Tiffany is a Give an Hour provider who offers free counseling through GAH’s program to members of military families who seek help. She graciously shares her experience working with Give an Hour clients below. At her request, her information and location remain anonymous.
“One lesson I learned was that mental health problems are endemic to every war particularly symptoms of PTSD. I recall talking to both soldiers and their wives about when they came home from war in the forties with ‘shell shock’ which is what they called PTSD then.”
Tiffany says that World War II veterans back then described symptoms exactly like what she sees today in soldiers who are young enough to be their grandchildren.
“They were emotionally withdrawn, volatile, unable to bond with their kids, unable to sleep. These are the same symptoms soldiers who have seen combat have today.
Tiffany remembers listening to a Marine who had served in the Pacific and who “just wanted to talk with me before he died. He told me how he had been in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor happened and how he had enlisted right away. He described how harrowing and difficult it was when his company landed at Iwo Jima. The water was so rough that some of the men were crushed between the boats as they disembarked and drowned before they even got to shore. He remembered every detail.”
Currently, it is the wives and mothers of soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan who she helps as a Give an Hour provider. “One young woman’s husband was finishing up basic training, and they were both afraid he would be deployed to Afghanistan because he was in the Infantry,” she says. “Another of my GAH patients was a mom whose son had died by suicide after returning from war with both PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. She had a younger son whom I was able to refer to another Give an Hour provider since it was inconvenient for him to come to see me.”
Why I Joined Give an Hour
Tiffany sees the mental health problems stemming from the current conflicts as only getting worse. “You know the military gives these kids months of training before they deploy, but only a week of training when they are returning to civilian life. It’s just not enough when, after several deployments, the soldiers are facing failing marriages and financial problems with full-blown PTSD. The system makes transitioning back pretty tough, which is one reason I feel so good about being able to help as many as I can as a Give an Hour provider.”
To learn more about how to join Give an Hour, visit Licensed Provider Information