Sunday, November 6, 2011

Veterans Day Discounts 2011, Restaurants, Shopping and More

Veteran’s Day is soon approaching and there are many restaurants and companies who want to thank our veterans by providing them with discounts or a free meal. To those companies offering veterans a free meal or discount, the military community gives a collective thanks!

Our goal is to share as many of these free meals and discounts with our military veterans and we will update this page as soon as new information becomes available.
2011 Veteran’s Day Free Meals and Discounts

Two notes before jumping in:

* Proof of Military Service. First, most companies require some form of military ID – including a U.S. Uniform Services ID Card (active/reserve/retired), Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), Photograph in uniform, be wearing uniform (if your service permits), Veterans Organization Card (e.g., American Legion and VFW), DD214, discharge paperwork, or other form of identification. Other restaurants and companies may only require a photo of you in uniform, or go by the honor system.
* Participation. Second, always call ahead to verify locations, times, and participation. Many of the listed companies are franchises and may have different policies. We will do our best to keep this page updated as we find new info.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Veterans die every 80 minutes from suicide.

In an alarming report, the VA has determined that veterans are dying in large numbers daily due to suicide. Despite the Veteran's Administration's best efforts to combat suicide in veterans, it seems that they are losing the fight in suicide prevention. Currently there are increased mental health services available to veterans but this suicide rate may raise the question as to whether these services are helpful enough to the veterans that they serve.

Veterans have traditionally had higher rates of suicide than their non military serving counterparts. Clearly, the recent wars have impacted these figures as many veterans are returning from war scarred physically and mentally by the combat experience that they had. It is estimated by many studies that the PTSD rate may be as high as 30% in veterans of the wars in the Middle East.

If you are a veteran and you are going through an emotional crisis. Please try the VA's hotline for help.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to be renamed in the military?

This week some army top brass has suggested that PTSD should be renamed to PTSI. Instead of referring to post traumatic stress as a disorder, he has proposed that it be classified as an injury instead. He insists that calling the disability "post traumatic stress injury" will lead to an increase in troops and veterans seeking help for the ailment. As of now about 30% of all veterans that served in a recent combat zone are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. This amounts to about 15% of troops seeking actual medical intervention for PTSD.

Post traumatic stress disorder is a chronic illness and the quicker the patient receives help for the condition, lowers the chances of it becoming a lifelong affliction. There are many barriers preventing an active duty soldier or Marine from seeking help. The most troubling obstacle is that of the social stigma that mental illness holds for the afflicted. A Marine or soldier may hide his or her symptoms to the best of their abilities, despite showing a drop in performance. All this is typically done to protect their careers because many feel that having PTSD will be a career ending experience. Or they fear that they will be seen as crazy and be isolated from their peers.

Will reclassifying PTSD as PTSI lead to an increase in troops seeking help? I think not. I believe that this will not have much an effect on PTSD diagnosis rates. The label and packaging of this will change but the contents of the box remain the same. The only lasting help that can be provided is through educating society on mental health in hope that the stigma changes. People feel socially uncomfortable being labeled depressed, anxious, bipolar and so on. If we can educate society we will create supportive environment for all that suffer from mental illness.

So perhaps what is needed in the military is an increase in education on PTSD and TBI. I think the troops need to be reassured that their careers will not end as a result of revealing post traumatic stress disorder to their medical staff. Only then will we see an increase of people coming forward and discussing their symptom with doctors.

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