Are we doing better caring for America’s veterans who return home to life after war? Is more government studies a solution? Are we engaging local communities effectively?

by | Jan 30, 2013  Quote from this website…

“DOD and the Veterans Affairs Department are “collaborating to shape policies and programs with a long term impact on returning warriors, during military service and after transition to civilian life,” he added. He called for increased screening and referral of service members believed to be experiencing PTSD, and for improved access to quality care for those being treated.”

“Hammer told the task force members his organization benefits efforts throughout the Defense Department to help those suffering from PTSD and TBI. “We believe that by serving as the principal integrator and authority on psychological health and traumatic brain injury knowledge and standards for DOD,” he said, “we are uniquely positioned to accelerate improvement and care.”

I worry about a continued effort by the the Department of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs Department to improve the delivery of improved policies and programs for warriors returning home to life after war.  It is not that we do not have appropriate policies and programs, it is in the execution and delivery where we fail.  I wrote on my blog last year about local communities collaborating with the private and public sectors as the ultimate solution.   We need a Public Private Partnership (PPP) that works effectively in the local communities across America.  Once our veterans our “processed” following leaving the service or returning home for a break from deployment, the “soul feeding” care needed on an on-going basis at the local level is lost in the shuffle.  I still have not seen anything from top that reaches out to local communities in a way that transfers the responsibility of caring for our warriors back to the communities that sent them into war and combat in the first place…

Friday, June 1, 2012

A “Call to Action” in local communities is critical! Public and private non-profit partnerships are key to delivering solutions.

“Goodbye to sticking our heads in the sand about PTSD.
Hello to raising awareness about PTSD.

Goodbye to communities not caring about PTSD.
Hello to communities raising awareness about PTSD.

Goodbye to families and veterans going it alone with PTSD.
Hello to families and veterans having the resources to get help with PTSD.”

The above quote from the Huffington Post article/link really got my attention yesterday. I attended a meeting with public and private veterans advocate and community leaders to discuss a proposed “call to action” broader strategy and execution plan to deliver more robust services to veterans challenged with after the war readjustment and transition. It is abundantly clear that a much broader public and private partnership with non-profits is critical in delivering solutions and engaging local communities. It is the local community where the returning veteran resides that “feeding the soul” and healing is provided effectively. The larger county, state, and federal resources are stretched to provide administrative support for services related to health benefits, disability claims, legal and employment assistance. The TLC needed for our veterans to transition back to a happy, healthy, and productive civilian life must come from the local communities that sent them to war in the first place.

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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