Sunday, December 18, 2011

Twas the week before Christmas... a note from our Chaplain about the "end" of the war in Iraq.

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house...

The families of our Troops serving in Iraq are celebrating and anxiously awaiting the homecoming of their loved one.

I stayed up last night to watch live coverage of the return of the last of our Iraq Campaign heroes as they crossed into Kuwait.

The commentator said they will ALL be home for Christmas.

Many of us served during Christmas, Thanksgiving and various other Holidays. I spent my first Christmas in The Marine Corps in Vietnam. This life is the life chosen by all our brave troops. We understood that when we signed up. Now, Thank God these brave young men and women who have served and fought so gallantly will spend Christmas at home with their families.

No matter how you feel about Iraq politically or even if we should have been there or if we should have stayed longer; we all are celebrating their safe return.

So is their war over? Not by a long shot unfortunately. As anyone who served in a combat role can clearly tell you these young men and women's war will never be over. They like us will relive it over and over for life. What should you and I do to aid in the effort to help them assimilate back into civilian life when they leave their service? There are a great many things we have learned from our own experiences.

Welcome home, a warm hug , handshake, spending some time with them. Being a sounding board. We should watch carefully for signs of PTSD to begin to manifest. We should make sure the families and friends know what to expect and how to cope with a PTSD sufferer.

Most of us who served prior to Desert Storm had little or no help coping with PTSD, Our families were in many cases devastated or destroyed by it’s effects. Our families became victims of PTSD’s effects and have many of the same issues to struggle with daily.

Thank God for those who have stepped up to the plate and said “NO MORE”! Family Of a Vet rose out of the desperation of a handful of wives of Vets trying to cope and hold the families together with a PTSD and/or TBI Vet in the home. These brave young women would not be denied the answers and help they needed to get their spouse help and bring peace back into the haunted hearts of these young Vets. Because of the determination of these women and men there are now effective treatments, help for families, aid in finding your way through the bureaucracy of the VA system. Education for the families, education for the community and MUCH more.

This Christmas week I ask each of you to look into Family Of a Vet and pray about how you can help a Vet family become whole again.

Visit familyofavet.com for more info.

At the very least join me in thanking the Family Of a Vet staff and volunteers for the amazing work they are doing.

Lord ,

We are so thankful today for the safe return of our Troops. We praise you for new life in you and the promise of your eternal presence in our lives. Use us today to change the lives of those we encounter.

Amen

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