“The answer to my WHY, is to ensure that we find a peaceful way home for our Warriors.”
– Arnie Marks, Psy. D, LCSW, Board Certified Diplomate- Give an Hour Provider
“In my work as a volunteer Clinical Psychologist for Give an Hour, I am often asked, “why do you do it”. My answer is always the same: it comes from a Robert Browning poem,“Those who have survived war, deserve to do well in peace.” Those with the invisible wounds of war deserve our Nation’s best efforts at helping them find their way to Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. In the many years that I have provided care for our veterans, I am constantly reminding myself that these men and women have already paid up front for their care by their service to our Nation. They have signed a blank check payable to the United States of America; we in turn have cashed their check and sent them to foreign shores to provide peace and security to our world at great risk to themselves. We can offer no less than our best care to insure that our service members find their way home. As Robert Frost reminded us in his poem “Death of a Hired Man”,Home is where, when you go there, they have to let you in. ”
For many years, Dr. Marks has participated in multiple Give an Hour programs, including community collaborations in his home state of Texas.
Dr. Arnie Marks, a notable DOD psychologist was the keynote speaker along with Military Veteran Peer Network (MVPN) Coordinator of Collin County Clark Gullette and MVPN volunteer John Gaglione. Dr. Marks emphasized the need for veterans to be aware of their battle buddies, went as far as to deputize those in attendance as a show of good faith, assuring they would bring to light anyone who’s struggling with depression and or suicidal thoughts.
Dr. Marks’ prescription was a detailed one, giving suicide statistics and validating the need for awareness. The group of over two-hundred Marines in attendance seemed concerned and followed with interest as Marks gave them the real facts about suicide and how to recognize the calling card of a devastating trend among our veterans. Without the use of a power point presentation, Dr. Marks recalled statistics without struggle as he compassionately conveyed his message to the young Marines. After the presentation, Marines from the 14th regiment began privately contacting MVPN to share stories and concerns they’ve had.
The MVPN is thankful to Dr. Arnie Marks for his educational expertise, and to Capt. Andrew Bickford who took the unusual step to invite us out to speak on a topic often left unspoken. Going forward, the MVPN’s door is always open as they continue their relationship with 14th Marines. It takes participation, getting involved when others sit idly by; Dr. Arnie Marks, Capt. Andrew Bickford and the volunteers at MVPN are committed to this struggle, and on the 21st of May, all came together to show their resolve and contribute to the mission. This is a battle that must be won.