Military

Life in uniform has unique challenges

The commitment of service and dramatic life changes afterward make support and assistance of veterans so important. 

 

 
 

Apps

 
 

Guard Your Buddy – Tennessee
Parthenon Publishing
Apple App Store (FREE)
Android Market (FREE)

Guard Your Buddy was developed for members of the Tennessee National Guard and their families. Its purpose is to provide the men, women, and families in the Tennessee National Guard anytime, anywhere access to critical life resources, on-demand counseling, and on-call suicide prevention. Guard Your Buddy is a joint effort by the Tennessee National Guard, The Jason Foundation, Inc., and E4 Health.

 

 
 
 

Breathe2Relax
The National Center for Telehealth and Technology
Apple App Store (FREE)
Android Market (FREE)

Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing.Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ (stress) response, and help with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management. Breathe2Relax can be used as a stand-alone stress reduction tool, or can be used in tandem with clinical care directed by a healthcare worker.

 

 
 

Military Quotes
Mike the Android Farmer
Android Market (FREE)

This application is dedicated to the men and women who serve their countries with pride and dedication. We greatly appreciate the life we can pursue and the freedoms provided by their sacrifice. All branches of the military are represented. Includes quotes about war, courage, integrity, dedication, hard work, fear, sacrifice, heroes, and leadership. I’ve also mixed in some humorous quotes to mix things up.

 

 

PTSD Coach
US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Apple App Store (FREE)

PTSD Coach was designed for Veterans and military Service Members who have, or may have, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This app provides users with education about PTSD, information about professional care, a self-assessment for PTSD, opportunities to find support, and tools that can help users manage the stresses of daily life with PTSD. Tools range from relaxation skills and positive self-talk to anger management and other common self-help strategies. Users can customize tools based on their preferences and can integrate their own contacts, photos, and music. This app can be used by people who are in treatment as well as those who are not. PTSD Coach was created by VA’s National Center for PTSD and DoD’s National Center for Telehealth & Technology.

 

Books

Invisible Wounds of War: Coming Home from Iraq and Afghanistan 
Marguerite Guzman Bouvard
ISBN: 978-1616145538

An inside look into the lives of our veterans and the far-reaching impact of combat and service

There’s no real homecoming for many of our veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They may go through the motions of daily life in their hometowns, but the terrible sights and sounds of war are still fresh in their minds.

In this empathic, inside look into the lives of our combat veterans, Marguerite Guzman Bouvard reveals the lingering impact that the longest wars in our nation’s history continue to have on far too many of our finest young people. Basing her account on numerous interviews with veterans and their families, Bouvard examines the factors that have made these recent conflicts especially trying.

A major focus of the book is the extreme duress that is a daily part of a soldier’s life in combat zones with no clear frontlines or perimeters. Having to cope with unrecognizable enemies in the midst of civilian populations and attacks from hidden weapons like improvised explosive devices exacts a heavy toll. Compounding the problem is the all-volunteer nature of our armed forces, which often demands multiple deployments of enlistees. This results in frequent cases of post-traumatic stress disorder and families disrupted by the long absence of one and sometimes both parents. The author also discusses the lack of connectedness between civilian society and military personnel, leading to inadequate healthcare for many veterans. This deficiency has been highlighted by the urgent need to treat traumatic brain injuries in survivors of explosions and the high veteran suicide rate.

Bouvard concludes on a positive note by discussing some of the surprising and encouraging ways that the chasm between civilian and military life is being bridged to help reintegrate our returning soldiers. For veterans, their families, and especially for civilians unaware of how much our soldiers have endured, The Invisible Wounds of War is important reading.

 

 

Fields of Combat: Understanding PTSD among Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan 
Erin P. Finley
ISBN: 978-0801449802

For many of the 1.6 million U.S. service members who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, the trip home is only the beginning of a longer journey. Many undergo an awkward period of readjustment to civilian life after long deployments. Some veterans may find themselves drinking too much, unable to sleep or waking from unspeakable dreams, lashing out at friends and loved ones. Over time, some will struggle so profoundly that they eventually are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Both heartbreaking and hopeful, Fields of Combat tells the story of how American veterans and their families navigate the return home. Following a group of veterans and their their personal stories of war, trauma, and recovery, Erin P. Finley illustrates the devastating impact PTSD can have on veterans and their families. Finley sensitively explores issues of substance abuse, failed relationships, domestic violence, and even suicide and also challenges popular ideas of PTSD as incurable and permanently debilitating.

Drawing on rich, often searing ethnographic material, Finley examines the cultural, political, and historical influences that shape individual experiences of PTSD and how its sufferers are perceived by the military, medical personnel, and society at large. Despite widespread media coverage and public controversy over the military’s response to wounded and traumatized service members, debate continues over how best to provide treatment and compensation for service-related disabilities. Meanwhile, new and highly effective treatments are revolutionizing how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides trauma care, redefining the way PTSD itself is understood in the process. Carefully and compassionately untangling each of these conflicts, Fields of Combat reveals the very real implications they have for veterans living with PTSD and offers recommendations to improve how we care for this vulnerable but resilient population.

 

 

Facing PTSD: A Combat Veteran Learns to Live with the Disorder 
Tom Smith
ISBN: 978-0615614809

This book is an autoethnography, the personal experience of a combat veteran who comes home a changed person. As the symptoms of PTSD grow stronger he is forced to first face, then learn to live with the disorder.

 

 

Once a Warrior Always a Warrior: Navigating the Transition from Combat to Home—Including Combat Stress, PTSD, and mTBI 
Charles Hoge
ISBN: 978-0762754427

The essential handbook for anyone who has ever returned from a war zone, and their spouse, partner, or family members. Being back home can be as difficult, if not more so, than the time spent serving in a combat zone. It’s with this truth that Colonel Charles W. Hoge, MD, a leading advocate for eliminating the stigma of mental health care, presents Once a Warrior—Always a Warrior, a groundbreaking resource with essential new insights for anyone who has ever returned home from a war zone.

 

Web Links

Military SOS Significant Other Support

National Center for PTSD Department of Veterans Affairs

Programs Wounded warrior project

Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 or text to 838255. Has support for the hearing-impaired.

Additional PTSD resources

Mentalhealth.gov Information from CDC, FindYouthInfo.gov, MedlinePlus, NIH, National Institute of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

 

 

Apps, books and websites listed on this page are provided for educational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. Talk with your health care provider about any questions you may have.

Some of these resources are products of Mayo Clinic and others are owned by third parties. Mayo Clinic does not endorse resources identified on this page that it does not directly own or control itself.