After 20 years in the Army, former First Sgt. Eddie Miller was in and out of addiction, homeless on the streets of Miami. Another day, another year, those weren’t expectations Miller could take for granted when he arrived with nearly 50 other homeless veterans for the Operation Sacred Trust orientation in 2012.
Nearly 5.5 million Americans are caring for service members and Veterans, many of whom are impacted by post traumatic stress. The VA is expanding innovative efforts to help Veterans and their loved ones learn to be healing to each other through the Warrior to Soul Mate program.
For years, Ralph Lynn, a former Marine sniper in Iraq, suffered from undiagnosed PTSD. “My own relationship with my wife suffered to the point of divorce. After I got help, I am happy to say I am re-married to my best friend.” Ralph and his wife Michelle today help other Veterans through marriage and relationship education retreats offered by the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia.
For military families, reuniting after deployment may include a laundry list of challenges. A guide from the American Psychological Association suggests ten tips, warning signs, and an assessment to consider the impact of trauma.
Helen Gallen, LMSW, feels a special commitment to families impacted by combat deployment. The Tulane graduate says leading marriage enrichment retreats for veterans and their spouses through the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center has helped her contribute to the lives of those who have served America and provided a priceless gift for her own marriage.
“I Am ME” profiles individuals and couples who are touching the lives of families and children in communities throughout the nation through Marriage Education. This week, Fatherhood Channel features Michelle Lynn, a PAIRS Instructor for marriage enrichment retreats for veterans sponsored by the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia.
While dad is away on his fourth military deployment, wife, Mary, and daughter, Abigail, 11, are teaming up to help other children and families strengthen relationships at home and with parents serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A study reveals children from military families impacted by deployment are experiencing above-average levels of emotional and behavioral difficulties. New programs are teaching couples to understand emotions, confide, deepen empathy, strengthen attachment and bonding as the foundation for helping children and preserving marriages.
The nonprofit PAIRS Foundation will offer a series of free 90-minute online classes to help returning combat veterans and family members impacted by PTSD. “Early intervention through effective education and skills training is critical for combat veterans and family members,” said Seth Eisenberg, President and CEO of PAIRS Foundation.