This weeks blog is going to cover some of the PTSD support groups that I have found and some more information on how veterans can find help and healing. My bike tour is my effort to raise awareness and show veterans that they are not alone in their efforts of fighting the effects of PTSD. My goal is to raise $25,000 to go towards the Christian Warriors Retreat Center in Victoria, Texas because this is the nearest local organization that is helping veterans. However, I am also trying to let veterans know that there are many other groups and organizations out there in their locations that can offer help. Take a moment to read this blog and share it with any veteran in your areas to help them out. The following information is taken directly from either the organization’s website or Facebook page. Please feel free to review this information for yourself. This is just a small sample of the many groups that are available. Please, reach out for any help that you need or share this with your friends and families so that you may help others.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you’ve seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
PTSD can occur at any age. It can follow a natural disaster such as a flood or fire, or events such as:
For example, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 may have caused PTSD in some people who were involved, in people who saw the disaster, and in people who lost relatives and friends. Veterans returning home from a war often have PTSD. The cause of PTSD is unknown. Psychological, genetic, physical, and social factors are involved. PTSD changes the body’s response to stress. It affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between the nerves (neurotransmitters). It is not known why traumatic events cause PTSD in some people but not others. Having a history of trauma may increase your risk for getting PTSD after a recent traumatic event.
Symptoms of PTSD fall into three main categories:
1. “Reliving” the event, which disturbs day-to-day activity
Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again. Repeated upsetting memories of the event. Strong, uncomfortable reactions to situations that remind you of the event.
Emotional “numbing,” or feeling as though you don’t care about anything. Feeling detached. Being unable to remember important aspects of the trauma. Having a lack of interest in normal activities.
Showing less of your moods. Avoiding places, people, or thoughts that remind you of the event. Feeling like you have no future.
Difficulty concentrating. Startling easily. Having an exaggerated response to things that startle you. Feeling more aware (hypervigilance). Feeling irritable or having outbursts of anger.
Having trouble falling or staying asleep. You might feel guilt about the event (including “survivor guilt”). You might also have some of the following symptoms, which are typical of anxiety, stress, and tension:
Agitation or excitability
Feeling your heart beat in your chest
Christian Warriors Retreat Center
Healing Veterans through Faith, Family, and Community.
CHRISTIAN WARRIORS RETREAT IS THE NATION’S FIRST FOR VETERANS, BY VETERANS MINISTRY COMMITTED TO HONOR OUR NATION’S VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES. WE ARE DEDICATED TO UNITE ALL BRANCHES AND ERAS OF THE U.S. MILITARY USING CHRISTIAN AND MILITARY VALUES AS OUR CORE FOUNDATION. OUR MISSION IS FOR OUR VETERANS TO FIND TRUE HEALING AND REGAIN PURPOSE IN LIFE, RELATIONSHIPS, AND SELF THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.
Christian Warriors Retreat is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is entirely funded through private donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
The Christian Warriors Retreat Community provides a Christian environment that promotes spiritual and emotional healing. We believe in creating a community of excellence and honor. CWR Community is made of two groups of people; Veterans and those who love Veterans. Our ministry leadership is formed of those who served or related to those who served.
We believe that the United States of America was founded upon a covenant between our Father God and our founding fathers. When we swore our oath of enlist it was to serve both God and country. Our country needs its warriors to rise and fight a new battle. We believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as a Christian ministry. We also believe that the Bible is the living word of God, our training manual, and active in our lives.
We know firsthand the sacrifice made by our Veteran community. The Veteran community has hard hitting statistics. We lose 22 Veterans a day to suicide and have a high divorce rate for combat marriages. Through retreat experiences, discipleship, and 4Given Ranch, we will initiate and sustain three levels of success: Veterans will understand their value in Christ; heal and improve vital relationships; and, most importantly, find God’s mission for which they were created.
Christian Warriors Retreat, CCCT 501c3, will be gifted 20 acres of land for 4Given Ranch, in the Crossroads area, in Goliad, Texas. This land has been dedicated for the use of God’s Kingdom and believe this will bring healing to our Veteran Community.
4Given Ranch is designed to be a U.S. Military inspired Community Christian Retreat Center that will honor current, past, and our fallen U.S. Military. Each building will be in honor of either a fallen Veteran or a supporter of the U.S. Military.
4Given Ranch Retreat Center will be utilized by Christian Warriors Retreat CCCT, Veterans Organizations, and Church Groups within the Crossroads Community and other areas.
