not far fetched that if you introduce several different positive influences together in one place, you might- just maybe, have a positive outcome. Or do we continue the 15 minute appointments, and outrageous medications?

This CAN happen. this WILL happen. Marines are taught to Adapt and Overcome. We will be heard and we will have our needs addressed. who wants to be a part of this healing revolution???? lets make it happen.


Possible Therapies:
Massage ({trigger point release, myofacial release, thai stretching technique }combined) *pain management, stress relief, lower blood pressure and heart rate, increase circulation,
enhance breathing, engages the bodies natural parasympathetic response.
Healing and warrior yoga, help with balance for those with TBI's and loss of limbs. gets you out of the bad posture habits and strengthens your core- the right way.
Golf
stretching room(heated, assisting therapists) stretch bound up muscle fibers around nerve tissue, this helps at alleviating chronic pain and increasing range of motion.
cold/hot tubs
Art, open studio - multiple mediums
Computer lab (education on essentials, typing, navigating)
tours of island, local parks, sceneic destinations, local bases
counseling(group, vet to vet, practitioner)

Aqua therapies
-snorkeling
-surfing
-fishing
-spear fishing
-kayaking
-scuba?
-heated pool, stretching/conditioning/exercise
-Sea Life Park, swim with dolphins

*I also think that a level of community service should be done to give back what you can, time. But I want to find a diverse number of options to choose from so that it's not a chore, it's something you enjoy doing and you're willing to put your heart into it. The sense of accomplishment that comes from beutification, volunteering, or making a positive difference can make a remarkable difference in someones life. giving them a cause can even save a life. think about it - whats your cause?




Resources***********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************



Mental Health
For immediate or emergency assistance, please call:
The National Veterans' Foundation at 1-800-777-4443
VA Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255
Both hotlines are free and confidential.
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VA Benefits:
Link Removed

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Service Officers
to assist with filing a benefits claim with Comp and Pension with the Veterans administration.

VFW Officers - http://www.vfw.org/Assistance/National-Veterans-Service/
A VFW Service Officer will:
Offer research and advice to veterans who wish to handle their own claims.
Assist veterans who are filing original claims for compensation and/or
pension with the Department of Veterans Affairs and complete the required
VA forms on behalf of the claimant.
Assist veterans in reopening claims for service-connected disabilities and
complete the required VA forms.
Follow up on status of claims filed by veterans with the VA Regional Office.
File Notice of Disagreement with the VA Regional Office if a veteran
believes the decision made by the VA was incorrect.
Review statements of the case from the VA regarding denials of claim and
assist veterans with the preparation of responses.
Assist veterans or surviving spouses in the preparation of appeals for
denial of claims and file the appeals with the local VA Regional Office for forwarding to the Board
of Veterans Appeals in Washington, D.C.
Complete VA Forms other than for original claims.
Answer/research telephone inquiries regarding medical, death/burial and
other miscellaneous benefits.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
American Legion- Link Removed
Veterans need not be alone in their battles for benefits and medical care. Veterans are often forced to wage war against the paperwork and bureaucracy of government in order to get medical care or benefits. Here's some good news: American Legion department service officers (DSO) offer free advice and guidance for veterans who need to deal with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Purple Heart - Link Removed


*You are also now entitled to hire a VA accredited attorney to assist with the claims process once it was origionally denied and you are seeking an apeal. Most commonly they only charge a percentage of the back paid amount that you are issued.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION NEEDED TO FILE CLAIM:: If possible, have the following ready when you make your call:
DD Form 214 (Issued at the time of separation) ***
Service Medical Records (Outpatient), dental records, entrance and separation examination reports
Inpatient Hospitalization Records (private or military)
Private Outpatient Medical Records (if applicable)
Personnel File
Line of Duty (LOD) investigation reports
Overseas or Temporary Duty (Travel) Orders
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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.TALK (8255)

