18 veterans commit suicide each and every day of the year, according to recent
statistics from the Veterans Administration (VA). That's 126 veterans every week. Or some 6,552 who take their own lives each year.
One quarter of the homeless people in America are military veterans. That’s one
in every four.
Between 20 and 30 percent of all troops returning from combat duty in Iraq and
Afghanistan may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many men and women returning are allowed to slip unnoticed into their community, and neither the Department of Defense nor the VA can monitor their mental health.
There are 21.5 million veterans in the United States, with 1.7 million veterans in
Texas. Recent studies of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) veterans suggest that 5 percent to 17 percent of U.S. military personnel returning from deployments have symptoms of PTSD, and as many as 25 percent report some psychological problem.
Almost 2 million U.S. military personnel have deployed in support of OIF/OEF.
Estimates of the rate of PTSD in this population indicate that about 100,000 to 300,000 OIF/OEF veterans are at significant risk for chronic PTSD.
Texas for Heroes, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides weekend programs to veterans and active duty military personnel. The weekend offers a safe environment where participants learn the role that their war experiences continue to play in their daily lives, and how they can cope with post-traumatic stress.
Our goal is for these men and women to transition to a civilian life filled with peace, hope and honor among a loving family and community.
Nationwide and in Texas, the need for support of veterans suffering the emotional effects of wartime and personal trauma is called Post- traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), previously known as “combat fatigue”, “shell shock” or “war neurosis”, which can develop after battle field experience, battle trauma, tragic loss of a friend or loved one, or even sexual assault.
When a veteran is released following active duty deployment, the transition from military life to civilian life will take time and can be difficult particularly for those that experienced combat. Many veterans returning from military service with emotional issues and symptoms of PTSD are in denial of their condition, and do not understand what is happening to them. As a result, they may find it difficult to keep their relationships with their spouses, kids and friends. These veterans may also face conflicts at work and struggle to maintain a stable job. Simple everyday tasks can trigger irrational behavior and often resort to alcohol and drug abuse; reliving traumatic events, depression, feelings of guilt and sleeplessness becomes a way of life. All of these are symptoms of PTSD, which many times can lead to devastating consequences until the veteran accept his/her condition and seek help.