In November of 2014 a family apart of the ministry closed on land will be gifting the land for 4Given Ranch Retreat Center to be built on. Together as a ministry we offered the land to the Lord and made a covenant to always stay Christ centered. Together we had communion and thanked God for what he will do with this land.
Warriors with a purpose was designed to get veterans active and involved. As service members are discharged many of them feel left without a purpose and often times find themselves battling feelings of insignificance. This program allows veterans to come and work on the land while enjoying fellowship with other veterans. As we work together and watch dreams become reality we create life long bonds and a true feeling of significance.
4Given Ranch Partner Program
NO Warrior, NO Family left behind!
It is time to for our Warriors to fight a new battle and it is not against flesh. Every day our Veterans are losing their jobs, families, and lives; yet with your donation we can provide a training ground that will bring healing, stability, and community. Pray about giving what you can, sponsoring a phase, or become a 4Given Ranch Partner.
Become a monthly partner with 4Given Ranch by giving to support the building of 4Given Ranch. Monthly partnership helps raise funds for 4Given Ranch Building Fund which will include purchase of land and building retreat center. By becoming a monthly partner today you will be honored by a plaque with your name or choice of honoring at 4Given Ranch. Also, we will be hosting an annual dinner for all of our 4Given Ranch Partners.
Please give today. Your tax-deductible donation blesses us to provide a safe haven for our warriors.
CWR is a Christian (non denomination) Retreat with the process of healing and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. The retreat begins Thursday evening and ends Sunday afternoon and will be held in twice annually in Crossroads area of South Texas. We are looking to open branches in other locations through our Nation.
What to Expect
CWR is designed for Veterans by Veterans. For 4 days you will experience music, worship, speakers, and participate in small groups where you will experience love and grace of God through acts of service.
Pedal Against PTSD
Our mission at Pedal Against PTSD is to empower military and veterans to overcome PTSD through the sport of cycling.
Our Strategic Vision:
1.) To provide quality bicycles to veterans and military in need through an application process.
2.) To create a support network that provides a larger community for our team members to plug into.
3.) To raise money for research and development through our PAPTSD Grind charity ride series.
It was during the grueling 2013 Tour Divide race that Kevin Campagna, a USMC combat veteran, felt the inspiration to share his passion of cycling as a source of relief for his affliction with PTSD. Kevin likens his cycling expeditions to his service in the Marine Corps. The training, the sacrifice, and the mental toughness are all similar to what he went through in the military and what he must go through every day in order to combat PTSD. Kevin believes that there’s healing through cycling and has made it his mission to help his fellow veterans who are suffering gain relief through the sport of cycling and to promote awareness in hopes of breaking the stigma that PTSD carries.
Our mission at Pedal Against PTSD is to empower military and veterans to overcome PTSD through the sport of cycling.
Our vision is to continue to raise awareness regarding the severity of PTSD and to share the benefits that the sport of cycling brings with all military and veterans that struggle with PTSD.
Our goal at Pedal Against PTSD is to provide vets with quality bicycles, create an strong community outreach program and contribute funds back to research and development to help combat the affliction that is PTSD.
Veterans With PTSD
Interested in PTSD research studies? Click the link on our profile to find a study near you!
Veterans’ PTSD Support
This is one of several peer-support groups moderated by Veterans’ PTSD Support, we are in no way affiliated with the Veterans PTSD Project. We are an organization that hopes to change the national conversation surrounding PTSD through three distinct missions: outreach and education, the mentorship and publication of stories about post-traumatic growth, and these support forums which serve as a safe space where members can talk openly and share resources.
Veterans’ PTSD Support moderates a number of peer-level support forums for veterans and their families.
PTSD The War Within
P.T.S.D. is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one’s own or someone else’s physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual’s ability to cope. As an effect of psychological trauma, PTSD is less frequent and more enduring than the more commonly seen acute stress response. Diagnostic symptoms for PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma(s) through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased arousal—such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger, and hypervigilance. Formal diagnostic criteria (both DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10) require that the symptoms last more than one month and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Reality: hundreds of soldiers are suffering PTSD when returning from their tours. many hide their horrors, but thousands suffer greatly from it. while most get help when returning from war, thousands still are not being helped with it.!!!