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USA Cares
- http://usacares.org/
USA Cares exists to help bear the burdens of service by providing post-9/11 military families with financial and advocacy support in their time of need. Assistance is provided to all branches of service, all components, all ranks while protecting the privacy and dignity of those military families and veterans who request our help. Since 2003, USA Cares has responded to over 26,000 requests for assistance with more than $7,600,000 in direct support grants.
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Iraq and Afganistan, Veterans of America
http://iava.org/
As the nation's first and largest non-profit organization dedicated to our newest veterans, IAVA has over 200,000 member veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. As an IAVA member, you get exclusive access to free stuff through The Rucksack, resources to navigate the New GI Bill, an online community exclusively for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and much more.
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Veterans of Foreign Wars(VFW)-
http://www.vfw.org/Assistance/National-Military-Services/,
"Unmet needs of Veterans" http://www.vfw.org/Assistance/Post-Military-Assistance/
The VFW Unmet Needs program provides a lifeline for service members who run into unexpected financial difficulties as a result of deployments or other military related hardships. Those who've been active duty within the past 36 months could qualify. By providing urgent grants to military families, VFW Unmet Needs is able to see that military families are able to cope during an already emotional strenuous time.
VFW Financial- (816)756-3390
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Veterans Financial
http://www.veteransfinancial.com/ ; Joseph Fowee @ (800)835-1541
Veterans Financial Inc. is a national company with a single focus: to provide sound financial advice to our country's veterans and their families who may now or in the near future need assistance either in an independent or assisted living community, a nursing home setting, an adult day center or in their own home through a home care agency.
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Military 1 Source-
(800)342-9647, http://www.militaryonesource.com/
Military OneSource includes articles, resource guides, calculators, Web links, locators, toolkits and other helpful information about various issues and stages of life. You name it…we can help.
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American Red Cross- http://www.redcross.org/

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Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society-
http://www.nmcrs.org/
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society can provide interest-free loans or grants to help with emergency needs such as:
Emergency Transportation
Funeral Expenses
Medical/dental Bills (patient's share)
Food, Rent, and Utilities
Disaster Relief Assistance
Child Care Expenses
Essential Vehicle Repairs
Unforeseen Family Emergencies
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Operation Homefront
- (800)722-6098; http://www.operationhomefront.net/
Food Assistance
Auto Repair
Furniture & Household Items
Moving Assistance
Vision Care
Homefront Celebrations
Operation Homefront Villages
Operation Homefront Online
Financial Assistance
Home & Appliance Repair
Auto Donations
Holiday Programs
Disaster Relief
Community Events
Wounded Warrior Wives
Military Child Award
Military Motherhood Award
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Operation First Response -
http://www.operationfirstresponse.org/
20037 Dove Hill Rd.
Cullpeper, VA 22701
(888)289-0280; fax: (888)505-2795

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USA Together ;
Link Removed
USA Together brings together injured service members who need assistance as they recover with the people who want to help them. Here’s what we do:
Injured service members, or someone acting on their behalf, such as a family member or caseworker apply to USA Together.
We validate the service connected injury by requesting certain documentation be sent to us. Then we help identify the most essential needs to be posted and we do so. Pictures are NOT REQUIRED, but they do put a face to the story and we encourage them.
As soon as a request is posted, those who subscribe to the USA Together site get notified via email and will review the request and potentially offer to help.
People visiting the site daily also can browse the requests and offer to help.
We cannot predict how soon a request will be met nor can we guarantee that it will be met at all. All we can do is get the word out across the country.
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SEMPER FI FUND
http://semperfifund.org/
This type of assistance comes in the form of a check that the recipient can put toward whatever expenses he or she feels are most pressing. Grants can be used to help pay for travel and lodging, or to defray hospitalization and rehabilitation costs. Due to loss of income while at a loved one’s bedside, many families use this money to cover mortgages, car payments, utilities or grocery bills.
Qualifications:To qualify for financial assistance, you or your family member must be a Marine, Sailor or other military personnel assigned to Marine Forces, injured in post 9-11 combat or training, or facing a life threatening illness. Remember, our goal is to provide help throughout the recovery process, however long it may take.
Your needs may change over time, but we will always be here. We understand time is of the essence, so emergency grants are processed swiftly -- typically within just a few days (sometimes even hours).
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Team Red White and Blue
- planned veteran to veteran activites and socialization. helps build a network.
Qualificaitons: Any OIF/OEF veteran that suffered physical or psychological wounds as a result of their military service.
TEAMRWB.COM
*your VA medical provider or case manager need to refer you to the program.

