Veterans Stand Down

Local Stand Down event

Local Stand Down event

I had the opportunity to participate (as a vendor) in a Stand Down event recently. For those of you who don’t know what it is here’s a brief description:

The concept of Stand Down, as related specifically to the homeless veteran crisis, was the brainchild of two Vietnam veterans, Robert Van Keuren, and Dr. Jon Nachison. The first Stand Down was held in San Diego during the summer of 1988. Today these events occur all across the U.S. and are coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and local organizations typically lasting one to three days and providing services to mainly homeless Veterans.

Thousand of veterans arrived Continue reading

Advertisements

PTSD and genetics

Yalies find genetic link to PTSD

Excerpts:

Yale researchers have discovered a strong link between genes and the likelihood that someone will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Pingxing Xie GRD ’13 and Yale School of Medicine professor Joel Gelernter ’79 found that a particular form of a gene found on chromosome 17 made some people more likely to develop PTSD. They published their results in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

“I’m interested in working out what the important genetic effects are for PTSD,” Gelernter said. “Our goal is to figure out what makes some people more vulnerable to PTSD than other people.”

Eight percent of Americans have been diagnosed with PTSD, while 40 to 70 percent of Americans have experienced a traumatic event. Gelernter and Xie found that Continue reading

VA Eligibility Letter Postmortem

VA letter addressed to my dad on November 1, 2008:

“According to records of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you were stationed in the Republic of Vietnam during your military service.” The letter goes on to tell my father all about disability compensation he may be eligible for. Great! Just one problem: Continue reading

Iowa Veteran Finds Himself Lost…

Here’s the link to the article:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/19/iowa-veteran-finds-himself-lost-in-vas-benefits-logjam/?test=latestnews

Summary: Due to the backlog of paperwork at the VA, a 24-year-old former Marine who lost his leg in Iraq is still waiting to see if his full disability will be instated.  According to the article, ONE MILLION vets are waiting for their disability cases to be reviewed.

Thoughts: I have a dear friend who works for the VA, and in the last few years of my dad’s life she proved an invaluable resource in helping me navigate the VA system.  There were times when she wasn’t accessible (she worked in a different state) and when I would tell her about my David to the VA’s Goliath battles, she would become so upset, “That shouldn’t have happened! Someone should have helped you with that!” She has a heart of gold and it was oh so comforting to know that there was at least one person who worked for the VA who cared.  BUT, so many others don’t have that lifeline, so many others, like this 24-year-old former Marine, feel forgotten.