Blog

WATCH: Veteran Discusses His Experience with PTSD and Drinking

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PTSD and Drinking Can Send Life into a Tailspin Drinking is a common activity that is usually ingrained in the military experience. But what happens when drinking is used as a self-medicating coping mechanism? Things can spiral out of control in a hurry. Just listen to this Marine veteran's experience with drinking. When I drank, got drunk, you know, all the anxiety, depression, my purpose, the betrayal - all that, it went out the window ... For the next 3 years I was drunk probably - drunk or hung over 75 percent of the time. So when I went out I couldn't just have one ... and that caused problems. For veterans struggling with PTSD, drinking might feel like a temporary solution to what you're going through. Unfortunately, it isn't a solution at all. If drinking has become a problem for you,

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

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April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and this is an issue that is especially relevant to so many veterans. There are many reasons veterans in particular can often be prone to misusing alcohol. One aspect that increases the likelihood of a veteran misusing alcohol is that they are often predisposed to it as a part of their military experience. In fact, did you know that medical expenses related to alcohol use by military personnel average nearly $425 million per year?1 Perhaps alcohol is used as a bonding tool or even a team-building exercise, or maybe for others, it’s seen as an escape route from handling a difficult experience. Either way, it’s something that most service members are familiar with before they even leave the military. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism demonstrates just how prevalent the alcohol culture is

Shipment to Albany Helps Veterans Displaced by Fires

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As part of DVNF’s Health & Comfort program, we help stock various veterans’ shelters with clothing and supplies they need to support the veterans who visit seeking support. In some cases, it can be in the middle of an emergency. This was the case recently when we sent a shipment to Albany, NY to the Veterans Miracle Center. They keep a free “store” that veterans can visit to get common supplies they often struggle to afford. DVNF’s shipment happened to come at a critical time. According to Barry Feinman, the organization’s administrator, January and February not only brought cold temperatures, but it also brought several fires in the region. In one evening alone, seven veterans lost their homes and all their possessions. Feinman explained how the shipment helped: The day after the fire, the VMC was called upon to clothe

“Suit Up” Hiring Fair a Success for Veterans

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On Monday, March 13, DVNF, in conjunction with the Detroit VA and because of an incredible donation from Jos. A. Bank clothiers, was able to participate in a “Suit Up” event to get transitioning veterans ready to reenter the civilian workforce. At the event, 110 Veterans were able to get a suit or other professional clothing, along with a $50 Visa gift card from DVNF to cover the cost of some of the alterations, that will prove useful as the attend this weekend’s military job fair at the Detroit VA. This event followed the first “Suit Up” on February 25th. The first event had light attendance due to poor weather. In addition, they had to use an alternate location due to construction near the Detroit VA. How this made a difference to veterans Joe Sattler of Marine City was a Helicopter Pilot in the

Introducing Our New Look

Welcome to DVNF’s new website! In an effort to improve our image and our services to veterans, we felt it was time for a fresh new look. We were long overdue for a new website, and since we are turning 10 this year, this was a great time to pursue this endeavor. I hope you’ll find a cleaner, more user-friendly website. We want veterans who are in search of information and resources to be able to access it effortlessly. We also want to tell our story to donors better, because we think it’s important for people to know about the struggles and the successes of those who have stood in our defense. Our New Logo Another change you probably noticed is our new logo. With this new look, we’re hoping to incorporate our feelings of pride in those who have

Are You Sleeping?

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By Ana Yelen, Executive Director, Healing Warriors Program A good night’s sleep is more elusive than we think. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services studies assert that sleep disorders affect between 50 – 70 million Americans, or about 20% of the population. In the armed services, sleep issues are the de facto norm because of training, job schedules, and the need for a military force that is on-call and available at a moment’s notice. But the cost of long-term sleep deprivation is high and linked to depression, anxiety and worsening of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “More so than even the amputations and traumatic brain injuries that have come to define the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, insomnia is the hidden wound that America’s warriors are bringing home. It’s largely unnoticed, under-prevented and untreated.”1 At Fort Hood, Texas, Dr. Vincent Mysliwiec,

New Electric Lift Helps Hearts and Hooves

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Craig O’Neill , KTHV SHERWOOD, Ark. (KTHV) — Until July 12, if a wheelchair-bound child or adult with a disability hoped to get on a horse, it took three to four volunteers at Hearts and Hooves. Not anymore. (more…)

Our Thoughts on the Ft. Lauderdale Tragedy

I heard the news Friday afternoon – a man opened fire in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, leaving several wounded and several killed. When situations like this happen the first collective reaction is usually suspected terrorism. But once the media began to report more information about the suspect, my heart began to sink. It was then reported he was a veteran who served a ten-month deployment to Iraq in 2011 with the Puerto Rico National Guard. According to the LA Times, he began to suffer from mental issues when he got back from Iraq. He willingly sought treatment but struggled to gain access to Puerto Rico’s apparently under-resourced VA hospital, so he moved to Alaska to seek better services. Today, I don’t want to start pointing fingers at anyone as to how this happened. I want to express my deepest condolences

Ron Self: How to End Veteran Suicide

One of DVNF’s 2016 grant recipients, Veterans Healing Veterans From the Inside Out, sent us this video. This is their founder, Ron Self, an incarcerated veteran, who is determined to make a difference for veterans in crisis. He gives us this TED Talk from inside San Quentin (more…)

Guest Blog: Honoring a Military Family

After reading They Marched Into Sunlight, a powerful book about two days during the Vietnam War, written by Pulitzer Prize Winning journalist David Maraniss, Robin Becker, Artistic Director of Robin Becker Dance, felt compelled to create an evening-length dance. Deeply moved by the integrity, honor, and commitment of both those who fought the war, and those who fought against it, Robin Becker embarked upon the creation of this dance hoping that the universal language of the body would reflect and offer the same sense of healing that David’s words evoked in her. In the audience during the company’s performance at Georgetown University was Lieutenant Clark Welch, one of the featured veterans in David’s book. Lieutenant Clark Welch was one of the most decorated soldiers during Vietnam. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for his action at the battle of Ong