Monday, 12 March 2012

PTSD / Can One Woman and Her Book Make a Difference?

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. 
               ~Mother Teresa

During the 16 years I spent writing my memoir, Diary of a Vet's Wife, one question kept tumbling around in my mind like marbles in a jar - WHAT can I do to help veteran's suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?  I felt a bond with each of them.  I knew their suffering.

Help is such a tiny word when related to such a BIG issue.  Webster's New World Dictionary used 31 lines to describe this little word - boiled down - "to make things easier."  PTSD is very REAL!  I know how  it feels and what it does to a marriage and family, my heart carries the scars.

I am only one WOMAN, who has spent half-her-life in the shadow of PTSD - either living with my husband's disorder, or writing about living with his PTSD.  I never knew at the time that I had developed PTSD by association.  Few know the heartbreak and terror, until they have lived with someone caught in the strangle-hold of this illness.  To be in the trenches with a ticking time bomb for what seemed like an eternity.  

In sharing my story, Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic, I hope to AWAKEN the world to the devastating aftermath of war living among us, and comfort those trapped in the trenches, knowing they are not alone.

But how can my memoir help disarm a veteran's horror buried deep within his MEMORY before it explodes?  How can I help defuse and neutralize it?  How?

I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.            ~Edward Everett Hale

One day, I had an AHA moment . . . and I knew what I must do!

My book is the only means I have of reaching other families, and our world, living with this nightmare.  I have no idea how many lives will be TOUCHED by my story, but I knew I wanted to donate a portion of each book sold to help veteran's caught on this crazy merry-go-round called PTSD.

I fervently began a search on the internet.  I was familiar with Wounded Warriors, who provide services to severely injured veterans during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life.  Large corporations donate heavily to large, well-established groups.
My quest was to find a GROUP that deals specifically with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.  ~Norman B. Rice

One afternoon, I Skyped my sister in Ohio to chat.  It was then she told me she had watched a TV program the night before about veteran's with PTSD being rehabilitated using RESCUED dogs. 
"I wrote the name down, so I wouldn't forget to tell you," she said, holding a piece of paper up to the eye of her webcam. 
Here was the organization I had been looking for.  It was PERFECT - and from my sister! xo
"Pets for Vets" - Helping Our Brave Veterans Heal with a little help from Man's Best Friend
Their goal is to help heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by pairing them with a shelter dog who is specially selected to match his or her personality.  Professional animal trainers rehabilitate the dogs and teach them good manners to fit into the veteran's lifestyle.  Training can also include desensitization to wheel chairs or crutches as well as recognizing panic or anxiety disorder behaviors.

It's a win-win relationship . . .

Needy shelter dogs get a second chance at life while giving our returning soldiers a second chance at health and happiness.  The bonds of friendship formed between man and animal have the power to ease the suffering of our troops when they return from overseas . . .

Pets for Vets is a concrete way to thank U.S. Military Veterans for their service . . .

  • Featured on NPR, CBS2 and CNN
  • Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law
  • Serving Veterans in Southern California, Washington State, Florida and Michigan
  • With each veteran-dog match they provide all the necessary equipment for them to start their new life together

Currently, they're only in four states.  My VISION is to help donate enough so that Pets for Vets can gradually expand into every state in the nation, then into every city in that state.  Our veterans come from every corner of our country - I'd like to reach them all.  I can dream, can't I?

Please check Pets for Vets online, if you have any questions.  You may feel drawn to contribute a single donation dedicated to a veteran in your own life.

My tentative book release date is still set for July 4th, 2012, which gives me less than 4 months to get everything in place.  At this moment that seems impossible . . . but I'm not giving up.

Lessons learned . . . My two cents

I expect to pass through life but once.  If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.                                           ~William Penn


  1. Nancy, what a wonderful, concrete way to help those with PTSD (in addition to your powerful book). I'm so proud of you for all you are doing, and I'll be first in line to buy your book. Thinking nothing but good thoughts for your July 4th launch, and I'm going to tweet about this blog post right now.

    1. Becky, you're amazing. Thank you so much for this unexpected gift and your good thoughts. The self-publishing process has been overwhelming since Amazon & B&N are in a standoff, I had to switch gears mid-stream. My to-do list is endless, but my tenacity is in tact. Decided to focus on each component separately, which allowed some breathing space.

      How did your race for Cancer turn out? I'm sorry for all you lost to that dreaded disease. Happy to hear you and Jeff are tackling an ebook. Keep us posted. And thank you again so much. :D

  2. Edward Everett Hale said it best. Thank you for reminding us all to do something. x

    1. Thank you for stopping by, I know how busy you are. xo

  3. May God bless you ten-fold Nancy! As God fed the multitude with bread and fish; NO ONE went hungry.... I pray God's Will for all of our Soldiers to be blessed with the perfect companion in the Pets for Vets program. Know I am willing to do what I can to help, so I'll see what's available here in Texas, and get back with you. Maybe - just maybe we can do something...United!!

    All my love,

    1. Sweet Cheryal. What a generous offer. My only suggestion at this point is to contact Pets for Vets for details and requirements for such a project. I have no idea how it works, but I'm up to my elbows with my self-publishing project with little time to spare before July 4th.

      Amd something united I like! Do some brainstorming, mines a little preoccupied at the moment. :D

      love ya!

  4. Nancy thank you for bringing about this awareness and you are not by any way or means alone. I have the same struggles and look forward to the release date of your book. Everything we do makes a difference no matter how big or small. It begins with one - one step, one person, one act - and then brings it all together in one message for all who share the same issues.

    1. My heart goes out to you, Marvel Girl. I've been where you are, from what you've written. Wish we could talk in person, I'd love to give you a big hug. I have so many questions, like do you have a support group you attend?

      I hope my story helps unite those still dealing with the pain of PTSD. Together we can hold our heads high and know we're not alone. Be strong.

  5. Nancy,


    The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they: Hope for Love; Hope for Freedom; Hope for Peace; Hope for Equality; Hope for Unity; Hope for Joy and Happiness; Hope for Compassion and Mercy; Hope for Faith; Hope for Wholeness and Wellness; Hope for Prosperity; Hope for Ecological Preservation; Hope for Oneness.

    “People do not have to give up or compromise their own religious, spiritual, or political beliefs to qualify for the Hope Unites Globally HUG Award©. They qualify for the HUG Award© when, without bias or prejudice, they use their resources and gifts to make the world a better place for everyone.”

    Go to my website and see the details (and your name in bright lights). Mostly, I wanted you to know that your blog is fabulous, and helpful to many. Keep up the great work!

    The Art of an Improbable life

    1. Becky, I'm humbled. Thank you for this honor. My goal is that all know the devastating effect PTSD has on families, our country, and the world. We're all one and need to address this issue globally.

      Warmest thoughts to you always. lol

  6. Nancy, You are doing wonderful things by writing your story and sharing it with others. You may be one person, but I'm sure your efforts will multiply many times to help many people.

    That is a wonderful and generous idea to support Pets for Vets. I am going to check out their website. I know about the great gifts and healing animals can bring to us.

    I linked to your blog from Becky's blog. So glad to have found you!


  7. Tina, I was happy to learn you found me on Becky's blog. Becky and I met in our writing class, then I introduced her to SheWrites where she charged ahead of me.

    This journey I'm on with my book has been amazing so far. I'm amazed at how many feel my story will help so many, nothing could make me happier. In turn, I can pass forward a little joy to our veterans. How lucky am I to have this opportunity? Please come by again. :)