As I’m sure all of you are aware and have heard me talk about a lot, I’m a military wife. Because of this, obviously, anything to do with the military and its people holds a special place in my heart and I am an avid contributor to several organizations which help returning warriors and their families. One organization which has always been on my radar screen is the Wounded Warrior Foundation, and more recently another outstanding organization was brought to my attention which is geared toward helping our returning heroes suffering the effects of PTSD/TBI. Now, for anyone out there unsure of what those acronyms might mean, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.
It’s my belief that the general public is unaware of how many of our soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen come home each year alive because of advances in our battlefield medical procedures and protocol, but suffer long term by the way of PTSD/TBI. I’ll save the Wounded Warrior talk for another day as it houses a host of injuries more widespread than I can name here. If you’d seen what I’ve seen…
A story I rarely tell, and keep close to my heart, entails my first sighting of an amputee during OIF1. Some might take that simple statement the wrong way, but let me assure you, I was neither repulsed nor frightened at the sight of the young man. Quite the opposite was true. He was in the commissary with his new prosthesis and it was covered in a sheath bearing the EGA emblem. His pride for his country and his job overwhelmed me and I left my cart, went to my car, and cried. It was in that moment I realized the full brunt of what was to come. Yes, advances would make it possible for more warriors to come home alive, but the wave of those coming in injured would be epic. While I was busy crying, pondering the enormity of those thoughts, and trying to compose myself, I watched as the young warrior too left the commissary with a bag of snacks---and assuming here, but I’m fairly certain they were his buddies favorites—and he was headed across the street where a unit homecoming was taking place. He’d obviously been sent home for recovery and was now welcoming his fellow marines home. Our bases are filled with people just like him and my heart swells with more emotion than I can fully explain at their dedication.
This is the story people don’t get in the general media. Those who carry the scars of battle. The survivors. PTSD and TBI are often times the scars which are unidentifiable to the naked eye. Just because a warrior bears no physical mark of his service doesn’t mean he or she isn’t wounded.
Train a Dog, Save a Warriorstrives to aid in the recovery of the men and women coming home with these invisible scars.
“The Mission of Penny’s from Heaven Foundation’s Train a Dog Save a Warrior program is to unite wounded warriors, suffering with PTSD, with homeless, rescue shelter dogs, who are evaluated and deemed viable, to nurture a healing and rejuvenating bond between the two. The result is a positive, non judgmental, unconditional relationship desperately needed by both.” (from their website)
Have I mentioned I have a soft spot for rescue dogs as well? What could be a better cause than one which unites two of my passions?
My cousin is the person who tuned me in to this worthwhile cause and Saturday, October 27, her place of business will be sponsoring a 5K run to help raise money for TADSAW. While Sellers-Sexton Ford is just outside the main gate of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and many of you fans and readers are scattered throughout the country, you may be asking what that has to do with you and how you can help…
Let me extend the ways.
You can contact them and ask what you can do to help locally or from afar.
They have a Facebook Eventongoing—join and pitch in to help spread the word.
Visit the TADSAW website and see how you can directly donate.
TADSAW is also on Facebook. Give them a like and participate through their page.
Leave me a comment today, even though I already donated, I will make another donation. For every comment I receive here between now and November 30, 2012, I will donate $1.00 directly to TADSAW up to and including $100.00. (This article will re-run Wednesday, October 17 and I will combine the comments from both runs to achieve the total number of comments.)
Together we can make a difference. No matter our views on wars, why they’re fought, or if we should be fighting, we should still honor our service men and women and their sacrifices. Get involved. Give a wounded warrior a hand up.
Thanks for coming by today,