Honor for our veterans

Cathy Brownfield
I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United Sates and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, so help me God.
​Every man and woman who has served in the Armed Forces of the United States has taken this oath when enlisted to military service for our country. It is not an oath to be taken lightly. Training is rigorous, demanding, and putting it to work out in the field is not without peril. But there are those who continue to step forward even at their own risk of life and limb to protect and defend our country, our people, our way of life. They deal with the consequences for the rest of their lives.
​I cannot begin to imagine what they have seen in wartime, things they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) How deserving of honor and respect are our veterans. How worthy are our warriors to have self-respect for doing their duties, no matter how difficult those prove(d) to be. And how grateful should our nation’s citizens be to them for the sacrifices they were willing to make, our military heroes.
​What are the biggest problems facing veterans when they return home from war? The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) (thesciencebehindit.org) advises, “The majority readjust to life off the battlefield with few difficulties. But a significant number – 44 percent who’ve served in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to one survey – say they’ve had problems readjusting after their return.”
​Many have health issues: traumatic brain injuries (concussion), PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), anxiety, depression, alcohol misuse, sexual trauma (harassment, assault) and suicidal thoughts. This source says that, while the Veterans Administration mental health care is very good, accessibility is a problem. Too many veterans don’t get the treatment they need for PTSD, substance use disorder or depression. How many of our veterans are homeless?
​“Many veterans don’t know how to apply for veterans’ mental health care benefits, are unsure if they are eligible, or are unaware that mental health benefits are available.”
​In addition, stigma still exists. If they seek help will they lose connection with their children? Could they lose their jobs, ruin their careers if they admit they need help? Do they have transportation to get to get to facilities that can help?
​As of 2017, there were more than 18 million veterans in the United States. About half are enrolled in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care program, per the Census Bureau, as reported at the NAS website.
​The VA’s Community Referral and Resource Center in Akron is taking the plight of the homeless veterans very seriously. This agency can provide assistance to find temporary or permanent housing. For information contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-424-3838.
​As we approach Veterans Day 2022, thank you to our veterans for your service to our country. We are proud of you.
Family Recovery Center has counselors trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Processing) which has been identified as an effective form of treatment by the American Psychiatric Association, World Health Organization, and Department of Defense. (https://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/). Furthermore, Family Recovery Center also has clinicians who have received specialized training through SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) in working with veterans and military personnel and their families.
For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or email, info@familyrecovery.org. Visit the website at familyrecovery.org. FRC is funded in part by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.