Not all war scars can be seen. Many servicemembers suffer from psychological injuries.
Since June is PTSD Awareness Month, MOAA wanted to share stories and additional resources for servicemembers, veterans, and military family members who may be coping with the effects of post-traumatic stress.
The April 2013 issue of Military Officer magazine dealt with Invisible Wounds, and talked about the stigma associated with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), as well as options for treatment.
If you or someone you know need help, please visit or share these resources (and read the article for others):
MOAA members also have access to an archive of articles on mental and physical wellness, and feature stories on unique ways to deal with trauma. Login to learn more:
A marine fights the ravages of war: A Marine uses his resources to help other Marines reintegrate into society after deployments.
The emotionally intelligent warrior: The Army makes sure its soldiers are both physically and emotionally strong.
Writing to overcome trauma: Whether it’s during wartime or decades later, many veterans find writing helps them come to terms with traumatic experiences.
Theater of war: Theater performances of Sophocles’ plays about war and what now is known as PTSD help servicemembers realize they are not alone.
Coping with PTSD through the arts: Nearly a fifth of combat veterans are returning home with PTSD, posing a challenge to the military’s mental health care system. Art therapy can be an effective supplement to medical treatment.
Not the normal sort of “scholarships” MOAA promotes, but a great way to rest, recharge and collaborate with other health workers if you’re one of the many servicemembers or community volunteers who spends their time helping others lead healthy and productive lives. Get more details on the scholarships below:
To commemorate the 35th anniversary of Canyon Ranch and to further Canyon Ranch Institute’s community efforts, Canyon Ranch has generously donated 25 stays at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ, as scholarships for people who work or volunteer in low-income and medically underserved communities helping to enhance the health and well-being of their local populations.
CRI Healthy World Scholarship recipients will receive a complimentary five-day, four-night stay at Canyon Ranch in Tucson. In addition to the opportunity to participate in many health and wellness activities and classes, recipients will participate in collaborative discussion sessions with Canyon Ranch Institute team members and the other scholarship recipients in their scholarship category. Travel, sundries, fitness classes, and other benefits are also included. See the full list of package inclusions from CRI.
Who may apply:
- Applicants must be age 18 years or older.
- Applicants must be able to travel to Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ, during the dates specified for the Scholarship Category they select.
CRI Healthy World Scholarships are available in five categories. The dates for the Canyon Ranch stays are specific to each scholarship category and are listed below. Applicants may select up to two categories for which they wish to apply. If an applicant chooses to apply in two categories, she or he must send two separate application emails. (Requirements for application emails follow.)
- Richard H. Carmona Scholarship for Returning Veterans. For veterans of the U.S. Uniformed Services deployed in world conflict areas since 2001.
Check in Wednesday, April 15, 2015 and check out Sunday, April 19, 2015.
- Arts & Health Scholarship. For people who are using the arts to enhance health.
Check in Wednesday, May 13, 2015 and check out Sunday, May 17, 2015.
- Healthy Garden Scholarship. For people who are involved with community or school garden programs.
Check in Wednesday, June 24, 2015 and check out Sunday, June 28, 2015.
- Healthy Schools Scholarship. For people who are working to improve the health and well-being of schools.
Check in Wednesday, July 15, 2015 and check out Sunday, July 19, 2015.
- Healthy Table Scholarship. For people who are involved with healthy shopping, cooking, and nutrition programs.
Check in Wednesday, August 12, 2015 and check out Sunday, August 16, 2015.
How to apply:
The applicant must send one email message per application, with the information listed below to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Full name
- Contact information – email address, phone number(s), mailing address
- Scholarship Category selected. (No more than two.)
- The applicant’s personal connection to health and wellness. (Your comment should be no more than 200 words.)
- A description of how the applicant is engaged in community health and well-being in the Scholarship Category selected. (Your comment should be no more than 200 words.)
- A description of how the applicant will translate the CRI Healthy World Scholarship experience into enhancing the health and well-being of his or her community. (Your comment should be no more than 200 words.)
Deadline to apply is October 1, 2014.
NOTE: Application emails that include attachments or images (photos, drawings, or maps) will not be considered.
Scholarship recipients will be announced in January 2015.
Help raise awareness of PTSD and effective PTSD treatments. Get involved in spreading the word about PTSD treatment and recovery.
Visit the National Center for PTSD’s Web site at www.PTSD.va.gov throughout June – PTSD Awareness Month – for resources, links, and stories about PTSD, both for the public and mental health professionals.
How can you get involved?
- Set up an information table and make materials on PTSD available to the public.
- Share social media posts about PTSD.
- You could even gather a group to learn about PTSD through an online learning module.
Visit www.ptsd.va.gov/about/ptsd-awareness/ for resources and suggestions, and share the site with your friends and colleagues.
You can make a difference today!
If you haven’t grabbed a copy of the June issue of National Geographic magazine, we suggest you check it out. The cover story this month is about the dogs who go to war with our nation’s human heroes .
If the servicemember is lucky, like Marine Corporal Jose Armenta, the dogs can sometimes even go home to be adopted by their human handler after they’re “retired.”
Read the amazing stories of servicemembers and their military working dogs in National Geographic this month in “The Dogs of War.”
For more articles on how service animals can help support the military, check out these past stories in Military Officer magazine:
- Loyal Support – Trained dogs help veterans overcome PTSD and other issues. May 2013
- Conditioning Canines – Military working dogs protect American lives – and a dedicated hospital in Texas returns the favor. June 2011
- Companions in Combat – On land, at sea, and in the air, these constant companions – and sometime war heroes – have been found in all services, beloved by privates and generals alike. April 2009
Caregivers are providing a thankless and often difficult task – caring for loved ones (whether their own or someone else’s) and making life for them as near to normal as possible. That’s the story of a woman named Ramona, who cared for Janet Steen’s mother as if she was her own beloved mother or grandmother, told in a touching New York Times opinion piece, “My Mother’s Keepers.”
Not everyone has the magical touch Ramona seemed to have with Janet’s mother, and often the sacrifices and sleepless nights caregivers suffer go unnoticed as they provide for others, often foregoing needs of their own.
For people caring for our veterans and wounded warriors, these sacrifices are the same, and the resources provided to them aren’t always clear.
MOAA, working with the American Bar Association (ABA) and Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement in partnership with The Elizabeth Dole Foundation, has formed a collaboration to address unmet legal and financial education needs of military caregivers.
The new Caregiver Guide is an online resource center for military caregivers and veterans, covering five main areas:
- Department of Defense
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Social Security
Visit MOAA.org/Caregiver for more information and resources, including pro-bono financial and legal assistance for veterans and their caregivers!