How to be Supportive on Veterans Day

in Recovery
Olivia Pennelle
Published Nov 10, 2020

Veterans Day is intended to honor all living veterans who have served in the United States armed forces and the sacrifices they made. Unfortunately, those sacrifices can live with veterans long after they return from war, with many veterans suffering with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use problems.

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs when a person has experienced a significant traumatic event in which a person may fear that your life or others’ lives are in danger. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened, even when they are not in danger.

According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women experience at least one trauma in their lives. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Men are more likely to experience accidents, physical assault, combat, disaster, or to witness death or injury.

Key facts about PTSD

  • About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives
  • About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma
  • About 10 of every 100 women (or 10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%)

 

How common is PTSD among veterans?

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, between 11 to 20 percent of people who have served in wars suffer with PTSD. To cope with the effects of war, many veterans suffering with PTSD can become isolated and struggle to integrate back into everyday life.

How can we support veterans?

There are a number of ways we can support veterans in their everyday lives as well as honoring their service. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Send a care package to veterans on active duty.  Organizations that help organize these packages include: Operation GratitudeOperation Shoebox, and Hero Box.
  • Consider visiting a veteran recovering in the hospital. When recovering from an injury, it can be incredibly lonely sitting in a hospital unable to get out. You can also volunteer at your local VA Hospital.
  • Pick up the tab for their meal or coffee. If you see a veteran in line at a coffee shop or restaurant, why not pick up their tab? You can leave a note thanking them for their service or pay anonymously.
  • Volunteer your time to the Veterans Assistance Program. You can get in touch with your local Veterans Assistance Program, to see how you can be of assistance with tasks that veterans may find challenging.
  • Drive a veteran to a medical appointment. Some veterans may not have transportation, or may be less-able than they were before as a result of a war injury. You can volunteer to drive a veteran to a medical appointment at the Department of Veterans Affairs Transportation Network, by contacting your local hospital coordinator.
  • Help with job training. Returning to life as a civilian can be challenging. Some organizations, like Hire Heroes, help veterans with the skills they need to return to work, like interview skills, writing a resume, or job training. You can offer your time to Hire Heroes to help with interview practice, career counseling, and helping them search for jobs.

For more information about trauma and PTSD, you might find our blogs on trauma helpful.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or relapse, contact us today for a free and confidential assessment. At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we bring compassion to the commotion. Peace to the pain. Empowerment to the powerless. If you or someone you know needs support with addiction problems, bring us your battle. Call us today and take the best, first step towards recovery: 720-704-1432