Category Archives: VA

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

9781882883592In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, throughout March the publisher of Faces of Combat will be giving three books for the price of one!

Purchase Faces of Combat on our website and you will also receive Brain Injury Rewiring for Survivors: A Lifeline to New Connections as well as Brain Injury Rewiring for Loved Ones: A Lifeline to New Connections.

And remember…every purchase of Faces of Combat results in a donated copy for us to get out to a veteran.

About the books:

Traumatic brain injury causes damage to the connections in many parts of the brain besides the focal point of the injury. It’s not enough to heal medically. Brain Injury Rewiring for Survivors discusses medical care and goes beyond that to help the survivor heal spiritually, emotionally, cognitively, physically, socially, and vocationally through traditional and complementary medicine and good nutrition.

Brain Injury Rewiring for Survivors is one of two well-received books designed to help survivors of brain injuries. The companion book, Brain Injury Rewiring for Loved Ones, describes how family and friends of the survivor can help the survivor during recovery.



ICYMI: #ExploreVA Facebook chat on Vet Center counseling and services

Have you served in a combat zone, area of hostility or experienced a military sexual trauma? If so, you qualify for free community-based counseling at a Vet Center and you qualify whether you are active duty now, recently separated or served many years ago. Families dealing with bereavement are also eligible for counseling. There are 300 Vet Centers across the nation that offer free counseling, referral services and other assistance to eligible Veterans, Servicemembers and their families.

On Jan. 28, VA partnered with Team Red White & Blue for an #ExploreVA Facebook to spread the word about the services that VA Vet Centers provide….continue interview

Why Taxpayers Should Cover PTSD Treatment for Veterans by Lori Barnes

DSC_0077Every veteran suicide just breaks my heart and makes me angry. I’ve been hearing recently that some in the medical and military communities are claiming that those coming home with PTSD must have been damaged in some way beforehand. I don’t agree. I think a lot of our soldiers coming home with PTSD had gentle, kind hearts to begin with that are now heavy with fear and guilt. They can’t help it. In America, for the most part, we all have kind, gentle lives. We aren’t war torn. We really don’t know what it’s like to fear for our lives and those of our children every day.

The military takes these basically kind people and puts them through basic training. They are all treated like dogs regardless of whom they are or where they come from. Once they are all at their lowest, the drill sergeants begin to bring them back up together to make them one cohesive unit, equal on all terms. This is necessary. Continue reading and add your comment

Safety of Mental Health Records by Lori Barnes

dsc_0092I believe I mentioned in a previous blog that one of the reasons I never sought treatment for my PTSD was my fear of my daughters ever seeing my mental health records. I did not want them to know what I had been through. I wanted to protect them from the ugliness, but, if I’m honest, I mainly wanted to protect their image of me. As I’ve told you before, I am the rock upon which they all lean.

I’ve come to realize that a strong, steady rock is great for them to lean upon as they learn to stand on their own and handle their own crises. On the other hand, a damaged, cracked rock is a dangerous foundation upon which to lean. Everyone knows that the first thing you look at when buying a house is the foundation. You want to know how long that house will stand. The solid one will stand for years and yet the cracked one could crumble tomorrow. Providing my children with a cracked rock upon which to lean is not safe for them.

What are they really learning from me? That no one can be trusted? That hideous things wait around every corner? That pain and humiliation are part of a healthy life? It is these questions that spurred me into therapy. I’ve since talked with my girls and told them what I experienced — told them as much as each needed to hear. One didn’t want to hear anything. It was enough for her to know that I had experienced something hideous which partly created the person I am today. My other daughter? She wanted to dig into all the details and examine each one. This is who they are and how they are different.

I’ve quit worrying about my mental health records. I know that one daughter will never request to see them and the other no longer needs to. I can simply concentrate on my therapy. I accept that the crack will always be there but I can steadfastly work on fixing it with the mortar that comes from my therapy.

You want to know the best thing? Both my girls thought even more of me for having the courage to tell them and for having the courage to seek help.

Recently I read an article about some researchers who are trying to study PTSD. They have requested to use the medical records of soldiers from the Civil War. Their request was denied. I’m not sure if I should be upset that the lack of access to these records might have prevented important research into PTSD or to be happy that the Civil War veterans’ records are so strongly protected. It gives me hope that mine would be sacrosanct.

Legislation is now being considered to allow access to these types of records 50 years after the person’s death. Personally, I’d like to see it be 75 years.

To read the entire article click here.