On Veterans Day and always the Birdwell Foundation helps those who sacrificed for this nation’s freedoms find real healing from PTSD and other invisible wounds through crisis intervention, peer-to-peer mentoring and professional programs.
For Release: November 11, 2020
Houston, TX – On Veterans Day the nation honors, thanks and salutes the dedicated men and women who sacrificed deeply and risked everything for the people of this land, for freedoms and peace. At a time of internal confusion and turmoil, it is especially critical that all citizens stay focused on the God-given rights, liberties and freedoms on which this nation was founded and for which so many brave souls served with their last ounce of courage.
Freedom is not free. Liberty comes with a high price, a price our servicemen and women were willing to pay. It is only because of their sacrifice the United States of America has the greatest freedoms in the world, with a Constitution and Bill of Rights that provide for individual liberty and Rule of Law instead of the changing tides of Rule of Man and “agendas.” A grateful nation salutes them.
Still today, brave American men and women continue to fight against tyranny whenever and wherever called to serve their country. May God pour out blessings upon each and every one and their families.
May God also bless and heal the vast numbers of Veterans who are still engaged in a “war of the mind” as the horrors of war followed them home. They do not feel the honor of their service, but rather haunting, ongoing reminders, voices, flashbacks, anxieties and stresses from their time in service, amplified by destructive thoughts, emotions and actions they cannot escape without help.
They deserve equal honor on Veterans Day plus all the help a grateful nation can muster. They are honorable wounded warriors, true American heroes, even if today’s actions in their illness might not be reflective of who they really are. They can be restored.
The nation always grieves the casualties of war, both death and terrible physical maiming. But too often overlooked are the increasingly destructive invisible wounds of war, especially Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) or PTSD. PTSD is “the deadliest wound of war.”
Traumatic injuries can be much more difficult to overcome than physical injuries and can grow in severity over time. Traumatic stress creates a festering wound that can become mentally and emotionally “gangrenous” without help, destroying lives and families as surely as any grenade can explode a body or IEDs a unit on patrol.
So it is no wonder the U.S.A. is facing a PTSD-driven suicide pandemic among Veterans. There are 3.6 times as many Veteran suicides as war casualty deaths. Both combat and many non-combat Veterans suffer PTSD and suicide.
Veterans over 55 take that final desperate step at an even higher rate than those returning from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are 58,195 names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall, but there have been more than 210,000 Vietnam Veteran suicides reported plus more uncounted. PTSD is estimated to be the root cause of perhaps 95% of these deaths.
For all Veterans, with less than half the states reporting, a national survey counted an average 22 suicides each day. So the real number could be as high as 40 or 50 Veteran suicides daily.
But the suicide pandemic and tide of ruined lives can be stemmed. There are a select few organizations, counselors and mentors who go beyond the medical and psychiatric community’s growing treatment of mind and body. These selfless, caring individuals are more successful because they address the whole person – mind, body and spirit. That additional element of “spirit” makes all the difference in actual healing.
Take the Birdwell Foundation for PTSD for example. Its people and programs have helped more than 10,000 Veterans over the past 15 years with a faith-based program in addition to crisis intervention and mentoring. To the best of Birdwell’s knowledge, of those who completed the program, not a single one has been lost to suicide.
The extraordinary success of the Birdwell Foundation may rest also in its unique approach incorporating powerful peer-to-peer mentorship. Veterans and First Responders who found their way out of the darkness of PTSD are dedicating their lives to helping others. Those sinking in hopelessness and despair with PTSD can relate more readily with someone who suffered similar traumas.
The Birdwell Foundation is currently in ten states with three more awaiting funding. But their crisis lines are manned 24/7 for the entire nation. The Veteran crisis line is: (830) 822-2563. More information is available on the Foundation’s website: www.BirdwellFoundation.org.
May all Veterans receive the honor, hope and help they so richly deserve not just on Veterans Day but every day of the year. Know the Birdwell Foundation for PTSD is eager to help, just a phone call away. "We've got your six!"
No one heals alone.