With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan coming to their respective conclusions and with the continual draw down and removal of troops from those wars, the physical as well as mental health needs of our military service members and veterans require an uncompromising commitment to and sustained support for our soldiers and their families. The Soldiers Project, named by the White House in 2011 as "One of the Nations Top 20 Military Service Organizations that Supports Military Families, was established in 2009 "to provide free psychological services to military personnel who have served during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and their loved ones". In addition to free and confidential counseling, The Soldiers Project also "educates the community regarding the psychological effects of war, and provides in-depth training on combat trauma to our volunteer therapists" (The Soldiers Project ).
I first heard about The Soldiers Project (TSP) several years ago when I had the privilege of attending an introductory workshop for therapists. The workshop was led by Becca Bettis - Director of the TSP, Sacramento, CA (Please listen to our interview on W4CY Radio The Soldiers Project - Part One-). Not being from a military family and having limited contact with individuals serving in our military, I must shamefully admit that I was taken back by the degree of severity and longevity of injury - psychologically and emotionally - that our military service members and our veterans endure. The following is a quote from TSP:
"The most important component of healing is making a human connection with someone who can hear what the person has gone through. That human connection reconnects the person to other human connections"( The Soldiers Project ).
Veteran's Day will come and it will go.
Let's acknowledge and remember that there are organizations such as The Soldiers Project who
Let's remember that for many of our service men and women who have returned from war and who are yet to return, their physical, emotional, and psychological battles are far from over.
The Soldiers Project - Sacramento Chapter
Call 916-792-3728 or toll-free 877-557-5888
TSP National number 877-576-5343
The Soldiers Project: Part One
* Kathryn Brohl, M.A., MFT and Rene Ledford, MSW, LCSW
The Returning US Veterans of Modern War: Background Issues, Assessment and Treatment (Elite Continuing Education Course, 2013)