Although our combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down, as our servicemembers return home, they and their families will be coping with the fallout for years. Maybe even decades. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), about 25 percent of vets returning from the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are suffering from PTSD. That’s about 500,000 veterans. And while PTSD gets a lot of well-deserved media coverage these days, the focus is almost exclusively on the servicemembers who are suffering from it. But it’s far more complicated than that. When a servicemember has PTSD, his or her condition often rubs off on the reset of the family as well. Children have problems in school, civilian parents may feel depressed and anxious, and tempers seem to get shorter every day. So if we count everyone who’s affected by PTSD, that 500,000 figure is probably just a third of the problem. In this article, we’ll explore some of the unexpected ways PTSD affects the families of our returning veterans.
If you've been thinking about enrolling your child in an Operation Purple summer camp but weren't sure where the camps were being held, then I've got good news for you. The National Military Family Association has released their 2013 Operation Purple Summer Camp schedule. This year the schedule includes camps in AK, AL, CA, CT, FL, IN, MN, NC, NY, OR, PA, TX, WA and WV.
To learn more about Operation Purple and the various programs they offer, please visit their Web site.
More Resources and Information for Military Kids
If you're in need of a few ideas on how you can support the troops, here are some suggestions that you may want to consider: