Naval Museum Open at Naval Station Great Lakes

on Monday, 20 March 2017.

NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES, Ill. – The Great Lakes Naval Museum was officially renamed the National Museum of the American Sailor during a ceremony and sign unveiling at the museum in July 2016.

The Navy's top enlisted Sailor, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens, was joined by retired Rear Adm. Sam Cox, director of Naval History and Heritage Command, North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham, Capt. James Hawkins, commanding officer of Naval Station Great Lakes, Jennifer Searcy, Ph.D., director of the National Museum of the American Sailor, and representatives from the Great lakes Naval Museum Foundation and National Museum of the American Sailor Foundation to unveil the new sign in front of the museum.

"Dedicated to telling the story of anyone who has ever worn the Navy uniform, this building will do more than house history," said Cox. "The National Museum of the American Sailor will stand as a place for Sailors, Navy families and proud Americans to learn more about the Navy that serves them by using the history and experiences of our Sailors as the basis for its exhibits."

2016 Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation Annual Report Available

on Tuesday, 30 May 2017.

1LCVFSFAnnualRept2016V6Cover

Thanks to the professional work of Veteran Peer Specialist Bob Gorman as well as dedicated volunteer Leslie Wolko of the Wolko Design Group, the Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation 2016 official Annual Report is ready for review. We are sure that you will agree they have done a fantastic job of creating our most professional and informative report ever.  Click on the cover to download or read your own copy.

Scuba, Parrots, Yoga: Veterans Embrace Alternative Therapies for PTSD

on Sunday, 18 September 2016.

Veterans swimming with whale sharks this month at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta as part of their therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.CreditMelissa Golden for The New York Times

ATLANTA — Thomas Harris slid into the cool, salty water of a 6.3-million-gallon tank at the Georgia Aquarium here and let himself float limp as kelp.

Mr. Harris, a former Army medic, gazed through a diving mask at a manta ray the size of a hang glider doing slow somersaults above shifting schools of silver fish. A 21-foot whale shark brushed silently by, inches from his face, its broad, spotted back taking up his entire view. Immersed in the moment, he forgot about the world.

This is not a weekend hobby. It is part of his therapy for the post-traumatic stress disorder he has been grappling with after his tours in Iraq. And like Mr. Harris, more veterans are turning to these sorts of outside-the-office treatment.

The broad acceptance of PTSD after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has posed an unexpected challenge. Acknowledging PTSD has only spurred a wide-ranging debate over the best way to treat it.

Traditional medical approaches generally rely on drugs and controlled re-experiencing of trauma, called exposure therapy. But this combination has proved so unpopular that many veterans quit before finishing or avoid it altogether. This has given rise to hundreds of small nonprofits across the country that offer alternatives: therapeutic fishing, rafting and backpacking trips, horse riding, combat yoga, dogs, art collectives, dolphin swims, sweat lodge vision quests and parrot husbandry centers, among many, many others.

VA Weighs PTSD Care that Avoids Traumatic Memories

on Friday, 21 August 2015. Posted in News

 An instructor with Joined Forces Yoga teaches a class for Soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) offered by Joined Forces Yoga at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, April 23, 2015. (U.S. Army photo/ Sgt. Sierra A. Fown)

An instructor with Joined Forces Yoga teaches a class for Soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) offered by Joined Forces Yoga at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, April 23, 2015. (U.S. Army photo/ Sgt. Sierra A. Fown)

VA Weighs PTSD Care that Avoids Traumatic Memories

NAPLES, Italy — Revisiting a traumatic event in a therapy session can open a door to relief for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. But confronting bad memories may not be the answer for everyone.

After years of emphasizing trauma-focused psychotherapy as a preferred treatment for PTSD, researchers and clinicians with the Department of Veterans Affairs are considering forms of therapy that steer clear of traumatic memories, including those focusing on mindfulness.

Although relatively new and backed by less research than other therapies, the treatments could expand practitioners’ options and could offer patients a greater say in their care, a top VA clinician said. That, in turn, could lead to better outcomes.

