Help veterans to heal invisible wounds during Suicide Prevention Month September is Suicide Prevention Month. For veterans, this is especially relevant. With nearly 20 veterans on average taking their own lives each day, no effort to prevent this horrible statistic is without merit. Battle wounds - whether physical or invisible - can debilitate veterans after their service. And the invisible wounds in particular are the ones that tend to fester and grow over time. The struggles of guilt, the feelings of horror, and the stresses of life all seem to be compounded once a veteran has finished his or her service, and if not being properly treated for these ticking time bombs, things can turn south in a hurry. So let's do all we can to help prevent veterans from taking their own lives! Spread the word, and please share the
September 11th - A day that will not be forgotten Today, we remember September 11th. It is remarkable how that fateful day in 2001 has changed life as we know it. So many veterans, wanting to right the wrong that had been done to our nation, jumped into service. And now, so many of their lives have been affected as a result, and many have families who share their burdens. That is the burden of freedom, and it always comes at a cost. There were so many grim feelings that we all felt on that day. The vulnerability, the panic, the anger, the confusion ... it didn't make sense! How could this happen to the United States? If that happened, what else could be possible? Suddenly, nobody felt safe. That's why the courageous men and women who stood in our defense during and
How DVNF Programs have helped our veterans in 2017 Health & Comfort One of the most difficult things for us to do as a nonprofit is celebrate accomplishments, knowing there are so many more veterans in need of help. However, it is important to measure the impact of our programs. One such program DVNF has is the Health & Comfort program, by which we send critically-needed items like clothing, toiletries, and other vital goods to homeless and low-income veterans at stand down events and shelters. This program has already reached veterans in communities up and down the United States so far in 2017. So far this year, we’ve sent 11 Health & Comfort shipments! Thousands of veterans now have clothing they may not have been able to afford, a new suit to help them land a job, or even something as
By: Ana Yelen, Healing Warriors Program When we first launched Healing Warriors Program, one of our staunchest supporters, told us the reason our program was so important for her. This woman, a teacher, mentor and medical professional, shared with us a story she had been unable to share in over 30 years: the anguish of her dad’s death, over what they called shell-shock and we call PTSD, quietly trickled out. It was a heart-wrenching story, made even more tragic by the fact that thirty years later, we continue to lose veterans at alarming rates because of pain and post traumatic stress. But the problem is complex and finds expression in a multitude of ways, from the homeless veterans living day to day, to the veteran who has transitioned back to civilian life and is seemingly reintegrated into their prior life.
Project Sanctuary works with DVNF to support heroes in need Not an hour goes by for Jim* without reliving the horrors of that day. One moment he was on a fairly typical mission in Iraq. The next he lay trying to clear the dust from his eyes and inventory the full extent of his injuries. The months that followed seemed like a series of snapshots, each one building upon the last to ensure Jim’s survival. Doctors had prepared him that the odds were against his walking again. After three surgeries, recovery became Jim’s new mission and perhaps the most grueling of all, trying to make his body move as it had before. Post-traumatic stress and a traumatic brain injury induced nightmares, flashbacks and migraines. Jim often found it ironic that the virtues of freedom and independence for which he had
A Female Veteran with a Unique Experience As part of DVNF’s commitment to serving the men and women who stood in our defense, we understand the importance of having team members who have been in their shoes. The following story gives some background on one of the veterans working at DVNF. Tammi Jean Franklin, DVNF’s Donor Services Specialist, is a Navy veteran who came to DVNF in 2016. She is a Vietnam Era Sailor, and the story of her military experience as a woman in the 1970’s is best understood through the culture of the time. It’s quite remarkable how far we’ve come since that time. Tammi Jean served in the Navy from 1973-1977. She enlisted at age 18. In contrast to today’s standards, “girls and boys” were not considered adults until the age of 21 so Tammi Jean’s parents had to
The overcast sky was an appropriate omen to the reality of that summer day. The humming of planes resonated loudly. Even if the men could hear one another talking, no one spoke a word. There was a certain understanding of what they would soon face, and their likely last moments would be spent in self-reflection. Though internally overwrought with fear, acceptance of their likely fates and recognition of this just cause gave them some sense of serenity. The droning engines were soon peppered with loud, intermittent booms. A passive thunder on such an overcast day seemed unsurprising. Through the gray fog, a faint glimpse of the rocky inlays of the shore could be seen, the beach shielded from vision by the tall bulkhead of the amphibious boats they occupied. The booms grew louder and louder. The closer to the shore
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 to Success. Thank you, @DVNF! pic.twitter.com/0beqRWzf3D — Onward2Opportunity (@Onward2Opp) May 6, 2017 Onward 2 Opportunity is a comprehensive training and career placement service for transitioning service members. They
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
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
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