A few days ago, my mother called me to let me know that she had been reading Ralph Peters New York Post articles on helping the wounded warriors. She wanted to know if I had seen his articles and did I know of the Fisher type house that was being constructed in Texas to help them. She was sending out a donation to: “Returning Heroes Home” http://returningheroeshome.org/
She was dedicating her donation in memory of Army Spc. Thomas J. Wilwerth (my son’s friend) and Medal of Honor Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy United States Navy SEAL from Patchogue.
Returning Heroes Home is located at the BAMC (Brooke Army Medical Center) in Fort San Houston, Texas. This will be a “home away from home” for the wounded warriors and their families during treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. Research* has proved that those who receive care/treatment with immediate support of medical and family, recover quicker and without as many complications and have reduced levels of post traumatic stress and enjoy better health related quality of life (HRQol).
Our wounded warriors may have visible signs of injuries such as a missing limb (s), blindness or invisible, like traumatic brain injuries, spinal pain, post traumatic stress. We have many wounded Veterans and their families who have endured much. All need the compassion, skill and all the support now and later of medical and family- and their families will need support in dealing with the catastrophic injuries that their loved one has endured-and will continue to have for the remainder of their lives.
In reading, seeing, meeting with those who have been wounded, it is simultaneously humbling and inspiring. Many of the wounded are focused on regaining health, strength, autonomy and purpose of living. They need the awareness and support/help now from us as individual citizens and as a united country -and they will need our continued respect and support in the future too.
*NIMH National Institute of Mental Health http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml
Military Spouse Resource Center: http://www.milspouse.org/Benefits/SuppServ/PostDeploy/
American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP)just published a report today 12/13/07 with a rating of A+ (excellence to F – Failing) on many charities that collect/distribute funds for Veterans, Wounded Warriors and Active duty Servicemen/women. Here is a link to the report:
“Why are these large stockpiles of reserves not going to aid the vast numbers of homeless veterans? The answer is that most of the homeless vets do not meet the armed forces charities’ eligibility requirements. For instance, AER states that it only helps active duty soldiers and reservists and their dependants, or soldiers retired from active duty due to reaching age 60 or to “longevity,” usually defined as 20 or more years of service, or physical disability. AER also helps surviving spouses and children of soldiers who died while on active duty or after retirement from the military. Since poverty is the major cause of homelessness, the veterans eligible for AER assistance due to having obtained Army retirement status and the accompanying Army benefits are not likely to become homeless. It’s a shame that AER’s eligibility requirements keep aid from reaching those veterans that arguably need it most. ” (AER – Army Emergency Relief)
The report and articles from the Washington Post (listed in the comments)-were informative on how/who/what charities/organizations are actually providing help to those who need help/support and highlighted some organizations that are just that-a business designed to bring in funds for overhead.
Those who got an A or A+ (BRAVO ZULU!!)
Air Force Aid Society (A+)
Army Emergency Relief (A+) (the report stated that the AER is not reaching the homeless Veterans)
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (A+)
National Military Family Association (A)
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (A+)