Promoting wellness in our returning veterans and their families
Dear Veterans, Veteran family members, and current Military Vets and families,
My name is Rick Beaver. I am a Vietnam Veteran and I manage the Veteran Reintegration Program. Our mission is for everyone who serves this country to be able to enjoy all the freedoms and opportunities this country has to offer. Our program has helped Veterans make a significant difference in their lives in this direction.
Veteran Mentoring is a free program of one-on-one conversations with either myself or another trained facilitator. We assist Veterans get clarity about their priorities and which of those they wish to work on first. The Veteran chooses a course of action and the mentor provides on-going support in getting it done. This process works because the Veteran is in control and making the choices toward the results they want. Major issues that Veterans have received help with are: Getting all the VA benefits they should, finding Human Services assistance, child care, mental health, transportation, legal help, and others. Get access to resources that are effective dealing with Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, the combat mind set acquired through training and experience, couples communication or setting new career directions in your life.
I am available via Cell or email (303) 886-9243 firstname.lastname@example.org or call People House (303) 480-5130.
Military One Source
Veteran’s Administration (VA) and Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Colorado
Veteran Centers Counseling, Suicide line, and outreach for veterans
Veteran Organizations, (Non-Government)
Veterans Helping Veterans NOW
List of hundreds of Veteran Organizations and locations
Veteran Reintegration Program at People House
Colorado Human Resources by County
Disabled Travelers A website dedicated to accessible travel information, including information for disabled veterans.
A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear..
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”
“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall..”
” So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”
PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. You can download this poem here.
LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in U.S. Soldiers Returning from Iraq
Combat Duty in Iraq, and Afghanistan, Mental Health Problems, and Barriers to Care
Mental Health Problems, Use of Mental Health Services, and Attrition From Military Service After Returning From Deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan
V.A. Disavows Combat Stress Memo
Closing Arguments in Suit on Veterans Mental Care
War Concussions Linked to Stress
IMPACT OF ILLNESS AND NON-COMBAT INJURY DURING OPERATIONS IRAQI FREEDOM AND ENDURING FREEDOM (AFGHANISTAN)
Clinical Criteria for PTSD
There are many possible symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a diagnosis by a trained clinician is required in order to rule-out other disorders. However, the following possible symptoms are listed as part of the DSM-IV-TR criteria for PTSD:
- recurring memories or dreams of the original traumatic event
- flashback experiences which cause a person to feel as though the event is recurring
- intense distress when exposed to situations that resemble the event
- avoidance of thoughts, feelings, or situations associated with the traumatic event
- difficulty experiencing a normal range of feelings
- difficulty connecting with other people
- sleeping problems
- difficulty concentrating
- hypervigilance or an exaggerated “startle response”
- outbursts of anger
For a broader description of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and help with it, Click Here