As we enter into the summer season, civil unrest is taking its toll on our veterans in ways that are both old and new.
Search your memory for the civil unrest of the late 60s and early 70s that created a climate where soldiers changed out of their beloved uniform before getting on or off of planes that landed in commercial airports. Why was that? Because of civil unrest, soldiers were spat on, attacked and targeted as part of the problem, when in reality they were serving the country and fulfilling orders given.
It is no different today, as civil unrest has created an environment of hostility toward police, many of whom are veterans, national guardsmen/women and military personnel who are struggling to protect the country from itself. As our service members and veterans watch this, it creates stress, anxiety, fear and overall uncertainty proliferating the PTSD that affects so many already.
Beyond the bang of fireworks that often triggers PTSD a new trigger has emerged. This new trigger has taken the form of constant news coverage of violence towards military, police, and monuments as well as the identity of military bases. Identity is what so many active military and veterans struggle with and is at the core of many PTSD therapy models.
This summer, be a reinforcement tool for our military and veterans. Let them know you are there, let them know you understand this is a difficult time, let them know that the chaos they are trying to escape is inescapable and let them know you are there.