Over the past month, I have spent a total of nine days as a patient in the VA Hospital in Seattle. In the 17 years since I have been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I have spent time in military hospitals (both in the field and out), civilian hospitals, and now the VA. I have to say that the care I received in Seattle was extraordinary. It’s not just the providers, though they were all wonderful, but the whole atmosphere of concern, respect, and camaraderie. There’s nothing like it.
For those of you who are not familiar with Crohn’s Disease, it is an incurable inflammatory bowel disease that has chronic recurring periods of flare-ups and remission. Every day I strive to keep it in check, but every few years it comes back hard and I have to seek help to beat it back into remission. Like any good soldier, I fight the battle first on my own and seek reinforcements only once all appears lost. Sometimes, my “I can fix this myself” attitude gets me into serious trouble. This was one of those times. By waiting so long to get medical care, I had allowed a seven-inch bleeding laceration into my colon. The docs said it looked like a bear claw had swiped through allowing all kinds of nasty germs to grow.
Let’s be honest here. When a civilian sees their blood leaving their body, Continue reading and add your comment
Last week I signed up with the Million Veteran Program at the VA. All it took was twenty minutes of my time and a tube of blood to participate in a program whose results could be invaluable; results that could change healthcare and improve it for generations to come.
Why do some people who smoke never get lung cancer? Why were some affected by Agent Orange in Vietnam while some with the same exposure were not? Why are some Veterans at a greater risk for developing an illness? How can we prevent certain illnesses in the first place? What factors in a person’s DNA protects them when exposed to hazardous, even deadly toxins? Answering these types of questions is the goal of the Million Veteran Program (MVP). Continue reading and add your comment
Did you know that you may be able to receive care from the VA without already having a completed, approved VA Disability claim? According to the VA’s website, all veterans could possibly be eligible. Their guidelines are
• You completed active military service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard (or Merchant Marines during WW II).
• You were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.
• You are a National Guard member or Reservist who has completed a federal deployment to a combat zone.
Continue reading and add your comment
Welcome to the Faces of Combat PTSD blog. Here we hope to not only help veterans and their families in finding the help that they need but to educate the general public on the necessity of resources to assist those who have served.
The stories told in Faces of Combat are heartbreaking and all too common. Each day we are reminded of the number of suicides perpetrated by both active service members and veterans. The common knowledge number of suicide by veterans is stated as 18 per day while the number of active duty suicides has now exceeded the number of deaths due to combat. These numbers are horrifying.
On this website, you will find links to various resources. Some may be of help to you Continue reading and add your comment
We have the following post from Eric Newhouse at EricNewhouse.com.
I’d like to fill you in on an ambitious campaign by my publisher, Idyll Arbor, to get copies of my latest book, Faces of Combat: PTSD & TBI, into the hands of as many veterans as possible.
Idyll Arbor is sending a copy of my book to every VFW state headquarters. And it promises to donate one book to a VFW post for every book it sells.
So if you haven’t read Faces of Combat, this is a great time to do so. If you buy a copy today, Idyll Arbor will send a free book to a VFW post where it can be help vets and their families understand the emotional and neurological injuries they may have brought home from combat.
Or if you’ve already been moved by Faces of Combat and want to make a donation, Idyll Arbor has an even better offer. “If someone wants to buy a few books to donate somewhere, we’ll give them a 50% discount and send out the same number of books to VFWs,” says my publisher, Tom Blaschko. “It’s like getting four books to people who can use them for the price of one. People can call us or place orders on the Idyll Arbor website.”
So please help us get more of these books into the hands of vets and their families.
Cilla McCain: “For nearly a decade, I’ve been researching and writing about the issue of non-hostile deaths in the military. Early on in my research, I would get upset at the information provided by our troops and their families. Their revelations painted a picture of a dysfunctional military culture that allows medical and legal malpractice, as well as violent crime, to thrive and exist…”
She goes on to say that suicide prevention is a failure and that many deaths liste3d as suicide may actually be murders.
If you want to do something to help, sign the “The Stahlman-Shue Bill of Rights for Bereaved Military Families” to insure investigations are accurate and that the nation’s military families have a voice in the process. Please pass the word on to others.
The full article is here.