Senator Mark Messmer on Veterans
After 20 years in Afghanistan, the U.S. military has withdrawn from the capital city of Kabul. During this time, many Hoosier veterans who served our country could be searching for answers to some complicated questions.
Veterans may feel mental distress about the experiences they had during their service. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has identified the following common reactions that veterans may experience:
· Feelings of frustration, sadness, helplessness, grief or distress;
· Feeling angry or betrayed;
· Experiencing an increase in mental health symptoms, like symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or depression;
· Sleeping poorly;
· Trying to avoid all reminders, including media or social situations; and
· Having more frequent military and homecoming memories.
According to the VA, it can be helpful for veterans to focus on the present and to engage in the activities that are most meaningful and valuable to them. Such activities will not change the past or the things one cannot control, but can help life feel meaningful and reduce distress.
By developing ways of adapting to ongoing events and situations, veterans can gain a stronger sense of being able to deal with challenges, a greater sense of meaning or purpose, and an ability to mentor and support others in similar situations.
Our veterans and current service members should not have to face these difficulties alone. Remember to reach out to the veterans and service members, as well as their families, in your life. Let them know their sacrifice is appreciated and you are here to help.
My heart goes out to the families of the 13 service members recently killed in Kabul, including Logansport native, Corporal Humberto Sanchez – May their sacrifice never be forgotten.
As always, feel free to contact my office with your thoughts on these or other topics at Senator.Messmer@iga.in.gov or by calling toll-free at 800-382-9467.