DVNF and O2O Give New Suits to Veterans

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Suits to veterans transitioning from the military

On May 6th, DVNF teamed up with Onward2Opportunity (O2O) to give out new suits to veterans, as well as a full outfit of business clothing to these transitioning service members in North Carolina. The event marked the second shipment of business attire DVNF has sent this year through its corporate sponsor, Joseph A. Bank.

Nearly $150,000 worth of dress clothing was given to the veterans who will graduate from O2O’s vocational training program on May 19th. The goal of the shipment was to equip these veterans with new business clothing so they could be prepared for interviews and employment in a new civilian career.

Onward 2 Opportunity is a comprehensive training and career placement service for transitioning service members. They also provide training and testing for real world certifications. Some of these certifications include IT, Project Management, Hotel Management, JAVA, and Customer Service.

The event was a tremendous success! In total, 53 veterans got a new wardrobe to prepare them for their future careers. It was a true honor to give back to the heroes who have already given so much. We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors. Hopefully, we were able to make a meaningful contribution to their inevitable success!

We’d like to thank Onward2Opportunity for allowing us to be a part of their efforts to prepare veterans for life as a civilian. In addition, we’d like to give a big thank you to Joseph A. Bank for their commitment to our heroes!

More photos of the event:

PTSD – A Guide to Understanding and Getting Treatment

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What is PTSD, and who does it affect?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an illness that affects approximately one-in-five veterans from all eras. It is an acute reaction to a traumatic event that can cause negative symptoms associated with that trauma.

The technical definition of PTSD is “a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.”

Symptoms 

Did you know that there are 4 main types of PTSD symptoms?

1) Reliving the event

When a traumatic event happens, a lasting symptom of PTSD is the reliving of the traumatic event. At any point you can feel that sense of horror you had when the event happened.

This may come about through nightmares, flashbacks, or a trigger like a sight, smell, or sound that reminds you of the event.

2) Avoiding a situation that reminds you of the event 

When triggers happen, they usually don’t happen just once. When these triggers occur, you might be able to eventually identify situations in which they are more likely to come about, and begin to avoid those situations.

Examples of this might be avoiding crowds, driving, or events involving fireworks because these could trigger a combat experience.

3) Negative changes in your personal feelings or beliefs

This symptom is typically what causes emotional withdrawal of those with PTSD. Due to the trauma you might:

  • Stop trusting loved ones, and avoid relationships
  • Have repressed memories of the trauma you suffered, and not be able to talk about it.
  • Lose faith in others, and the world around you.

4) Hyperarousal (feeling “amped up” or on edge)

The fight-or-flight reaction that humans have is a valuable asset for survival. The adrenaline released helps you to quickly evaluate danger when it comes about, and act accordingly for self-preservation.

But when you experience a trauma, this can send your system into overdrive and cause you to constantly be on the lookout for danger. Symptoms of hyperarousal can include insomnia, difficulty concentrating, being easily startled, or being overly cautious (like sitting with you back against the wall in a restaurant).

When should I seek help?

If you have these symptoms that haven’t gone away after 4 weeks, or if they are bad enough to cause distress or your ability to function on a daily basis, you should seek help.

It’s important to remember that seeking help isn’t admitting defeat or weakness. This illness can send your life into a tailspin. Sometimes it might get better on its own, but many times, it won’t go away without help.

You should also recognize that the sooner you get help, the more likely you are to be able to overcome PTSD. Don’t let this illness dictate your life. Be proactive – get help!

Where do I get help?

PTSD can come and go over time, and sometimes it may not present itself until months or years after you experience the trauma. Seeking help can help you learn how to cope with the lasting symptoms and address the issue directly.

If you’re in need of help, there are many resources available to you.

If you’re experiencing a crisis, or you’re having thoughts of suicide:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest Emergency Room
  • Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 
  • Contact the Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 (text 838255) or Confidential Veterans Chat with a counselor

Here are other helpful resources, courtesy of the VA’s National Center for PTSD:

PTSD Care for Everyone

PTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and Families

 

Mental Health Awareness Month and What You Should Know

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and at DVNF, this holds added meaning. Mental health is a common issue that’s mentioned when talking about veterans.

Military service not only challenges veterans physically; it tests them mentally even more. And when it comes to combat, the mind is just as vulnerable to injuries as the body.

Combat has changed drastically over the course of several decades. While advancements in modern technology and medicine have helped save lives, is it coming at the expense of our veterans’ mental health?

TBI

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is becoming more prominent in today’s warfare. In fact, according to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), among post-9/11 veterans, more than 360,000 have suffered a TBI, accounting for 22% of combat casualties.

This injury can be a problem that’s relatively minor and temporary. Or, it can be a long-term and debilitating issue that affects a veteran the rest of his or her life, and anything in between.

PTSD

Similarly, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has also become a major factor affecting thousands of veterans. It isn’t primarily limited to newer veterans, either. Vietnam veterans have fallen victim to this illness for decades. An estimated 31% of Vietnam vets have suffered from PTSD at some point.

Veteran Suicide

A more disturbing trend has come about, however. Suicide. Nearly 20 veterans each day take their own lives. For veterans undergoing PTSD, TBI, and/or depression, life can be extremely difficult. Family and financial issues often exacerbate this problem. And while the average daily total has dropped in recent years, suicide amongst women veterans has been on the rise.

This month, DVNF wants to help raise awareness about the impact these invisible wounds can have on veterans. Our hope is that we can reach veterans in crisis, and encourage them to get the help they need.

There’s no shame in getting help when you need it. So let’s #BreakTheStigma.