The sound of a siren in the distance or the echo of a plane flying overhead is, to many of us, nothing more than a common occurrence, undeserving of second thought. For some veterans however, these sounds become triggers, instantly teleporting them to scenes of battle grounds and feelings of relentless stress.
This past Veteran's Day 3 Generations focused on PTSD among veterans. Once a taboo subject, our interview with Dr. Sonja Batten, Deputy Chief Consultant for Speciality Mental Health at the Department of Veterans Affairs, enlightened us all on the complexities of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She covered a lot of ground in a short time.
"With veterans we may first think of PTSD being the result of a combat event, veterans, just like any other individual can also, develop PTSD as a result of sexual trauma, a car accident, a training accident. And it's really the case that whether we're talking about veterans or civilians, that by in large, trauma is trauma." - Dr. Sonja Batten
This focus on PTSD brings our work with Veterans full circle back to a really vital part of our mission at 3 Generations. We have found that the process of sharing their stories helps victims of atrocities alleviate the emotional and psychological burdens they carry. This is one important reason why we do the work we do.
In 2015 we are planning to go deeply into investigating the ways combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are reintegrating now that both wars are over. How they live with the hyper vigilance they have learned in combat and how they can best put that to use in civilian life.
We have some amazing stories to share: that of Vance a kid who did four tours of duty in Iraq rather than go to college. He had a different kind of education. Now what? We will share his wisdom as we continue to Value our Veterans.
Giving thanks to those who risk their lives for the safety of others is important, especially with Veteran’s Day coming up next month. However, it is also important to cater to the needs of soldiers who come home after experiencing what many of us cannot fathom. Medical treatment for veterans is not overwhelmingly effective. Many go untreated with PTSD, and other mental or physical conditions, not to mention their vulnerability to unemployment, poverty, and homelessness. Help 3 Generations share their stories and raise awareness about the battle they face not solely during deployment, but also at home.
1 donation of $5 helps us research to identify homeless veterans. 25 donations of $20 would allow us to interview and audio record the story of one homeless veteran. The more support, the more we can do to raise awareness about their conditions in America. Help be a part of the change!
You + Global Giving + 3 Generations = 50% more support for survivors!
Tomorrow, your support of our project means even more. Global Giving is offering to match your donation by 50% on July 16th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
Take this opportunity to make your yearly or monthly donation.
There are other exciting prizes for our project as well, including big cash bonuses that will help us all year long as we record more stories from Rwanda, Tibet, Cambodia, and the US. You can help us share these stories.
Hurry, this offer is only viable from 9:00 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on July 16th!
Thanks to our generous donors who have already helped us get closer to our goal. Our team is so lucky to have such great supporters!
Back in 2003, Leshonda Gill was deployed to Iraq where she served as a Chemical Operations Specialist. Her mission was to find and decontaminate chemical weapons of mass destruction. One day, while on their way back from a mission, Gill's squad was ambushed. Gill sustained multiple injuries to her groin, abdomin, and legs and was sent home for recovery.
Gill was only home briefly before she decided to return to Iraq as a private contractor. By 2009, however, the Iraq War was beginning to wind down and Gill returned home permanently. Sadly, transitioning back into civilian life was no easy task and two years later, Gill found herself evicted from her apartment and standing on a window ledge preparing to jump.
Fortunately for Gill, an acquaintence talked her out of jumping and helped her move into a Los Angeles transitional sheter. Not all of course, are so fortunate. A National Coalition for Homeless Veterans report states that nearly 80% of homeless veterans suffer from mental health disorders, drug and/or abuse, or co-occurring disorders and an average of 22 veterans commit suicide each day. These statistics are alarming to say the least, and while the VA continues to slug through piles of applications and paperwork, time for many of these veterans is running out.
Today, Gill shares her story as a means of raising awareness about the plight that's facing thousands of other veterans like her. Help us raise the money we need to conduct and produce an interview with this inspiring woman and others like her. Donate to the Valuing our Veterans project today!
Starting next Monday, Global Giving UK is matching donations by 50%! All online donations received through the GlobalGiving.co.uk site (but NOT GlobalGiving.org) will be eligible for the 50% matching funds (until matching funds run out).
There are other exciting prizes as well including cash bonuses of £1,000 and £500 for the top two projects that generate the largest amount of money and £500 for the top project to solicit the greatest number of unique donations by the end of the campaign on March 10th, 2014.
But don't dilly dally. As stated above, these funds will run out so be sure to mark your calendars for March 3rd, 2014. Matching begins at 12:01 am GMT and will end on March 10th at 11:59 am BST.
Once again, thank you for all your support and be sure to check out 3 Generations' newest Global Giving project - Why We Speak: Help Spread Syrian Stories.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
3 Generations Founder and President