In this first of many commentaries, I’d like to share with you why the time is prime for G.I. Josie.
So many of our returning veterans are in crisis. I have read and watched videos and spoken to so many who are changed people since returning from war. Some spook like horse at loud noises. One said that the 4th of July is Afghanistan all over again. We celebrate our freedom that they ensure; they react to and run from the noise of our firework celebrations. Depression and nightmares, flashbacks and anxiety are constant companions, shadowing them wherever they go. Personally, I find it difficult to see our defenders in such pain. When they joined the military, they were strong and eager. They return broken and distant.
While there are success stories with regards to VA care, there are far too many disastrous outcomes. Veterans are waiting months for care and then receiving inadequate care. Nowhere is this more visible than with single women veterans who suffer from PTSD and MST – the most vulnerable demographic as well as the most neglected upon discharge. This statistic comes from the VA itself. Many women choose to end their nightmares and pain at their own hand and many leave behind young children who now grow up without a mom.
How can we as a community allow this to continue?
How can we sit by and do nothing?
Well, we ARE doing something. We are doing it today. We have a better solution – G.I. Josie.
G.I. Josie will be like no other community on this planet. This is not hyperbole; this is fact. The VA told us this, as well. G.I. Josie will provide to our female veterans who suffer from PTSD and MST, along with their children, an out of the way working ranch, secure to only those who reside there and the staff. We will provide an array of non-clinical and proven therapies with which our vets can work and heal. All the therapies that are provided to our vets are also available to the children. After all, if mom is hurting, so is her child. We want them to be able to work towards PTSD freedom together. And, we are not going to require that our vets heal in 6 or 12 sessions – our veterans will be allowed to be residents at G.I. Josie for however long it takes them to feel ready to take on the world once again.
Losing another veteran to her demons is not acceptable.
We don’t expect 100% success, but we are damn well going to try. No one else is.