This article touched me deeply and has me thinking about a lot of things. I'm also praying for this family and all of our wounded and their families. It is heartbreaking that these heroes are crying out for help, and have very few places to find the help. All too often, they are left feeling desperate which leads to desperate behavior and actions. Now, instead of getting the help he needs, he is facing 3 felonies and other misdemeanor charges. Is this really how we treat our nation's heroes? How loud does the cry have to get for something to be done?
Thankfully, my husband is now at The Pathway Home getting help for his PTSD. However, we searched several months, and this is not the first time we have searched, to find somewhere that looks promising. There are not many programs out there that treat PTSD in veterans and once they are off of active duty, insurance will not pay for that treatment. The reasoning I am told, is because it is the VA's job to treat PTSD.
This does not leave much room for hope for veteran's out there searching for help. My husband does not have issues with substance abuse like so often happens with PTSD. So, finding a program that treats PTSD alone is difficult if not next to impossible. I feel very blessed that we were able to get him into the program he is in now. However, I often drift to the question of what will we do if it doesn't work? You see, he has been in patient before. He has tried everything the Army has as well as the VA except for the 7 week program the VA has. He's not stable enough for that so he's left out there to flounder. If this program doesn't work, I don't know that there is anything left at this time, to give us hope of his healing. It's no wonder these guys are doing desperate things.
My husband's story came dangerously close to being a newspaper headline. The Saturday night before we flew to the Pathway Home on Monday, could have been headlines. I'm not going to go into many details here simply to protect my husband's privacy. (But, more importantly, I do not want people to be afraid of him. I am able to separate his illness from him. Other's can't.) I did have to call 911 at 0400 and we did end up with police, ambulance, and a firetruck at our house. Thanks be to God that nothing tragic happened and I was able to get him the help he needed to keep everyone safe. While it was an extremely difficult night, we did witness many miracles and I thank God for that. Monday morning, my sister and I flew with him to California, rented a car, and drove him to the Pathway Home. This was almost 3 weeks ago and he seems to be doing very well there. Time will tell if it is able to help him get that safety, peace, and joy he so deserves.
I think about all of this daily, our own story as well as those I hear from other wives and family members. The only thing I can figure out for the question of why isn't the military and VA doing more so these stories aren't playing out time and time again is that they simply have no idea what to do. Both the military and the VA are overwhelmed by PTSD and TBI as well as all the other conditions they are treating. They know the problems are there but really have no idea what to do about them. They are grasping at straws, desperate to find anything, and quickly, that can bail them out and help our vets. I don't think it's that they do not care, it is just that they can't seem to find anything to help and therefore spend a lot of time spinning their wheels or closing their eyes. However, we as a nation, have to do something to help our heroes.
Please keep this family in North Dakota, our family, and all the families injured in Iraq/Afghanistan in your thoughts and prayers.