[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
58°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 25
1915 - Death of pre-Mentry oilman & San Francisquito vintner Ramon Perea [story]
Perea grave marker


They are trained to sacrifice themselves for us on the home front. They do it with patriotism and pride in our country and way of life. They do it for their families and for all American families. Yet many civilians treat them like the enemy, even though they, the civilians, do not know why.

Spouses know that the person that left to protect our country was their beloved family member. They spend hours praying their loved one will return to reunite with them. When they do, there is great joy and celebration. This can last several weeks or months, until the spouse realizes the person who came home was not the same person who left. They don’t understand why they can no longer communicate with their spouse. They don’t understand the things that are happening every day.

I am going to attempt to give you a little peek into the life of our PTSD veterans.

In the military, training is all-important. The chain of command is all-important. Why? It is the safest way to go into battle. So, you are now a soldier. You will long for home and your loved ones, and then suddenly you are under attack. You switch gears, you are now a team member responsible for each other’s lives. You have to have your buddies’ back, and they have to have yours.

We watch these battles play out in movies and TV shows. We are so hardened to these images that we have no real understanding as to how this affects soldiers.

Once home, these soldiers still face the biggest battle of their lives: adjusting to civilian life. First, soldiers don’t complain about their conditions. They try to protect their loved ones from the horror they experienced. They don’t want to talk about what happened. They don’t want to relive what went down. And, they have no control over their reactions to certain stimuli such as a helicopter overhead, vehicle backfires, constantly searching the mountainsides for the enemy. Not being able to sleep, not until they become so exhausted that they will fall asleep – and when they do, it is a very deep sleep. Nightmares. Yes, nightmares. And spouses feel so helpless as to what to do to help their loved one. So, they try to wake them up to reassure them. The result? You may wind up on the floor. Waking up in this manner will cause a reaction.

Can you see what all this is leading to regarding spousal relations? Can you understand why there is such a high suicide and divorce rate among these families?

Tip: If your veteran is having a nightmare, get out of the bed. Get a distance from the bed. They may wake up swinging. Call their name gently; keep calling it until they wake up. From your distance, reassure them everything is OK.

Let me give you a few examples of how living with PTSD is expressed by veterans in daily life.

“I went to a birthday party with my wife and kids. When I started meeting people there, all I could focus on was what kind of shoes is that guy wearing? (Friend or foe, combative or not?) Does he have a gun in his belt?”

This is an example of hyper-vigilance. Soldiers – men and women – are always “at the ready” even in a down-time situation. A lack of sleep brings exhaustion. When you are in a state of exhaustion, any trigger can induce an outburst. Example: a helicopter overhead, a person cuts you off on the freeway. Most veterans prefer to shop very early in the morning or late at night because they are uncomfortable in crowds. Can you image why?

Soldiers want to be with other soldiers, but here is the thing: Even when together, they don’t want to talk about deployment experiences. They just want to hang with their buddies who have their back. It feels safe.

So, if you are a spouse or you know a veteran in need, please refer them to Blue Star Ranch, Serving Our Nation’s Veterans with Equine Assisted Therapy. Visit: BlueStarRanch.org or call Nancy at 661-312-6184.

And if you know a veteran, please honor them with a donation to our program, as we provide our services free and need to pay the bills. Donations can be made online. We write grants and do fund raisers, but we receive no federal funding. We are limited in helping veterans only by our budget. Thank you.

 

