August 10, 2016
In 1982 when I started trying to do something about PTSD, I thought if people knew, things would change. I just never expected they would make it worse.
Back then there was a lot of work already being done for about a decade before I even heard the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It wasn't as if it was on the nightly news. When I started to read about it at the library, it was obvious a lot of people were trying to change what had happened to veterans going all the way back to the invention of war itself.
In 1978 the Disabled American Veterans did a study on PTSD called The Forgotten Warrior Project which is a perfect title considering what they learned back then has been forgotten about. Everyone seems to think all they have to do is make folks aware of PTSD and suicides without ever considering how much work is necessary to change the outcome. The easy part is talking about a problem. The hard part is investing the time to research it, understand it and then, try to make a difference in a good way.
So far most of what I've seen are a bunch of people running around the country, collecting cash talking about suicides when they do not even bother to read the reports they quote. They act like they are the ones who will do something about it as if no one else had done the same exact thing before and produced the same abysmal results.
Wounded Times is 9 years old today.You can see a lot of what I do on this site but there is more you will never know about. I learned from the best over these decades, that we can accomplish a lot more by working with the veterans for their sake and not our own publicity.
There are a group of veterans and their families doing exactly that and I am very proud to be a part of them. Point Man International Ministries started in 1984 quietly by a Vietnam veteran/Seattle Police Officer because he understood that most of the veterans he was arresting were more lost than anything else.
It worked. It worked because it was understood that the families needed help in order to help the veterans. That is, if they were lucky enough to still have a family by their side.
It worked because peer support was provided. Yes, they knew how vital that was way back then. That the wound hit the emotional part of the brain, so it had to healed first especially when the center held the soul paying the price for surviving the hell of combat.
Guess what? It still works. The thing is, you don't see them doing interviews with the press or jumping up and down about how many lose hope to the point where they no longer believe the next day could be any better than their last day on earth. They are there to give them back hope and walk right by their side until they can turn around and do the same for another veteran.
It is Christian based, so the press would not take an interest no matter how good it is or how man miracles happen every day. They are much like the 72 Jesus sent out but no one knows their names.
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”The demons we battle are all that comes with PTSD beginning with the false notion that they are mentally weak instead of emotionally strong paying the price for risking their lives for the sake of someone else. The demon telling them they are evil because of all the saw and did, when in fact there was nothing evil about doing all of it to save lives, which is at the core of what caused them to act. The demon that tells them their suffering is some kind of punishment and they are suffering because they were judged instead of hurting because they cared.
When the world walks away from them, turns their backs so they cannot see the pain in their eyes, settling for the moniker of "it is invisible" so they dismiss them, God sees all that very clearly and He remembers those who are suffering for His sake. He also sees those who use their pain for their own purpose, be it for fame or fortune.
On a final note I will leave you with this important fact. With no one making this suffering headline news back in 1999, the VA reported 20 veterans a day took their own lives. There are almost 7 million less veterans, everyone talking about PTSD and suicides, the VA is reporting 20 veterans a day taking their own lives. It got worse because too many put themselves first instead of those they claim to be raising awareness about.