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LEGAL ASSISTANCE:

Lawyers Serving Warriors- Dead Link Removed
A Project of the National Veterans Legals Services Program (NVLSP) providing free legal representation in disability, discharge and Veterans benefits cases to service members and Veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
****out of funding but may be able to connect you with another organization or bar association to solicite for council.
The National Veterans Legal Services Program assists OIF/OEF active duty and servicemembers and veterans with disability discharge issues or with obtaining VA benefits.
Swords to Plowshares has an Iraq Veteran Project that provides free legal representation for VA claims and military discharge reviews, as well as social services and benefits counseling. Services are available to all Global War on Terror veterans, former active duty servicemembers, Guard and Reserve; with any type of discharge.
The Coming Home Project offers free services such as psychological counseling, workshops and retreats, training for care providers and community forums which address the mental, emotional, spiritual, and relationship challenges faced by veterans and their families.
ONE Freedom offers one-day workshops, weekend retreats, and care provider trainings aimed at teaching how to effectively respond to prolonged stress and provide a framework for understanding issues for returning veterans and their families.
The Swords to Plowshares drop-in center provides mental health services, including counseling for drug and alcohol problems and post-traumatic stress disorders, case management and referrals. Their outreach and prevention programs target veterans who suffer from unemployment, poverty, medical problems, substance abuse, and social isolation.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, seminars for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, casualty casework assistance, and crisis intervention for the surviving families of fallen service members, regardless of geography or circumstance of death.
The Tides Center in San Francisco is partnering with the California Department of Veterans Affairs to offer "The Pathway Home," a treatment and counseling program for OIF/OEF veterans, on the grounds of the Yountville Veteran's Home.
Vets4Vets is a place for veterans of today's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to use peer support to help each other through speaking and listening. Vets4Vets is staffed exclusively by veterans from different services and military specialties.
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Phone Assistance:
Assurance Wireless ( free phone, 200 minutes local/long dist., free voicemail/call waiting/caller ID, no contract)
*$.10/min extra, $.15/a text, [email protected] $1.75
Qualifications: Medicaid, food stamps/SNAP, SSI, TANF, Section 8, LIHEAP, National school lunch program

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HAZARDOUS MEDICAL INFORMATION:

Hazardous Exposures while in Military Service- http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/

Gulf War Veteran Era *** Add yourself to the Gulf war registry
http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/reports/gwvi-taskforce.asp

OEF/OIF Veterans
http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/oefoif/index.asp

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Transitioning Marine Resources Employment Links
1. Turbo Tap- Link Removed
2. Job Central- http://www.jobcentral.com/
3. Indeed- http://www.indeed.com/
4. Job hunt- Link Removed
5. O’NET OnLine- http://online.onetcenter.org/
6. Hire Heroes USA- http://www.hireheroesusa.org/
7. Vet Success- Link Removed
8. USA jobs- Dead Link Removed
9. WHS online- Link Removed
10. Employment Spot- Link Removed
11. Department of Veteran Affairs- http://www.va.gov/
12. Department of Labor Real Life Lines- Link Removed
13. Army Civilian Personnel Online- Dead Link Removed
14. Job Opportunities for Disabled American Veterans- http://www.jofdav.com/
15. Department of the Navy Civilian Hiring and Recruitment Tool (CHART)- Link Removed
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IMPORTANT MILITARY LINKS FOR INFORMATION:

VA Forms www.va.gov/vaforms
VA Facilities www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp
VA Benefit Payment Rates www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Rates/
Vocational Rehabilitation www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/index.htm

Women Veterans www1.va.gov/womenvet/
OEF/OIF Veterans www.oefoif.va.gov/
Homeless Veterans www1.va.gov/homeless/
Minority Veterans www1.va.gov/centerforminorityveterans/
Veterans Preference Link Removed
Employment and Training www.dol.gov/vets/
Returning Veterans Link Removed
Survivor Benefits www.vba.va.gov/survivors/index.htm
Burial and Memorial Benefits www.cem.va.gov
Department of Defense www.defenselink.mil
Educational Benefits www.gibill.va.gov
Federal Jobs Link Removed
Health Care Eligibility Link Removed
Home Loans www.homeloans.va.gov
Life Insurance www.insurance.va.gov

