Beyond the Yellow Ribbon: Help combat veterans reintegrate

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by RANDY SHAW

KREM.com

Posted on August 11, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 13 at 10:44 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.-- Military suicides have become a national nightmare and a major crisis.

Beyond The Yellow Ribbon is a veteran’s service organization assisting combat veterans in navigating the difficult reintegration process. It works with battle traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder and other physical, mental and emotional wounds.

The statistics speak for themselves and it speaks of a horrendus problem. Veterans are killing themselves at a rate of nearly one every hour,  22-per day according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

PART 2: Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

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A recent study looked at this rate among soldiers during and after their multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. It found indirect links between deployment, combat and self-destructive urges.

They note that just ahead of increased suicide rates was a surge in mental problems in the military. Hospitalizations for depression doubled, it increased five-fold for substance abuse and ten-fold for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Even common sense dictates the average human being will be drastically affected, even altered, by being pulled out of a civilian job, ordered into a war zone where their lives are on the line and then being sent back home. And the worst part is some of these veterans have gone through that three, four and five times.

The majority of veterans find purpose and meaning in their military service. But it can be a terrible struggle to find that same sense of purpose as a civilian which may ultimately lead to feelings of despair.

Combat zone veterans have a very difficult time trying to express their deepest feelings about what they saw or experienced with someone whose never been in their shoes. But veterans talk to veterans much more openly and that’s why veteran retreats are so important.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon funds these retreats and get-a-ways so local veterans can connect to each other and get through what may be an extremely difficult transition back into civilian life. Thanks to your donations, BYR has helped bring these veterans all the way home. They connect with the program and with veterans in their own home town.

Many local veterans have high praise for the this special program and the retreats. Some say it saved their lives.

You can help fund these much needed retreats and other assistance and help lower the suicide rates among these wounded and mentally wounded heroes. Your donations stay locally and go directly to these vital life saving programs.

For more information you can call the Veteran’s Outreach Center at 509-444-8387.

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