During Veterans Day, our country pauses to commemorate the “solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service.”(1) But the day also serves to remember and celebrate those who have come back from war alive, carrying the burden of combat.
With 39,000 soldiers set to return to America from the battlefields in Iraq, Scott & White wants to provide assistance to the men who are having a hard time readjusting to homefront life.
Help for hurting troops comes in the form of the Scott & White Military Homefront Services program that provides individual, marital and family counseling to anyone who has been in the uniformed military since 9/11.
“In the past year, we’ve added a combat stress team,” said Maxine Trent, LPC-S, LMFT-S program director. “When you spend a great deal of time in harm’s way, your body rewires itself to the battle-front mind. And then when you come back, it’s very difficult to readjust to the homefront mind. The combat stress team is specifically designed to help soldiers reregulate their neurobiology.”
Not only does the team of seven licensed mental health practitioners help reset and process trauma, they also teach the soldiers how to be resilient.
“We do these neat things called resilience rejuvenation workshops where we teach the five F’s of resilience: faith, family, friends, flexibility, and fun,” Ms. Trent said.
Scott & White Homefront Services also offers intensive military family therapy and something called Homefront University that offers classes on parenting, neurobiological reregulation (combat stress), and marriage dynamics.
“Don’t be afraid to say, I know you’re resilient, you’re military families, you’re warriors, but I just want to tell you thank you”
As of October, the program has provided over 15,000 patient contacts for soldiers and their families since it opened its doors in 2008, and is gaining more patients every day.
The problem is that in order for this program to continue, it needs more funding.
“We have a Texas Veteran Commission grant that provides funding and will end in May,” Ms. Trent said. “If people want to help soldiers and their families, they need to donate to the program. It goes directly to behavioral healthcare, workshops, and reintegration work.”
Even though the director wants to see the program stay alive to help the thousands of soldiers who need mental health support, she said one of the best ways to help the troops and their families is to show them they are appreciated.
“Don’t be afraid to say, I know you’re resilient, you’re military families, you’re warriors, but I just want to tell you thank you,” she said.
“[Scott & White] is military friendly,” Ms. Trent said. “It’s not us and them. We are them.” Click here (pdf) for a full list of our employees who are current or ex-military.
For more information about Scott & White Homefront Services, click here or call 254.680.1139.
Do donate to the program, visit the Foundation website and select Military Homefront Services as your designation.
(1) Proclamation made by President Woodrow Wilson in November 1919 at the commemoration of the first Armistice Day, which later became Veterans Day. – United States Department of Veterans Affairs