Today, I would like to share something a little different.
Memorial Day weekend, many people spend the weekend having picnics. But, it is a time to remember those we have lost that have served our country. I am thinking of someone who served and is struggling. There are so many out there that have serviced our country and returned with mental and physical scars.
I got a call from a friend and was told about her loved one. He served and witness things that only people who serve have seen. He was injured and provided opioids on the war zone. I am sure there are many like him and you may know them also.
He became addicted and has been struggling. My heart was breaking hearing what his family is going through, I am familiar with the trauma associated with addiction and mental illness. But, add in to it that the person served in a war zone and returned. They fought for our country and now they are not able to get the help that they need.
I listened and fought back tears as I heard of him being turned away at the VA and suggested that he go to a different facility. I heard how there are programs for service members to get help but this family is struggling to get the programs for their loved one.
We want and need to have long term treatment for people who suffer with mental illness, addiction is one mental illness. It modifies the way the brain works and changers a person. Just detoxing a person is not enough, yet that is what is done many times. I would have expected to hear that as a veteran this person received the best treatment available. But, sadly that is NOT what is happening.
People returning from war need help, they need the dignity that they earned from our country. I was told how the family including the person suffering where treated disrespectfully and turned away. The family told to make sure they have Narcan!
People are returning from war and some are homeless some are addicted to substances as they try to cover and block the memories of war. Service members are fighting a battle when they return, yes this is still happening. This is sadly a part of war that is common. We look at people who are homeless, addicted and cast a stigma of shame on them and their families.
Why are our service members not given the best treatment available? I do not understand this, I have seen this with my grandfather before he passed. I would love to see the VA be the best hospital on the planet. A place that our service members are given the respect and treatment they deserve.
We want to have long term treatment for people suffering with mental illness, we want this for everyone. But, why is our government not giving this to our returning veterans in need?