FACT: our government, just sweeps it under the carpet when our soldiers return as if it isn’t anything to worry about as they have done their job. but the hard cold reality of it is, when these men and women return from war, the war isn’t over for them, its far from the end and they live with the nightmares everyday. It is about time that our government sits up and takes notice that many of our soldiers just can’t handle coming home, getting back into ‘normal’ routine and end up being violent, aggressive, abusive and in many cases commit suicide because they haven’t received the help they need to help deal with the trauma they have seen and been put through!! This isn’t just a job to our soldiers, its their lives and they need as much help and backing, so they can carry on! POLITICS!!! That’s all it is at the end of the day to our UK government… but these soldiers are people too and having there troubles swept under the carpet for doing their ‘job’ is not right or acceptable!
PTSD Support and Recovery
A page for everyone recovering from CPTSD/PTSD.
PTSD Break The Silence
This page is here to encourage those who suffer from PTSD from all walks of life to share their poems, writings and experiences with others and to let them know you are not alone in your what you are going through in the hopes of reaching out to help others.
The page will also provide information and invaluable insight to individuals who are interested in furthering their understanding of this condition and ultimately discovering the truth behind the myths that surround it. We will share stories, both uplifting some that will pull on your heart.
This is a support page for those who suffer or know someone who is suffering from PTSD. This page is to show support to people in all walks of life: Military, Police, Medical personal, Firefighters, First Responders, abuse survivors, rape survivors and all persons who are affected by this invisible wound. Anyone can suffer from PTSD.
We are not medical professional’s of any kind. This advice is not intended to replace the care of a trained mental health professional. We offer suggestions from time to time based on our own personal experiences as someone suffering one or more types of anxiety disorder. These suggestions may or may not work for you. Get professional help if at all possible. We offer a Closed online group to share with others your experiences with PTSD and to also support each other. Remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE! GROUP LINK IS https://www.facebook.com/groups/1440445089564849/
A PAGE TO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH PTSD. HELP BREAK THE SILENCE! Order PTSD Book
Veterans At Ease
I am Steven Ashton and I have recently become an Ambassador for Veterans At Ease, a Charity that helps our Armed Forces who have been diagnosed with PTSD. My role currently is to raise awareness that there is help out there and that help is not only for our Armed Forces but also their families. I will be attending a credited course to gain my certificate to enable myself to be a therapist. My aim is to have a Drop In Center in Chester, this will serve to help the Cheshire and North Wales area, this will be the first of it’s kind based in Chester, as Chester is a Garrison Town. Veterans at Ease is a Charity and this means that they are funded by donations. At this current time, funding is needed to push forward to get the Drop In Center up and running. With this is mind you can donate at MYDONATE BT.COM All donations will be gratefully received.
The following information is in regards to how a veteran can obtain their DD-214, a very important document needed for many programs and benefits.
What is the DD 214?
The DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, generally referred to as a “DD 214”, is a document of the United States Department of Defense, issued upon a military service member’s retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, e.g., U.S. Army, …
Two methods for requesting military records:
1. Electronic method. Use the eVetRecs system to create your request.
2. Paper method. Mail or Fax a Standard Form SF-180. Print, sign, and date all copies of paper forms before submitting them. The address is listed at the end of the SF 180.1.
Here’s all the information that you will need to get a copy of your DD214. We’ll explain the various options that you have based on the timeframe that you have set within which to acquire your DD214. We’ll discuss free services where time is not a consideration and you can afford to wait weeks or even months, to paid researcher services when you need to have a copy of your DD214 in-hand today. We’ll also mention the services that you should avoid.
In essence, the “best method for you to acquire your DD214” is entirely dependent on your personal situation, with the primary consideration being the time that you can afford to wait. Ask yourself, “By what date do I absolutely, positively have to have my DD214?” Your answer to this question will dictate the best method for you to use in order to acquire your DD214.
There are just three (3) methods to acquire either your DD214 and/or your complete personnel file (known as your 201 File). They are:
1. Free DD214 Record Retrieval
Several Weeks to Several Months
2. Hire “Someone Else” to apply for your DD214
Several Weeks to Several Months
3. Hire a research company to get your DD214
Same Day, Next Day to One Week (or longer) but quality, speed, reliability and business-reputation of firms varies.
