Will Dad be home for Christmas?
A Christmas Wish
Little Jenny sat with her nose pressed againist her cold bedroom window, she pulled back her wavy brown curls hoping and praying to see her father on Christmas Day. Her father had been in Afghanistan for over one year, a soldier in the army. Her mother comes into the room an says " Jenny tomorrow is Christmas Eve so let's get ready for bed sweetheart." Jenny jumps into her mother's arms and ask "mommy will daddy be home tomorrow? I don't want him to miss Christmas". "Don't worry your little four year old brain honey, daddy will be here for Christmas". Her mother smiled and kissed her forehead and Jenny went to sleep.
When Jenny woke up she ran down stairs screaming "it's time to see daddy"! To her surprise her grandmother and grandfather were there. Grandmother gave her a big hug and kiss, and said "yes dear it's time". Once they arrived at the hospital mom held Jenny's hand as they walked into the hospital. Jenny looked around for her father, suddenly she heard "Jenny" it was him. As she ran towards him, Jenny noticed her father was not running, he was sitting in a chair using his hands to roll it. He bent down and picked her up to sit her on his lap, her father told her " I love you sweet heart, I'm so happy to be home"! Jenny noticed that her daddy's leg was hurt she said "Daddy you have a booboo on your leg". Jenny's father responded " Daddy's going to be all right, now that he can hold you in his arms again, as he gave her a kiss on the cheek.
This is a story that most military families face everyday, and for them it's a reality. A family member may have to explain to their child that one of their parents are hurt or has passed. The Christmas Holiday can be a stressful time for military families. The Wounded Warriors & Army STARRS are great programs that help honor and serve our troops.
The cost of Freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.— John F. Kennedy
Traumatic Stress in the Military NIMH
The needs are great and becoming greater each year, A recent report from the Army noted: At 24 years of age a soldier on average has:
- Has moved from home family and friends
- Has lived in 2 others states or more
- Has traveled the world (deployed)
- Been promoted 4 times
- Purchased a car and wrecked it
- Married and then had children
- Has had relationship and financial problems
- Seen death
- Responsible for dozens of soldiers
- Maintains millions of dollars worth of equipment
- Yearly salary less than $40,000
Roughly, 20 percent of the nearly 2 million soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are struggling with the signature wounds of these wars, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. We know that more soldiers die from suicide than combat. As, Patrick Kennedy has said, too many soldiers return to become medical POW's.
PTSD: Stress and Resilience Dr. Daniel Pine NIMH
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and inbending and gentle in victory.— Douglas MacArthur
Risk and Reslilience in Soldiers (ARMY STARRS) NIMH
About ARMY STARRS
The project has enrolled over 25,000 soliders in the past yea
Latest evidence for predicting PTSD
Mental Health Services
Soliders diagnosed with PTSD
Genetic profiles and psychological testing
Emergency Crisis Lines
Soliders diagnosed with Depression
Having updated trauma history
Mobile-Outreach for any crisis
Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project is a veterans service organization that offers a variety of programs, service, and events for wounded veterans of military actions following the events of Sept.11, 2001.
- Cool Careers- To help Wounded Warriors find job opportunities
- Programs- Combat stress and recovery, Training
- Mission- To honor and empower Wounded Warriors
- Vision- To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our Nation's history. Reference Wikipedia
The Potential Challenges
The mental health consequences and challenges of war-time deployments to service members and veterans are considerable, and increasing evidence suggests that families face diverse stressors at different periods in the deployment cycle. Family members of the deployed personnel are often the "unsung heroes" of a combat, deployment, supporting service members before, during, and after a deployment.(Pincus, House, Christenson & Adler 2005) U.S. National Library of Medicine
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.— John Adams
Supporting a Veteran-Military Family
Volunteering at a VA Hospital is a great way to honor our troops. Volunteer at a VA Regional Office where veterans benefits claims are processed. Or, there maybe a national cemetery near you that needs assistance. There are also opportunities for administrative assistance in offices throughout the VA system.
The safety of veterans under VA Hospital Care is a primary concern and duty. To ensure Veterans and you as a volunteer in the VAVS program, are safe from contagions, each potential volunteer must receive certain health screens - U.S. Dept. Of Veteran Affairs.
- How Not to Forget Our Disabled Veterans And Their Fa...
Learn how not to forget our Military during Christmas and Thanksgiving. Things to do for Military families around the Holidays.