By Debbie Gregory.
The challenges that our young combat veterans face when they transition back to civilian life, such as readjusting to family life, finding a job or going to school, and in many cases, dealing with post-traumatic stress (PTS) and/or physical injuries, can be daunting. Often times, this struggle is solitary, because the military culture does not allow for failure or weakness, even though asking for help is one of the bravest things a veteran can do.
Today’s veterans perceive a negative stigma of PTS so damning to career, family and friends, the “go it alone” attitude is hard to break down. The majority of traumatized vets return from wars that are safer than those their fathers and grandfathers fought, and yet far greater numbers of them wind up alienated and depressed. This is true even for people who didn’t experience combat. It would be safe to say that much of the problem isn’t trauma related as much as re-entry into society.
Vets 360 and Carry the Challenge are working to provide a safety net for these veterans. Eliminating the stigma will allow those struggling with PTS to raise their hands and be open and honest about the challenges they face. Removing the societal barrier that prevents them from saying “I am struggling with PTS” will allow them to receive focused education and support. This simple first step is critical to reduce the epidemic levels of suicide among those going it alone.
When decorated heroes, such as Medal of Honor recipient Florent Groberg, are joining Vets 360 to speak publicly about their own struggles with PTS, it gives pause to their comrades that the struggle is real, and it is not a sign of weakness.
Groberg said, “We must stand shoulder to shoulder with today’s veterans and Vets 360 to let them know they are not alone when it comes to their challenges with both transition and PTS. Help us get this message out – before crisis kicks in – not after.”
Groberg will be the keynote speaker at the Breaking Silence – Carry the Challenge gala, which will take place on April 16th in San Diego, CA. The gala will be followed by a concert with headliners Madison Rising, America’s number one patriotic rock band. For ticket information, click here.
“One of the biggest challenges we have is to ask/tell/beg todays combat veterans to accept support before cure options are needed or required,” said Vet’s 360 executive director Rick Collins.
For more information as to how you can help support this great non-profit organization, please visit http://www.carrythechallenge.org.