1. Free DD214 and 201 File Record Retrieval.
As it is in most cases in life, the old adage that you generally get what you pay for is just as true today when you talk about the free DD214 choices. The primary disadvantage: free services require time. And time is money. If you can afford to wait for your DD214, if you don’t need your DD214 soon, then the free services may be for you. Here’s the lowdown on free services. While the NPRC reports that they provide “certified copies of separation documents within 10 workdays 75 percent of the time,” they also state “cases more complex than simply copying a separation document now typically are worked in about five weeks.” And, finally, they say: “Please do not send a follow-up request before 90 days have elapsed as it may cause further delays.” Wow. But, if you can wait two weeks or more, a 75% chance of acquisition is not too bad. There are many reports on the Net that the NPRC is taking many weeks to perform record retrievals, with a backlog of two hundred thousand (200,000) requests. At their stated receiving rate of 4,000 to 5,000 requests per day, you’re talking a 40+ day backlog. Remember, too, that once you place your free order with the NPRC, you will most likely make your records inaccessible to anyone else for the period it takes for the NPRC to process your request. This situation also occurs when another agency requests your record. Once your record is removed from the shelves, it cannot be accessed again until it is returned – perhaps weeks later. So, consider the free offer carefully. Once you place your free order, you most likely won’t be able to “go back” or “do over” and order your DD214 for prompt delivery.
To request military service records held by the NPRC, veterans and the next-of-kin of deceased veterans can use their web interface at vetrecs.archives.gov (click here). Or they and others can use the Standard Form (SF) 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records (click here). Although not mandatory, the SF 180 is the recommended method to send a request for military service information. This form captures all the necessary information to locate a record. Provide as much information on the form as possible and send copies of any service documents that you may have. Requests may also be submitted as a letter. Your letter should parallel the basic information requested in the SF 180. Please see that form for details on the information that you should include within your letter.
Follow the instructions for preparing the SF 180. Check the table on the last page to determine the location of the record and submit your request to the appropriate address. In most cases, you can:
Send by Mail
The NPRC’s mailing address is:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138
Send by Fax
Their fax number for requesting military records is 314-801-9195. Although fax IS faster, the NPRC will respond in writing only by U.S. snail mail, and that would include any problems that they may encounter – all of which increases the length-of-time the NPRC takes to deliver your DD214.
ezDD214.com (Click HERE), a private company, puts a new electronic spin on the processing of your SF 180. Not all records are at NPRC, and if you use the Government’s standard submission procedure, above, you may simply receive a letter from the NPRC indicating that they’ve forwarded your request to some other records facility. This will add at least days to the process, if not weeks or longer. For just $10, ezDD214.com guarantees to submit your SF 180 to the correct facility the first time. And, better yet, with their patent pending eSign service, if you don’t have a printer or fax, no printer or fax is required. There’s nothing to printout, mail or fax to anyone anywhere. Their entire submission process is conducted purely electronically, entirely and completely Net based.
2. Hire “Someone Else” to apply for your DD214.
We review and rate several DD214 acquisition firms on the very next page. But, in general … Be wary of services that do nothing more than provide you with a Standard Form 180 for any fee in excess of a nominal amount. There are several firms that charge fees for “Membership” from $9.95 and up. Other firms charge $19.95; they provide you with the SF 180, but do NOTHING MORE THAN FAX THE FORM FOR YOU. Even if you don’t have a fax, you can go to a local Kinko’s or UPS store and use their fax for two bucks or so. Most computer modems come with fax software, computer printers often double as fax machines, and there are even free fax services on the Net. So why pay someone $19.95, when all they do is give you the same Standard Form 180 (free above), have you complete it and return it to them, and then they FAX THE VERY SAME FORM TO THE VERY SAME FAX NUMBER that you could use, all as we describe in the free alternative above?
Use some common sense. Do they have a phone number, a real street address (rather than just a Post Office or drop box)? Do they have researchers who physically go and get your records? Or do they simply do what you can do yourself, and charge an inordinate fee for that “service”?
Do some research, too. Visit the Better Business Bureau’s national database.
3. Hire a True Research Company.
While the NPRC usually provides copies of service records – after several weeks or months – as a free service, you may find that you require prompt return and/or more extensive research assistance. You may want to hire an independent researcher. You can consult NARA’s list of independent researchers (click here) (Do a search for “DD214” specialists.) for additional information. A qualified, experienced researcher will physically go to the record center and, with your written authorization in-hand, and acting as your agent, retrieve your records for you in person. That’s the BIG difference, and the service that you’ll definitely want when you need your DD214 promptly.
Make sure that they retrieve your record in person, and don’t merely fax a request on your behalf – something that you can do yourself for free. So far, we have identified only two (2) firms on the National Archives Independent Researcher List that specializes in acquiring DD214s and 201 files, acquiring these records in person with researchers based at or near the respective research facilities.