US National Archives and Records
Link Removed

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Education
ARNG Federal Tuition Assistance provides financial assistance to part-time ARNG soldiers in support of their professional and personal self-development goals.
The GI Bill offers many educational benefits for veterans and their families. See this official site from the Veterans Administration for benefits information.
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships to children of current or former Marines in their pursuit of higher education, with particular attention being given to children whose parent was killed or wounded in action.
The National Military Family Association provides information on children’s education including successful transitioning to new schools, impact aid funding, tuition for servicemembers and families, and other resources.
The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community. Dependent unmarried children under age 21 (23 if enrolled as a full time student) of active duty personnel, reserve/guard and retired military members, or survivors of deceased members, may apply for a scholarship. You must be planning to attend a college or university on a full-time basis.
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Employment
The Farmer – Veteran Coalition seeks to help returning veterans find employment, training, and places to heal on America’s farms.
The National Military Family Association has a wealth of resources for spouse employment.
Return to Work provides vocational rehabilitation services to injured soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan by in-person and remote counseling.
The Veterans Village of San Diego offers job search assistance and supportive services as needed to ensure job readiness and successful placements.
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Financial Assistance
The California National Guard Financial Assistance Fund (CNGFAF) provides short term grants to CA National Guard members and/or families impacted by OIF/OEF deployment.
The National Veterans Foundation has outreach services that provide veterans and families in need with food, clothing, and transportation.
The Pentagon Federal Credit Union’s Asset Recovery Kit (ARK) provides emergency loans and professional financial counseling to our country’s brave military men and women to help them avoid the trap of payday lending. Their Military Heroes® program provides wounded soldiers with services that the Defense Department cannot offer due to budgetary and regulatory restrictions. These unmet needs — identified by military Command, the Military Severely Injured Center, and others, include activities such as child care for families of hospitalized soldiers, emergency financial support, support for military families and retirees rebuilding their lives after natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, patient and family lounges in Walter Reed Army Medical Center, etc.
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society provides interest-free loans or grants to meet emergency needs including emergency transportation, funeral expenses, patient care, housing needs, disaster relief, child care, vehicle maintenance, and other unforeseen emergencies. They also provide budget assistance to help servicemembers and their families review and understand their monthly budget and make recommendations for improvements. Contact your nearest NMCRS office and ask for an appointment to review your budget.
The Sentinels of Freedom four-year scholarship was created to benefit qualified members of the U.S. Armed Forces severely injured in the line of duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001. The program helps them readjust to civilian life and prosper in their hometowns or new communities, and includes with housing, household supplies, career-placement assistance, adaptive vehicles, educational opportunities, and financial mentorship.
USA Cares provides military families with financial support, including assistance to wounded warriors and families, preventing home foreclosures and evictions, and assisting with basic needs during financial crisis.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation’s Unmet Needs Program seeks to alleviate the stress on the family while a spouse is deployed through mortgage assistance, home repair, transportation assistance, help with medical expenses, etc.
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Health
Air Compassion for Veterans provides no-cost medical air travel services for eligible troops, wounded warriors, veterans and their families.
The American Pain Foundation provides local resources useful to those affected by pain. PainAid, their interactive online community, offers support for those enduring chronic pain and includes a military/veterans discussion board. The Resource Locator offers a wealth of resources and has specialized information for military/veterans.
The Hero Miles program at Fisher House provides airfare support for wounded warriors and their families.
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has a Handbook for Injured Service Members and Their Families providing information about what lies ahead, an overview of resources at their disposal, and a discussion of certain issues they are likely to confront.
Project Victory, in collaboration with TIRR Foundation, seeks to enable service members with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to regain skills and functions through rehabilitative services.
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Housing
