"As an Emergency Department social worker, I worked with people in crisis for 16 years. Many times, I had the privilege to work with newly returning and retired veterans in various stages of their life. Experiences have been shared by some. Many more experiences have not been shared as the veteran is struggling so intensely and feels he/she cannot share for fear of "being found out". I have been told there is fear of being seen as "weak". I have worked with Veterans who have been responsible for many men and women and who have felt a struggle to share, afraid to show "weakness", not finding the right person whom they can share with, afraid information will get back to a commanding officer and that there will be negative repercussions.
If I could offer anything, it would be for you to know that you are NOT alone. You may be struggling to find who to share with, finding a level of comfort to be able to share what you have experienced. I have seen Veterans, young and old, turn to drugs and alcohol to help cope. Others who have turned to attempting suicide because they feel they could never move past their experiences or don't know how to cope with the nightmares, the anger, the sleepless nights. Others have given up on trying to find psychiatrists or counselors through the VA system because they have "too long of a wait" or are "only given 15 minutes of time". Please call me. I am an alternative resource outside of the VA system and offer counseling services for Veterans in Vancouver, Washington.
Please see below for some resources I have found on-line which may be helpful for you and for your loved ones. If you find something you think would be particular interesting or helpful to other Vets, please email me the link and I will post it to this page.
Thank you for your service and I look forward to meeting you soon. ~Jennifer"
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