Those of us who have had our child leave the military after serving, either in a war zone or not, are now VetParents. And Parents Zone is here for us too. I’ve been watching, with a great deal of pride, my own son and daughter in law navigate the difficult waters called “The VA” and persevere. I watched them both go through the frustration of medical and psychological evaluations and the appeals process. I’m watching them heal, watching my son take classes and work full time and take care of their adorable daughter, watching my daughter in law work full time and then some, take care of said wonderful child, while they both deal with their deployments and what they brought back with them.
Some Soldier’s Mom, in her previous post, listed a group of websites to assist Vets. I’d like to add to that, and I’m asking you for help. If you know a site, an organization, a group, that helps Vets, list them here. We’ll set up a page for them as well (right, Tech Mama??)
American Women Veterans ( this is a FaceBook based group)
Update: March 2013
A lot of attention lately has been focused on the health and adjustment process faced by vets returning for the last time from deployments in the Middle East. Not much time has been spent considering the way in which parents have to cross this hurdle. Many will tell our staff at PZ that the dread leading up to a deployment is the hardest part of the process, but the period in which we are needed most is oftentimes the return. Family play an enormous role in easing the homecoming experience of a soldier, and we need to be both supportive and open minded. A pervasive reluctance to seek support for PTSD and other psychological problems can hinder the recovery of a loved one. We encourage readers to be open and frank in the interest of their families, including if necessary, the willingness to broach difficult subjects such as wellbeing.
A few weeks back, PBS re-launched its Regarding War site and invited a number of bloggers to blog on experiences of reintegration of soldiers to the civilian world. I am fortunate to be one of the bloggers. In my third post (and in the fourth next week) I am addressing some misconceptions on PTSD (next week on some resources).
PTSD looks to be the diagnosis of the decade. Seems everyone has it, or wants to claim it. In the 80s the diagnosis was ADHD… In the 90s, was it narcissism? And now, PTSD: apparently you can get it soon after watching a movie, or years after some bad act. It’s all the rage in the news, and a convenient excuse for bad behavior. Even if someone has never personally experienced the trauma, it seems like they only have to hear about someone else’s trauma, and POOF — they have PTSD! Worse still are those who point to combat stress as proof that service members are the victims of some nefarious plot. If you believe the media and some politicians, every bad act by someone who happens to be a veteran is the result of some neglect or refusal to identify and treat this condition.
The Roundtable phone call yesterday : by now everyone should have received an email with your own case number, this is for you to “track” the status of your case online. They are working on the program to get an online tracking capability.
The deficiency notices aren’t saying you are NOT qualified. They need to check the records YOU sent, against what they have in PERRMS. That’s going to take some time. There may be a difference in dates, there are a few that don’t jibe with the Social Security Numbers that are on the list, and those are being worked on. Wounded servicemembers’ cases are being handled first. Those who were KIA are not in this program, they are or were handled separately.
There are thousands and thousands of files to go through. The number we heard on the call, was 16,000! so far, they know that 10,000 were eligible.
If you didn’t have your Dash4, only had your DD214, or an LES, they will find the rest of your documentation, again, this is going to take time. That’s a hard thing to hear, I know. But they are working as fast and as accurately as they can, according to Maj. Whitley
Anyone who sent in hardcopy by mail, those have to be scanned in, and since there were hundreds of them, expect even more delay.
Maj. Whitley explained this as well: If you went past your ETS, you were stop lossed and are eligible. IF you were IRR and were recalled, you are NOT.
Major Whitley wanted to make this really really clear. They are NOT in the business of saving the DoD money. This is money that is earmarked for YOU, won’t go into DoD’s pockets if its not sent out by a certain date.
ParentsZone will keep checking on the progress of this program. When we hear something, we’ll make sure you do too.
Hope you can take a second to take a look and join the movement.