Our Story – Why We Exist
While Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms can be mild to extreme, and they can come and go without rational explanations, PTS can interfere with relationships, employment, and even daily decisions. PTS does not have to be combat related, but certainly trauma has been experienced or witnessed by those who suffer from PTS symptoms. Therapy and medication treatments work. With more service members surviving serious wounds than ever before, we as a community must advocate for better services. Statistics show the need is great.
It is time to get past the stigma and confront our behavioral health concerns.
According to the Disabled Veterans National Foundation:
An estimated 1 in 5 veterans of all eras suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or depression. More than a quarter million OEF/OIF veterans suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Approximately 53% of homeless veterans have disabilities. In addition, more than half of the homeless veteran population in the United States has a mental disability.
20 Years of War – A Costs of War Series – click here for full report – 6/2021:
TBIs have affected as many as 20 percent of post-9/11 service members, with many experiencing more than one during their career.10
Modern medical advances have the benefit of allowing service members to survive physical traumas; however, their quality of life following severe physical trauma can put them at a greater risk of suicidal behaviors.
Post-9/11 service members survive serious wounds 87 percent of the time, 18 percent higher than Vietnam or even the Gulf War.42
Four times as many U.S. service members have died by suicide than in combat in the post-9/11 wars. This paper estimates 30,177 active duty personnel and veterans of the post 9/11 wars have died by suicide, significantly more than the 7,057 service members killed in post-9/11 war operations…Of veterans ages 18 to 34, the [suicide] rate has increased by 76 percent since 2005.
Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, when TV and Radio were the mass media outlets, audiences watched in horror as news reports showed war footage and gave daily death counts. Service members, if not killed in action, returned home to a different kind of conflict, one between the U.S. government and its citizens. As children, these service members were taught to honor and respect returning soldiers, but they did not receive that kind of homecoming. In addition to combat trauma, there was social shaming and hateful treatment of veterans.
After 40 years of living life, raising a family, and basically ignoring the mental and behavioral health symptoms and consequences, a crisis occurred. While resources were still very limited, after a year of assessing, testing, therapies and medications, the Atlanta VA Health Care System came through with what we consider a success. We want others to seek help NOW so that they can enjoy their successes at an earlier age.
There is guilt and shame for having waited so long to seek help, we do not recommend it. What we do recommend is to seek help NOW, for yourself, for your family, for the future of your family. If you don’t know what you need or what to ask for, contact us for a confidential discussion and steps to follow.
In January 2025, we will celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary.
AboutFace‐USA® is a peer-led community organization existing, as an initial point of contact, to empower and encourage veterans and their families to find help. We provide support services, activities and resources geared toward understanding mental health so that they can cope better, improve their relationships, and change the direction of their future for the better.