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Blast injuries, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress (PTS) are the wounds of war, but as wounded service members return home, there is another battle on the home front. The wounds of war touch families as well, including their spouses, parents, children, siblings, and caregivers.

It is the less visible wounds of changes in cognition, emotions, and behavior that can be so puzzling and frustrating for veterans and their families. Wrestling with the demons of the aftermath of war requires support, information and expertise. These blog articles by and about veterans and service members share their experiences.

Getting Help for PTSD is a Step Forward for Veterans

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“Admitting that you have an issue with PTSD isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you are truly a strong person. Actively seeking a treatment plan or someone to talk with can be one of the most difficult things to do in your life, but it also can be one of the most rewarding.” These are the words of Matt Brown who knows first hand how hard it can be to ask for help.

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Raging Storm of Veteran’s PTSD

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As a veteran with PTSD, Matt Brown knows the terrors and triggers for the storms that can rage inside his mind. In his words…
“This piece was written during a pretty bad storm in NC. It made me begin to think on how fast the storm was on top of my house. It just seemed to sit there for what felt like hours. I then began to feel that this storm was connected with me. There are some days when the things that trigger my PTSD seem to only trickle in at first, but then they start to compound each other. Then they start to rage in a huge storm.”

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Prisoner of My Mind – A Veteran Battles PTSD and Depression

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As a combat Veteran, I have faced many ups and downs in my life. Some of the stupidest things can trigger a bought of depression. Something as simple as a TV ad or a picture in a book. When I feel the “slide” happening, I try my best to remember the things I am thankful for. Family, friends, the air I breathe. My worst enemy these days is my own mind. Sometimes deep in thought is more hurtful then helpful. Half the battle is self awareness. No longer in combat, Matt Brown is fighting a new battle with PTSD and depression.

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Wife of A Wounded Warrior Lights her Way Through the Darkness

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Jessica Montgomery, wife of a wounded warrior, shares her story of finding hope after years of stress and isolation as she and her husband struggled with the effects of PTSD and TBI. Using a flashlight as an analogy, she shares how she found a new sisterhood of other wives during weekend retreats led by Hope for the Home Front and supported by Operation Homefront. She encourages other wives to light a path out of the darkness of despair and isolation to find information and support. She is now speaking and writing to help those in both the civilian and military sectors understand what it is like when the wounds of war come home.

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Resilient Children and Hidden Blessings after My Husband’s Brain Injury in Iraq

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My husband’s brain injury in Iraq changed my children’s world. Their Daddy was no longer invincible in their eyes and they did not know what he would be like when he came home. I started writing a story to help my children with their confusion, fears, worries and questions. It eventually became the book Our Daddy Is Invincible!. It has now helped many other children of service members with all types of injuries and PTSD as they return from Iraq and Afghanistan. Its message conveys the strength and resilience of children as they explore the “new normal” of their life at home.

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Voices of Wives of Wounded Warriors

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Now caregivers as well as wives and mothers, many women are finding that the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have changed not only their husbands but their entire family. As these women speak out about the changes in their marriages, parenting, and relationship, it becomes clear that the emotional trauma of war affects every member in the family as the wounded warrior comes home.

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Supporting Wives of Wounded Warriors with Brain Injury and PTSD

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Retreats for wives of wounded warriors help women find support and address needs for emotional healing. As caregivers of veterans with disabling injuries and PTSD, they are experiencing compassion fatigue and secondary stress. Marilyn Lash is part of a team with Hope for the Homefront conducting weekend retreats across the country with the support of Operation Homefront.

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Driving, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury – New Dangers

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The combined effects of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD are creating new risks for service members as they come home and resume driving. Up to now, we’ve been focused on the risks of driving for adolescents and the elderly, but new concerns are arising for our veterans. Everyday traffic noises and sights can trigger flashbacks. Speeding, road rage and impulse control pose real dangers for the driver, passengers and pedestrians.

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Family Caregivers of Veterans with Brain or Blast Injury Face Huge Strains

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The caregivers and families of severely injured veterans, many of whom have traumatic brain injury and blast injury, face ongoing emotional and financial pressures. There are thousands of unpaid caregivers, mostly parents, spouses and siblings, who assist vets injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, as they struggle to get through each day.

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Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy – How Are We Really Treating Our Service Members and Veterans with Brain Injuries?

Cognitive rehabilitation for persons with traumatic brain injury has been examined and questioned in terms of its outcomes and cost effectiveness. The civilian sector has worked long and hard with insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare to recognize the benefits of cognitive rehabilitation therapy. Now Tricare, the insurance program that covers service members and veterans, is refusing to cover cognitive rehabilitation at the time when brain injury is recognized as the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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