Fisher House Foundation, Inc. donates “comfort homes” built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers for families while the military members recuperate.
Homes for Our Troops helps severely injured servicemen and women and their immediate families by coordinating the building of a new home or adapting an existing home for increased accessibility. All services provided are at no cost to the veterans they serve.
Operation Homefront is establishing “Operation Homefront Villages,” rent-free and fully furnished apartment units, near Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Priority placement is given to wounded service members within six months to two years of medical discharge or retirement, wounded service members receiving treatment at local military hospitals, veterans within six months to two years after discharge who may be pursuing higher education and are unable to afford housing. They also help through the process of modifying and renegotiating mortgage loans to create reasonable mortgage payments to ensure that families stay in their homes.
The Pentagon Federal Credit Union’s Dream Makers Program offers grants for down payments to first-time homebuyers of modest means who valiantly work to protect our country’s national security.
Swords to Plowshares offers transitional and permanent housing, regular meals, as well as intensive group and individual counseling.
Tides Center in San Francisco is partnering with the California Department of Veterans Affairs to offer “The Pathway Home,” a treatment and counseling program for OIF/OEF veterans, on the grounds of the Yountville Veteran’s Home.
Veterans Village of San Diego offers a variety of residential services which include alcohol and drug treatment centers.
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Military and Veteran Families
The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) provides educational, recreational, social and religious programs and services for military personnel and their families.
The Coming Home Project offers many free services such as psychological counseling, workshops and retreats, training for care providers, and community forums which address the mental, emotional, spiritual, and relationship challenges faced by veterans and their families.
The United Through Reading Military Program allows deployed servicemembers to read to any child in his/her life (e.g. son or daughter, younger sibling, younger niece or nephew, grandchild) through video.
The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community. Dependent unmarried children under age 21 (23 if enrolled as a full time student) of active duty personnel, reserve/guard and retired military members, or survivors of deceased members, may apply for a scholarship.
The California National Guard Family Program offers services focused on encouraging the well-being of the family, including: State Advocacy Program, Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), Emergency Placement Care, Family Member Employee Assistance Program, Relocation Assistance Program, Emergency Financial Assistance, Food Locker, Family Referral and Out Reach, and Consumer Affairs and Financial Assistance.
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has a Handbook for Families of a Deceased Servicemember to assist survivors which summarizes the resources available from military, government and private institutions, and discusses issues surviving family members are likely to confront.
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships to children of current or former Marines in their pursuit of higher education.
The National Military Family Association provides ample resources for topics such as spouse employment, childcare, education, and housing services.
Our Military Kids provides grants for enrichment activities and tutoring to foster and sustain development during parent deployment.
The Salvation Army’s Liberty Program in Los Angeles helps OIF/OEF active duty, veterans, Guard, Reserve, and their families by providing: individual, group and family counseling and a variety of services for children.
The Sesame Street Workshop offers free bilingual (English and Spanish) multimedia kits designed to support military families with children between the ages of two and five who are experiencing deployment, multiple deployments, or a parent’s return home changed due to a combat-related injury.
Zero to Three’s Military Projects -
http://www.zerotothree.org/site/PageServer?pagename=key_military provide resources to strengthen the resilience of young children and their families who are experiencing separation or grief during deployment or loss.
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Military Sexual Trauma
CA National Guard’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPRP)
Link Removed
mission is to prevent sexual assaults within the CA National Guard through increasing awareness, education, and protection of the rights and dignity of victims.
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Recreation
Cause USA
http://www.cause-usa.org/ organizes recreational and entertainment activities for service members injured in any military theater.
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Women’s Issues and Veterans suffering from Substance Abuse
New Directions Women’s and Substance abuse Program - Link Removed
offers substance abuse rehabilitation, trauma counseling, parenting classes, and job-training. New Directions serves homeless women veterans–as well as the wives, adult daughters and sisters of veterans.
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SPECIFICALLY MICHIGAN RESOURCES::