Nancy Zhe is executive director of Blue Star Ranch, a 501(c)(3) provider of equine-assisted mental health services in Saugus.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Monday, Jan 20, 2020
Did you sign up for a Medicare Advantage health plan last year only to find that it doesn’t meet your needs? Not to worry.You still have time to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan, or return to Original Medicare.
Friday, Jan 10, 2020
If you are a spouse or you know a veteran in need, please refer them to Blue Star Ranch, Serving Our Nation’s Veterans with Equine Assisted Therapy.
Friday, Jan 3, 2020
Tejon Ranch now forbids you on their conservation property if you belong to any one of several environmental organizations.
Friday, Jan 3, 2020
In his first monthly message of the new year, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin describes a new sense of community in the wake of 2019.
Monday, Dec 16, 2019
Each year, Medicare premiums, deductibles, and copayment rates are adjusted according to the Social Security Act. For 2020, the Medicare Part B monthly premiums and the annual deductible are higher than the 2019 amounts.
Tuesday, Dec 3, 2019
The city of Santa Clarita continues to be a forward-thinking city, providing residents with the resources and amenities that make Santa Clarita a great place to raise our families.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1915 - Death of pre-Mentry oilman & San Francisquito vintner Ramon Perea [story]
Perea grave marker
Sporting Saugus Strong and Los Angeles Dodgers gear, it was a sea of blue and white at the Saugus High School gym as the student body received a special visit from the Major League baseball team on Friday morning.
Los Angeles Dodgers Add Pep to Saugus High Rally
Six Saugus High School students have been selected for the 2020 Honor Band at California State University, Los Angeles.
6 Saugus High Students Tapped for 2020 Cal State LA Honor Band
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Unit detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in locating at-risk missing person Kristina Anne De Mora, nickname "Kiki," a 22-year-old white woman.
Missing: Kristina Anne De Mora of Canyon Country
Oscar winners Mahershala Ali, Olivia Colman, Regina King and Rami Malek will present at the 92nd Oscars, show producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain announced.
92nd Oscars Update: Presenters, Performers, Street Closures
The next North Los Angeles County Transportation Coalition meeting is set for Monday, January 27, at 1 p.m. in Lancaster.
Jan. 27: North LA County Transportation Coalition Meeting
The Santa Clarita City Council has posted the meeting agenda for its next regular meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, January 28, starting at 6 p.m.
January 28 Meeting Agenda: Santa Clarita City Council
Award-winning lighting and grip company Illumination Dynamics has relocated its Los Angeles headquarters from San Fernando to a new location in Santa Clarita.
Illumination Dynamics Moves HQ to Needham Ranch in SCV
Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) is co-authoring two bills to help newspapers and freelance journalists continue to operate in California by exempting them from the state's new anti-independent contracting law, Assembly Bill 5 (Gonzalez, 2019).
Wilk Co-authors Bills to Aid Newspapers, Freelance Journalists
According to a recent city survey, residents believe mental health and homeless services, housing for seniors and affordable housing are among the most needed in Santa Clarita.
City Survey: Mental Health, Seniors Housing Among Top Needs
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved funding for 10 affordable multi-family rental housing development projects selected through the No Place Like Home Program Notice of Funding Availability Round 2019-1.
LA County Supes Fund Affordable Rental Housing Projects
"Flight," the newest group art exhibit presented by the city of Santa Clarita, is set to take off at City Hall's First Floor Gallery on February 3 and stay airborne through March 10.
Feb. 3: ‘Flight’ Art Exhibit to Take Off at Santa Clarita City Hall
Multiple lawsuits have been filed by victims of Jeremy Haggerty, a former basketball coach in the William S. Hart Union High School District who was convicted of sexual abuse charges.
Hart District, Jeremy Haggerty Hit with Lawsuits Over Sexual Abuse
The Bed, Bath & Beyond store at 25540 The Old Road is not on the list of 2020 store closures the company released Tuesday.
Bed, Bath & Beyond Store on The Old Road to Remain Open
A Trump administration move to stop California from requiring health insurers to cover abortions has drawn a sharp riposte from California’s political leadership.
White House, California Spar Over Abortions Coverage Mandate
The federal government Friday sued California over the state's private prisons ban, claiming the new law is unconstitutional, discriminates against the federal government and obstructs its ability to carry out operations.
Feds Sue California Over Private Prisons Ban
1888 - Acton post office established; Richard E. Nickel, postmaster [story]
postal cover
In an effort to increase the number of property owners participating in the County’s rental assistance programs, the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) has launched a new business model which provides an enhanced customer service experience for property owners.
County Launches New Business Model to Benefit Property Owners
An Agua Dulce man accused of kidnapping a toddler at knifepoint was found not mentally fit to assist in his own legal defense by a judge Wednesday and committed to an institution.
Court: Agua Dulce Man Who Kidnapped Toddler Was Legally Insane
The Los Angeles County Development Authority is opening its wait list for senior public housing site applications at seven locations in L.A. County.
County to Open Waitlist for SCV’s Orchard Arms Senior Housing
California State University, Northridge psychology professor Que-Lam Huynh has been named an “emerging scholar” by leading education magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
CSUN Professor Recognized as Emerging Scholar
College of the College dropped a 73-58 conference result to visiting Glendale College on Saturday night in the Cougar Cage.
Lady Cougars Drop Conference Game to Glendale 73-58
College of the Canyons notched its first conference win by way of a 79-69 final result at the Cougar Cage on Saturday.
Cougars Best Glendale in First Conference Win 79-69
The recent eruption of Taal Volcano in the Philippines last January 12 has forced many Filipino to flee their homes and move to evacuation centers. Those most affected are villagers in the hard-hit province of Batangas.
West Ranch Students Seeking Donations for Taal Volcano Victims
%d bloggers like this: