A MUST READ...
Big corporations support veteran organizations based on purposeful misrepresentations of the truth...for example...#22KILL. #22KILL is a veteran organization that supports the 2010-2012 whitewashed VA stat of 22 veteran suicides every 24 hours. Misrepresentation of the truth? 100%. Lying by way of omission? 100%. What is the lie? The lie is as follows...the VA gleaned that information by way of collating stats from only 21 STATES. 29 STATES WERE/ARE UNACCOUNTED FOR.
The 21 states the VA garnered said info from were and still are the only states that have verifiable mechanisms in place tracking veteran suicides. The remaining 29 states in our Union do not. ALSO, out of the 29 unaccounted for states, Texas and California, two of the largest states in our country where the majority of our veterans live, DO NOT REPORT VETERAN SUICIDES.
Fact...suicide is severely under-reported every day, in every state in our country, for every citizen, civilian and veteran alike. Suicides are not properly diagnosed on death certificates for a myriad of reasons. A few of the most important...purposeful drug overdoses and automobile accidents are documented as accidental unless there is irrefutable proof that suicide was the cause. Irrefutable proof? A suicide note or someone having direct knowledge that suicide was the cause of death. Suicides are often 'brushed under the carpet' by our citizens of wealth who wish to avoid embarrassing fallout and scrutiny.
22 suicides per day...I am angered over this horrible abuse of the truth and the resulting disrespect foisted upon the surviving family members of all of dead veterans. Somewhere 29 families, respective friends, co-workers, loved ones are purposefully forgotten. My thoughts on why the full truth is not being reported? One can only speculate. I have since stopped trying to figure out the why and am solely focused on presenting the truth and how Warriors in Heart can remedy this growing disgraceful, disgusting, dirty little secret.
In my persistent/tenacious search for the truth and sharing it here and elsewhere re: veteran suicides...it falls on deaf ears more than it is received with a passion and energy to help me...heard with open minds and felt with open hearts. In my persistent and tenacious representation of the TRUTH, I have pled for corporate sponsorship with zero expressed interest. Others can perpetuate lies, i.e. #22KILL and get national attention and corporations backing them without seemingly blinking an eye. For the life of me, I will NEVER understand how backwards, dangerous, and damaging this is for our vets and their family members.
We are losing AT LEAST 40 veterans to suicide every 24 hours. Since 2001...we have lost over 215,000 warrior men and women to suicide. We are in trouble...big...big...trouble.
Warriors in Heart has solutions. I have written that fact based comment thousands of times on this site. I am still waiting for a corporation to contact me with great news...that being...they are behind our mission and will do all they can to help us get our much needed life saving mission statement and mission out to our uninformed and misinformed nation. One veteran suicide is too many. 22 suicides a day is a grossly and purposefully perpetuated under-reported lie. Mark these words once again...the untreated PTSD, untreated addictive illness, suicide epidemic flood gates have not even opened yet.
I will never grow tired of asking for your help. My brothers and sisters fought for every freedom you wake up with in the morning and go to bed with at night. They keep the wolves of terror AND tyranny off your front door steps every minute of every day. Once they come home, their burdens belong to us. WE are responsible for taking care of them. The VA mental healthcare system is broken. Our warriors continue to take their own lives. I AM NOT QUIET NOR AM I COMPLICIT REGARDING THEIR DEATHS. What say you?
US Army Veteran and Founder
Warriors in Heart, Inc.
Over 500,000 new generation combat veterans are walking among us with untreated PTSD. Untreated PTSD is a DIRECT contributing factor regarding suicide attempts and successes among our combat vets. We are losing at LEAST 40 of our warriors to suicide every 24 hours. One every 12 minutes! In 2012, the VA provided a statistic that quoted 22 vet suicides every 24 hours. THEY WERE AND CONTINUE TO BE WRONG! They white washed that statistic. That, in and of itself, is a national disgrace. IF the FACTS were to be accurately portrayed...the understandable CITIZEN BACKLASH would be off the charts.
How are we losing at LEAST 40 vets to suicide every 24 hours? Presently, only 21 states in our Union are reporting vet suicide statistics. 29 states have ZERO reporting mechanisms in place. 22 suicides per day was based on the reports from 21 states. Having said that, California and Texas are two of the largest states in our country. The majority of our retirees and veterans live in these two states. California and Texas DO NOT report veteran suicides.
Finally, many suicides are NOT accurately assessed as such. For example, drug overdoses ARE typically NOT identified as suicides nor are motor vehicle 'accidents.' Often, suicides ARE NOT listed as cause of death on death certificates. What is documented on death certificates is cardiac arrest or respiratory failure due to drug overdose or significant head trauma due to motor vehicle accident. Hear me when I say, far too many of our warriors are purposefully overdosing and driving their cars into bridge abutments.
Will you help me care for them?
Will you help?
"Feelings are PURE energy contained inside of our bodies...all generated by our amazing brains. Tragically, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder...a catastrophic explosion of energy within our brains...can cause physical damage to brain tissue...it can atrophy in parts of the brain directly affected by the trauma experience...primarily...the Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Hippocampus, Amygdala, and Pre-Frontal Cortex.
This explosion of dangerous energy is captured, or, encapsulated within our bodies. Our bodies provide the best hermetically sealed environment for this 'out of control energy' to subsist! Picture pinballs pinging and banging off of electronically sensitive buffers. Those brain buffers, otherwise known as neurons, will aggressively push toxic energy away because of the force in which it was hit with. When said energy is forcefully pushed away...it interferes with neurotransmission. Unless that body 'energy' is released in a protective and safe therapeutic milieu...it literally becomes TOXIC to the human body over time.
The toxicity of untreated PTSD has psychological and physiological compromises. Remember, the Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Hippocampus, Amygdala, and Pre-Frontal Cortex produce chemicals that dictate what our bodies will do and/or not do. Everything from memory and cognition issues to poor or anorexic sexual performance problems are due to the stored toxic energy I spoke of. Drug/alcohol abuse/addiction, depression and other mental health concerns are quite common. Irrational outbursts of anger plus assaultive behaviors can occur. Untreated PTSD can also lead to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks. Our veterans WILL NOT heal unless their minds and bodies are restored to states of homeostasis.
Untreated PTSD is TOXIC. I am begging...PLEASE help me help them. Donate to our life saving mission today. We are NOT asking for much. Will you help? Donations needed and gratefully accepted. Donations can be made via www.warriorsinheart.org...or...http://www.gofundme.com/warriorsinheartorg. Thank you!
Okay, let me share some much needed info and hopefully squash yet another veteran/PTSD stereotype. I saw a meme today that quoted "A veteran hides from fireworks show..." First and foremost, LET ME MAKE THIS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR, vets with PTSD DO NOT hide. Hiding...not in veteran our DNA! Regarding fireworks, the MAJORITY of vets with PTSD can handle large firework shows going on in front of him or her. It is in plain sight/predictable. What is VERY difficult and incredibly triggering for vets with PTSD? The random staccato pops and unpredictable explosions of fireworks that go on in neighborhoods and outside of their homes...sight unseen.
Let me be clear...there are varying degrees of PTSD severity. Even with large fireworks shows, a veteran with PTSD may have a satiation point. That is where self care and self awareness is crucial to well-being. This meme is NOT targeted at my brothers and sisters who just returned from combat. I do not advocate viewing fireworks shows until you feel settled and well enough to attend. Use your common sense and that inner barometer...gage how you are doing by way of a myriad of factors going on in your life upon returning home. Use your voice and TALK about your experiences.
Give yourself an exit strategy...let people know you may have to leave early if you are feeling triggered. If you are feeling triggered...time for self care...for example...go home and put your head phones on and turn the music volume up...especially if fireworks are going on in your neighborhood at random and unpredictable intervals. Tell your self it is temporary...you are safe...they are fireworks and not small or large arms fire. Please...consider therapy. PTSD and triggers do not get better over time...like the disease of addiction...the older we get...the older they get. PTSD is as much of a progressive illness as addiction is.
Keep this is mind as well, viewing fireworks, as in a large show with people around, can actually work in your favor. Why? Those of us with PTSD isolate. Big time. Trust/feelings of safety are a huge part of recovery. When in a large crowd of fireworks revelers, spend time watching the people around you. Begin to marvel, once again, in the feelings of being social in a safe yet loud PUBLIC gathering. Concentrate on the smiles/laughter of others. Try and feel their excitement versus your anxiety. Soak in a child's energy while he or she yells with excitement at the colors and sounds of a fireworks show. They feel safe because they are with mom and dad, brothers and sisters, friends...the people with whom WE need to re-establish relationships with when we come home. Take it slow and easy. You should not feel pressured to reacclimatize. At the same time, you DO NOT have permission to isolate. Isolating is one of the most damaging and DANGEROUS things you can do regarding your overall well-being!
Brother and sister veterans, we must find ways to climb out of our social isolation and become a part of life again. Here is the bottom line, if we do not begin to change our thinking, we will not change our behaviors. I repeat, If we do not change our THINKING, we will not change our BEHAVIORS! I could speak for hours on this topic as it means that much to me, however, I will refrain from doing so. Just know this...from me to you...you re not alone. Not now. Not ever. You are loved. You are respected. You are important. You matter. You belong here!
WE DO NOT HIDE! WE ARE SURVIVORS! WE ARE NOT NOR WILL WE EVER BE VICTIMS!
With much love and deep appreciation and respect for your PTSD journey (I am walking it with you!),