[Ann Arbor, MI]
Seamless Transition program at the Ann Arbor VA medical Center (VA #- 734.769.7100)
2215 Fuller Rd, Ann Arbor MI 48105
Current Program Manager, Sarah Nowitske, L.M.S.W (734) 845-3787
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www.michigan.gov/mybridges
-apply for benefits such as food and cash assistance to help make ends meet until your benefits become available.
- State of emergency relief form (heat, electricity, rent)

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VFW Childrens Home of Eaton Rapids, MI
Toll-free: 800 424-8360
3573 S Waverly Rd.
Eaton Rapids, MI 48827
Fax: 517 663-3727
**Very specific criteria to be accepted into program.
Programs
Since its founding in 1925, the VFW National Home for Children has continued to evolve to meet the changing needs of our nation’s military and veterans’ families.
Helpline 800.313.4200
Our Helpline is the gateway to help for military and veterans’ families across the country. Learn more.
Military Family Program
Our Military Family Program is there for children and families of active duty military personnel when their family plan fails during deployment. Learn more.
Veteran Family Program
Our Veteran Family Program helps veterans and their families stay together during VA Vocational Rehabilitation. Learn more.
Single-Parent Family Program
Our Single-Parent Family Program helps veterans’ families in crisis transition to a stronger, more stable situation. Learn more.
Residential Program
Our Residential Care Program provides care for veterans’ children who need a place to live, learn and grow in a loving and supportive environment. Learn more.
On-Campus Services
Families and children living on the National Home campus have access to a variety of on-campus support services, including:
Child Care
Education Services
Recreation
Life Skills Training
Community Service
For inquires about any of these programs, call the National Home Helpline at 800.313.4200 or email [email protected].
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[Lansing]
Safe Shelters:
Glass House For Women- (517)482-2028

Haven House - (517)337-2731; http://www.havenhouseel.org/
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City Rescue Mission of Lansing-
607 E. Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI 48912-1152
Phone: 517.485.0145
[email protected]

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Jimmy1

MyPTSD Pro
Steven, welcome to the forum mate.
There are lots of links there and probably heaps of info. Your best bet would be to contact Anthony.
He is the founder of this site and PTSD Forum, another site utilised by other various PTSD sufferers.
He might be able to put your useful info on a separate page for veterans to access, as there are heaps of vets out there who are unsure of who to contact over there.

I welcome any questions you have, but you will have to shorten them down. It was too much for my mind to cope with. That is one part of Combat PTSD I hate. I used to be a Warrant Officer Class 2 here in Australia and used to be able to manage about 40 things at once. Now I am lucky to be able to handle 2. Hehe.

Well, hope your info helps people.

Jimmy
 
Thanks Jimmy,
Honestly is seems like so few people really care anymore within the medical community. Its as if I'm a paycheck or a guinea pig for them to "see if this works". I guess with this being my first post to any blog ever, It was more of me vomiting out all the built up thoughts I needed to get out. I agree that its overwhelming though, its as if my cause has taken over my life -giving me new direction and a purpose again. It makes me sick knowing how few are really getting the assistance they really need. Often times due to the stigma and the VA's position on PTSD being a mental illness. The first approach has always been meds and not addressing the physical symptoms individually. I don't think that its appropriate to being addressed as having a mental illness, when my body is going through so much on a daily basis that its effecting my mood, my sleep and several other aspects of my health. What we've seen in inhuman and its 100% normal to feel this way. It's that there needs to be more focus on coping with the physical symptoms. To think that a therapist or psychologist who has a formal education and most likely a stable living environment can relate very little to what we are experience. Making the process almost patronizing and causing quite a few of us to clam up during sessions. Most often the therapy causes anger before I leave. It brings me to the front of my fears, that I've brought two little innocent boys into this world of neglect or fear. In a few short years there are going to be hundreds of thousands of troops returning trying to find their niche in society struggling with ptsd and substance abuse. they will be flooding the colleges and training facilities to try and find some way to survive in this world. Seeing that the military doesn't train you for what hardships you're going to face as a civilian- its setting most guys up for failure and making the future of our children and our country is very bleak. These hardships create a downward spiral of financial hardship and social problems. Being that we are conditioned with military training, why aren't they being preemptive and addressing the lack of "life education" with a training program before we encounter these problems. Vent done.

I want the opportunity to decide what I think might work for me and I think there needs to be a list of approved options to choose from. It's about quality of life, if we're always in pain- when can we let go of the stress and deal with life?

Thanks
 

Jimmy1

MyPTSD Pro
Mate the first step is really them accepting that they have it. Well, thats my opinion anyway.
Before I was diagnosed, people told me I had and I burred up at them, yelled, stamped my feet and walked away.
I thought I was just angry, tired and did not want to serve anymore.

