In the great cloud of resources out there for muddling your way through post-combat home troubles, it is can be hard to pick something and just do it. So overwhelming can the options be that it can seem easier to do nothing.
That's how trouble here started.
After a deployment out of Fort Lewis, Wa. over which far too many soldiers died, my husband came home seeming, well, fine. I expected PTSD to be there screaming its name at my door, and it simply wasn't. There were no scary nightmare situations that I noticed, no startling visibly at stressful situations, no ... nothing. There was nothing.
But overtime I realized that, while he may not have PTSD, the fine exterior I was seeing was actually the result of a lot of emotional duct tape. He sealed all the cracks and hard stuff with tape, holding the whole thing together just fine.
But even duct tape starts to come off over time.
So here we are, five years later, and the duct tape is gone. We peeled it completely off last fall, and now we are just trying to figure out how to fix the whole thing for good -- no tape necessary.
Like so many combat veterans we daily, especially this time of year, deal with the trauma of war. It impacts every single moment of our lives in ways that I never, in 100 million years, would've predicted. And we are dealing with it the best way we know how.
Now, a group is attempting to expand their recovery resource for spiritually minded combat veterans. And it might be worth checking out for your family.
REBOOT Recovery, started in 2011 here at Fort Campbell, Ky., focuses on what they call "the often overlooked spiritual aspects of combat trauma."
"Our programs speak to issues of identity, false guilt, forgiveness and building an environment of healing by connecting the hurting with the Healer," they say.
The organization, a non-profit, was founded in 2011 by Evan and Jenny Owens. Dr. Jenny L. Owens is a licensed occupational therapist specializing in traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Evan A. Owens is certified in military ministry related to soldiers and families dealing with PTSD, according to their website.
The result? A program with a clinical basis that focuses on spiritual issues.
Right now the group is running their flagship, 12-week program at four locations -- Fort Campbell, Nashville, Camp Lejeune, and Oklahoma City. Most locations provide a meal and childcare at each gathering. Your combat vet can attend alone or, preferably, you can go with him (or her). All groups are free.
You can also take the course via their virtual campus. Just enter your information here and they'll be in contact.
"Each meeting starts by getting to know each other in a casual, comfortable environment," Corinne Ables, a spokesman for the group, told us. "Often this involves eating a family style meal together. We believe that spouses are deeply affected by deployments and we encourage married couples to complete the course together."
What REBOOT is not is a support group, she said.
"We aren't a 'support group.' We do provide support, and we are a group, but it’s more than that," she said. "We are a network of ‘bridge people’ helping one another cross the spiritual void experienced in the aftermath of war. It is a led discussion looking through specific topics related to trauma."
Right now the organization is focused on veteran suicide -- and how the organization can help prevent veterans from taking their own lives.