The Vet Center - Helping Veterans Cope
Veterans by nature are stoic and proud individuals. More often than not, a Veteran will wait, and wait, and wait some more to ask for any type of assistance until it is almost forced upon them. Even then, many will accept that assistance with much hesitation and only grudgingly. It doesn't have to be that way.
Our military services are the best in the world. With being the best comes a culture of assuredness and sometimes a superhero mentality. This attitude and fortitude goes a long way to winning on the battlefield, there is no doubt.
On the flip side, these stoic, can-do attitudes can be debilitating after our forces return from war, in regard to asking for help. Of course I'm talking about help for the stresses of dealing with the horrors of modern warfare and the stresses of putting your life on the line for your country.
Mostly called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, or sometimes labeled Adjustment Disorder, many soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines attempt to fight their way through their problems, rather than taking the appropriate steps to receive help.
The reasons for this stem directly from the military culture itself. Active Duty Military Veterans don't want to be perceived as weak in front of their peers, subordinates, or their superior officers and NCOs. The same can be said of Veterans out in the civilian world. They feel that their careers may be at stake. They feel that their families won't understand. They feel that their problems are theirs to be dealt with, and theirs alone.
Veterans You Are Not Alone -
The Vet Centers across the country are affiliated with the VA, but separate. Any Veteran with a DD214 can walk in and receive stress counseling with a qualified counselor. There is no 'blowback', as the counselor is legally not able to talk to anyone else about what transpires during a counseling session.
All Combat Veterans can use Vet Center services free of charge. Active duty military members who are combat veterans, and their families, can use this service, separate from the base, and not worry about the counseling getting back to their unit. This can be highly beneficial to a current service member who wants to deal with their stress, but remains worried about the effect at their unit.
A Short History Of The Vet Center -
Vietnam Veterans started Vet Centers after the Vietnam War. They sought to build the centers in order to reach out to their peers who were suffering. It should come as no surprise that Veterans will typically not talk to a civilian about their problems. It should also come as no surprise that most Veterans will talk to someone who has 'been there’ and experienced what they have.
Vet Centers Now -
The Vet Center bridges this gap by providing an opportunity for Veterans to get the help they need from someone they can relate to. Even though 100% of the current counseling staff are not Veterans themselves, they remain highly trained and familiar with Veteran issues.
The Vet Centers are currently expanding to meet the needs of America's growing Veteran Population. To find a Vet Center nearest to you, and to get more information, please visit the Vet Center website here:
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