Sunday, 6 October 2013

PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife and Michelle Obama

My last post, July 4, 2013, showed me waiting for a postal confirmation that Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder had reached THE WHITE HOUSE.  After that the bottom fell out . . .

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.    ~ Anais Nin

The life of a computer is not infinite.  REALITY hit when I could no longer type in my BLOG!  Disbelief turned to despair.  Most know I'm a techno-neophyte, yet NO ONE could fix it!  It was like losing my best friend.  I was heartsick.

Three days later, I flew to OHIO to attend our annual family reunion.  I returned to California the end of August with one mission seared into the gray matter between my pierced ears - I MUST find a new BEST FRIEND!  And FAST. 

But there were way too many CHOICES! 

One final consultation with Geek Squad and I was primed to make a decision ... which still HAUNTS me!  My new HP computer and best friend? arrived with WINDOWS 8 and its cheeky ATTITUDE.  Not to mention the TEMPERAMENT of a multi-tasking ten year old on a sugar high, taking me down gopher holes with no way back.  Navigating a cornfield maze with a box of matches would be simpler. 
I Want You to Care About PTSD
PATIENCE.  I've been told I must remember to breathe . . . 

This too shall pass, if I don't heave the darn thing off a bridge first.  My love and concern for our military far outweighs the learning curve I must conquer to be able to ENLIGHTEN the world to my PASSION . . . Public Awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of beginning. Probably that's why we decide we're done. It's getting too scary. We are touching down onto something real. It is beyond the point when you think you are done that often something strong comes out.      
                                                           ~ Natalie Goldberg
My last post on July 4, 2013 showed me waiting for a confirmation that my book, Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder had reached The White House.  This was confirmed July 8th, the same day I left for Ohio.  The small green postcard was stamped "THE WHITE HOUSE."  Floating on a cloud, I headed for the airport. 
During my visit, my friendly mail collector informed me that I had received a large brown envelope from the WHITE HOUSE.  Wow, that was fast!  I asked for it to be held until I returned.  Everyone thought I was deranged for waiting.  But I like SURPRISES.  It was probably a photograph of the First Lady, but I decided to bathe in the mystery and let my imagination run wild with outrageous possibilities.  That's me. 
As soon as my luggage was loaded into the house, I made a dash for my mail. Bags of it!  A plethora of junk mail!  I found the big brown envelope from the WHITE HOUSE, stamped FIRST CLASS, DO NOT BEND.  It felt stiff as my trembling letter opener sliced along the top.  Inside a piece of cardboard protected a typewritten letter on formal 6 x 9 crème-colored stationary embossed with the Presidential Seal addressed to me.  It began, "Dear Nancy:"  Needless to say, I was THRILLED.  And even more special, it was signed by Michelle Obama herself.  The pen she used bled through to the other side at three different points.  
I may not agree with all the battles that are taking place in Washington DC at this time, but I was honored that our First Lady took time to acknowledge my book, and the plight our military has been dealing with for decades.
Definition of a veteran:  A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America" for an amount of "up to and including my life."       ~ Author unknown
Photo by Scott King / gryht on flickr.
MAN'S BEST FRIEND is lending a helping paw to aid military personnel and veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 
The number of veterans being diagnosed with PTSD continues to grow. It wasn't until after the Vietnam War in the '60s and '70s that PTSD was even recognized as an actual psychiatric syndrome by the Veterans Administration. 
Nationwide from 2002 through 2012 more than 256,000 veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan have been treated for PTSD.  And the numbers continue to climb as time away from the war zone passes.          by Mark Leland - Fox 11
I recently read this interview online describing one veteran's experience with his SERVICE DOG ... 
Steve, a US Army veteran, says his dog, Whiskey, provides him with a sense of much needed comfort and security.  And that Whiskey saved his life.
"I was suicidal every single day.  I couldn't get out of the house.  I was in such deep depression.  The simplest tasks were very difficult for me but two days into the canine program a light came on and changed my life.  Whiskey provides comfort and security whenever I have a panic attack.  I'll call her up on my lap and start petting her.  She brings my blood pressure down and brings me back down to reality.  If I have a flashback and things of that nature, she's right there nudging me.  "Hey, it's okay, dad."  Whiskey's right there."
When you hear and read about what's happening throughout the country with veterans returning from war, our warriors dealing with this disabling disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, do you ever think ... "But what can I do to help?"
Most know I chose PETS FOR VETS to donate a portion of the proceeds from my book.  This national organization helps heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by pairing them with shelter dogs.  Their selfless dedication in this field shows compassion and understanding to this issue that has been minimized far too long.  Their approach gives veterans a way to defuse their PTSD without the use of drugs, and gives a shelter dog a loving home and purpose. 
Know that THERE IS A WAY each one of us can help these warriors who bravely fought for what they were asked to do.  Every donation helps.  Let your heart be your guide.  We owe them more than we could ever REPAY.
Who is eligible for a Pets for Vets companion animal?  Please see information and Pets for Vets Veterans Application located on their website at for more details. 
They carried comrades, they carried guns, and they carried letters from home.  Their dog tags carried their name and rank.  Would they wear them home, or would they be handed to a family member?  None knew the answer, yet they served our country, the United States of America, with their very heart and soul.   
God Bless America and all her brave WARRIORS.
Do you know someone who is dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
(Please read post from April 2013 for more detailed information).