“I think the coming years will be a maturation of the field, the realization that there’s more than one door,” said Harold Kudler, chief consultant for VA Mental Health Services.

The State of the American Veteran: The Chicagoland Veterans Study

on Thursday, 28 April 2016.

State of American Veteran (CHI) cover - April2016

The State of the American Veteran: The Chicagoland Veterans Study surveyed nearly 1,300 veterans, along with follow-up focus groups with 20 veterans, in Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties. The study was conducted in partnership with Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work.

The study found that many service members leaving the military and returning to the Chicagoland area are not prepared for the transition home and have a range of needs that cannot be easily addressed by a single organization.

Law Signed Declaring National Vietnam War Veterans Day

on Friday, 31 March 2017.

An act of Congress honoring Vietnam veterans with a day of recognition was signed into law by President Trump on Tuesday, per a White House press release. March 29 is now designated as National Vietnam War Veterans Day by the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 according to Gateway Pundit. The U.S. flag is to be flown in commemoration of those who served in Vietnam.

The bipartisan bill was sponsored by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. The bill passed the Senate last month and the House last week.

VA Releases Report on Nation’s Largest Analysis of Veteran Suicide

on Friday, 05 August 2016.

More than 55 Million Veterans’ Records Reviewed From 1979 to 2014 From Every State in the Nation

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today released its findings from the nation’s most comprehensive analysis of Veteran suicide rates in the United States in which VA examined more than 55 million Veterans’ records from 1979 to 2014 from every state in the nation. The effort advances VA’s knowledge from the previous report in 2012, which was primarily limited to information on Veterans who used VHA health services or from mortality records obtained directly from 20 states and approximately 3 million records.. Compared to the data from the 2012 report, which estimated the number of Veteran deaths by suicide to be 22 per day, the current analysis indicates that in 2014, an average of 20 Veterans a day died from suicide.

A link to the report may be found here.

Bob Woodruff Foundation Establishes Fund for Injured Veteran IVF Services

on Friday, 02 December 2016.

Tracy Keil discusses, along with other Veteran family advocates, the fertility challenges faced by injured service members and their families during the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s ground-breaking Intimacy After Injury convening, held in Washington, D.C., in December of 2014. Among the issues discussed was the personal financial burden incurred by families, including Keil’s, to pursue treatment in the hope of having a family.

In a continued effort to further assist the estimated 1,500 to 2,000 service members who sustained genitourinary injuries that may affect fertility, the Bob Woodruff Foundation established a financial assistance fund to help cover the costs associated with needed reproductive treatments to help our service men and women start or grow their own families. Merck, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and EMD Serono made this possible through funding provided by independent grants.

Commentary: Veterans Deserve Our Support Every Day

on Thursday, 26 November 2015.

By Marc Burgess, Special to Military Times 12:10 p.m. EST November 25, 2015

Our recent annual observance of Veterans Day marked a genuine, heartfelt "thank you" to the men and women who have bravely served our nation. But now that the celebrations are over, it's an appropriate time to ask an important question: Are we truly supporting America's veterans?

A landmark survey conducted by my organization, Disabled American Veterans, reveals a very mixed answer.

There are 22 million veterans in this country. They are our family members, friends and neighbors; indeed, we all likely know at least one veteran. But there is much that many of us don't know or understand about their experiences, attitudes and perceptions.

Many Tricare Users to Pay Enrollment Fee under Congressional Proposal

on Thursday, 05 May 2016.

Doctor greets a patient with a handshake.

Apr 25, 2016 | by Amy Bushatz

Many Tricare users would face annual enrollment fees in a newly named plan under a draft proposal released Monday by the House Armed Services Committee.

Under the plan, current users of Tricare Standard and Tricare Extra would fall into the newly minted Tricare Preferred plan. Users would continue to be permitted to self-refer to providers, but doing so would come with an annual enrollment fee of $100 for individuals and $200 for families starting in 2020.