My eyes were opened to world I never knew existed and to hardships I never imagined possible. In the last three years since I created the Military Veteran Project, we have assisted countless wounded warriors, veterans, and active duty service members with reintegration, rehabilitation to help end military suicide. What we learned along the way is merely common sense, but so much common sense we didn't realize it until we had one case come across our desk. A marine veteran reached out to us three weeks before Thanksgiving, he had been living on he streets waiting for an opening at the local VA for treatment for PTSD. Intake volunteers immediately got the location of the veteran and sent a battle buddy to pick up veteran, take him to dinner and find him a transitional place to call home until the VA had openings. While the veteran was receiving services, as a military widow, I wondered "What about his wife?" "Did he have children?" I asked the battle buddy to get more information on the veteran's family, we found out that the veteran had separated from his spouse because of his night terrors and frustration, the wife literally did not know what to do. She did not have the education, support or direction from anyone in the rural area in which they lived in and no one could help. We later found out the veteran had three children, two of which he had never been able to attach to due to multiple deployments and one toddler who has been able to create somewhat of the bond with.
With all the information on the internet and the big push for PTSD treatments and help for the veteran, the Military Veteran Project came to the conclusion, that you can NOT treat the veteran without treating and education the spouse, the children and family. Ten times to one, once you remove the veteran for treatment, take them out of the family environment, the detachment from the family begins. A part of the treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is treating it as a whole, treating everyone involved and slowly rehabilitation and reintegrating everyone into their new normal.
Today, we are happy to report the veteran and his wife are still going to counseling to understand one another, the children are able to spend time with their father and the family is moving forward one day at a time. The Military Veteran Project was able to create change because of the volunteers who dedicate their time giving back to those who have given so much and help a veteran who was ready to accept the help with open arms.
With that, the Hero Football camp was a huge success for the Military Veteran Project, uniting military children and families together for a day of fun, teamwork and outreach.
Military Children make up a very special part of the nations population. Although young, these brave sons and daughters stand in steadfast support of the military parents through moves and deployments. To honor their unique contributions and sacrifices on behalf of our country, April is designated as month of the military child.
The Military Veteran Project hosted a free Hero Football camp with the help of Kevin Lockett to give back to children who have given so much. Children from active duty, deployed, wounded warriors and children who lost a parent in combat were invited to unite for a day of fun and freedom. To learn more how you can help visit http://www.militaryveteranproject.org/#!donate/c1lts
My name is Melissa Jarboe, military spouse, wounded warrior wife and war widow. Today and everyday moving forward, I will honor the sacrifice of our men and women who selflessly serve our nation.