PTSD
Day 24 TBI Challenge for CHANGE for Veterans
25th Mar 2011 | Posted in: PTSD, TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury, Veterans 0

Day 24 One example of why The Arms Forces exists  

Remember!!  The 31 Day TBI Challenge for CHANGE during March, Brain Injury Awareness Month, consists of just two parts:

 1.)    Please learn something new about TBI every day.  We will be posting an article daily on our Facebook and website pages to make it easy for you to learn. Today’s article is below.

 2.)    Help facilitate CHANGE by partnering with The Arms Forces by assisting us in continuing our efforts for invisibly wounded veterans by collecting your CHANGE daily and at the end of March donating the money to The Arms Forces. (contact information below) Create a jar and label it:

“The Arms Forces CHANGE for TBI” and put it out where you and others will see it.  When someone asks you what it is all about, share with them a bit about what you have learned about TBI.  Share stories of the people you will learn about through our posts on Facebook and how their lives have been forever changed by their injuries.

If collecting change every day is not your thing then be a part of the CHANGE by making a donation to The Arms Forces through our website www.thearmsforces.org or by mailing a check to the address below.

Day 24 One example of why The Arms Forces exists

 The following paragraph contains part of an email I received this week at The Arms Forces.  I have left out any identifying information as to who sent it, but I wanted to share this with you to help citizens understand WHY I was motivated to start The Arms Forces nonprofit.  This email is an example of the many stories that exist in a growing number about those with traumatic brain injury. 

I just found your website ….My husband was Special Forces ……and medically retired from the Army in 2003 but was injured in 2000. He spent 3 years at Walter Reed recovering from his brain injury. He has a severe traumatic brain injury (actually missing most of his left frontal lobe) and ……..to being diagnosed with PTSD, panic/anxiety disorders, loss of smell and taste and losing site in his left eye and slowly losing his hearing. He is still young and full of life but it’s been hard to get help with him from the VA even with him being 100% he was a forgotten soldier when he retired. He did not have anyone in his life who took care of him which was me until 2006 and by that time he was medically neglected by all around him and now I am trying to get him help so he can have that self- worth back but it’s been a huge struggle for me to get any help because he was injured prior to 9/11.. I’ve been trying for 5 years to get someone to show an interest in wanting to help him but I have not been able to find anyone to coach or offer assistance. I have since had to leave my job to care for him due to his health is starting to effect his daily life and I still am struggling with the VA to understand.

 This mail is sent via contact form on The Arms Forces http://www.thearmsforces.org

 

Walter Reed might have done an exemplary job getting this young man rehabilitated enough to leave their hospital, but it is what happens after that, is where the system starts to crumble.  There are a few other support systems for those who are the most severely injured, but those drop off at some point in most situations

We have learned through March, Brain Injury Awareness Month, that TBI can bring challenges for the remainder of a survivor’s life.  As we see with this young wife, her life has been transformed into a caretaker first, a wife second.   The encouraging part of the story, is that this wife stayed.  She is fighting for her husband to get the care he needs.  She recognizes that although he is alive, and they     are both very grateful for that, he is just surviving.  Life has STALLED for him.  No one is there to assist them to help him from just surviving to a life filled with passion and purpose. 

 I have not met this man, nor have I talked with him yet.  But, what I do know about him is that he is a very dedicated soldier and highly committed to our country. I know he was a highly trained and skilled  member of the Special Forces. He loves his country, which is why he served.  He has fallen through the cracks and he is hurting.  I know we owe him and many others like him much more. His wife’s response to my email I wrote that said I wanted to talk with her and help her and her husband:  ”Thank you for getting back with me.  I can’t thank you enough. ……..Again, thank you for your response, it gives me hope.”   

HOPE….isn’t that what life is about?  Take that away and what is left?

 With open arms,

Pam Hays

Founder/President and severe TBI survivor

The Arms Forces

PO Box 981

Maumee, OH  43537

419-491-1555

www.thearmsforces.org-website

hope@thearmsforces.org –email

www.facebook.com/thearmsforces.org

www.sharecare.com/user/pam-hayes

www.twitter.com/thearmsforces

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