Even when I was with a counselor/therapist, fill out the PTSD questionnaire, I did not answer it correctly, all because I did not know what trauma was. I thought it was hand to hand in the jungle fighting the VC.
I was not aware it could be something as simple as opening the back of a Humvee to do a search and finding twisted, broken, burned and some dead soldiers. That was just a job. checking vehicles for explosives.

I know a lot of solders who are discharged now because they thought they did not like serving anymore.
They blame the alcohol use etc on their family breakup. Wish I could have helped now.

Well thats enough waffle. I don't want to start my head off today or I will have a bad one..

JImmy
 

willis williams

MyPTSD Pro
There is a lot of help out there and it isnt all correct the VA put me in the hospital for 5 weeks with meds seroquil not all meds are for everyone I quit drinking and found on meds i am more withdrawn not good when you have children with alcohol I could relax and have fun the meds ruined my sex drive and made me more hypervigalent to the point of peranoid also have to take blood presure meds now to fix other meds so hopefully better luck to everybody else
 

Jimmy1

MyPTSD Pro
Willis,

There are so many medications out there, and so many medication 'families'.
There are some anti-depressants which made me suicidal, yet others that made me want to sleep all the time.
I am a single father too. I just had to find the right one.
I even tried alcohol, marijuana, and all other types of pills. It's amazing what you will try to ease the pain in your head.

Now I am relatively stable on the medication I am on. I still need medication to help me sleep and I still have really bad days when i am jumping out of my skin, but those days are few and far between. It does get better.

Jimmy
 

willis williams

MyPTSD Pro
Jimmy hello yes I also take sleeping meds I now take lithium and lamotrigene and it works ok a lot of insomnia the old meds made suicidal made me recluse for 2 months not bathing for weeks not going outside sleeping all the time I would not eat for 4 days I puked blood and did not know there was a problem even upped the dose when Dr. said I lost my job, my truck (repo),had to sell gun collection to help dig out. In the 5 weeks in the hospital had my patient confidentiality broken to my x and my mother I live in a small town ware things spread fast psyc ward dont go good with new job and dont have the money to move. So I had to become disabled Va and ssi to live. Me and mother dont get along well dad has bad health nam vet 2 tours could not find anything out about him how he was doing. So I just have bad opinion of the drugs.
 

Jimmy1

MyPTSD Pro
Same mate. Another so called friend convinced me that the doctors were just supplying the drug companies.
I was also convinced medical marijuana was the way to go.

Anyway, I finally woke up to myself after I almost lost custody of my son. He wants to live with me but almost did not have a choice. I was what you call 'drug f*cked'. It has been 18 months since I smoked pot. And I found when I stopped a lot of the other psych medication no longer worked or had adverse effects.

You just have to have a good MD who knows a little bit, or a good psych.

Good luck mate and if you have any other questions, fire them away. I might not answer straight away as I still have bad days where I want to pop smoke and run. Most of the time I just shut myself off for a couple of days.

Jimmy
 

willis williams

MyPTSD Pro
I just drove 90 miles each way to have another shrink tell me I have PTSD this is the 5th one for the VA. This one was independent I guess a contractor. I am starting to distrust the VA shrinks because if they are not good enough to diagnose me why do they hire them. If they are that distrustfull of thier employees that they have to use outside shrinks then are they compitant with my treatment. All 5 that said it are psyciatrists you would that the PHD. by thier name would mean something. I guess it was not snowing and the drive went good so I should be thankfull
 

Jimmy1

MyPTSD Pro
Think about it like this. The VA like our DVA over here, are just a big medical insurance company. Some of the shrinks over here, and the orthopedic surgeons and the like are not really sympathetic. After all, the less they put through, the more work they get. Or maybe I am just being paranoid.
But when you think about it. Iraq and Afghanistan of late have placed an enormous strain on all the VA's from the different countries. Not to mention the world realising that PTSD does exist and Nam vets are not acting out. Just check out Band of Brothers and there is true PTSD.

Just having a bitch mate.

I am fortunate though and have found a good Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and MD.

Cheers

Jimmy
 
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