I wanted to write something meaningful for my first blog post. It so happens that I received a telephone call from a friend, that I served in Iraq and Afghanistan with, two days ago that another friend of ours, a Veteran of the Iraq and Afghan Wars died in his sleep. Normally, you would think that it is peaceful to pass in your sleep, the thing here is that the guy never reached 50 years of age. Following the wars, he battled with all of the signs and symptoms of PTSD but didn’t get the help he needed. Now another child will grow up without a parent, another spouse mourns her loss, and a family puts closure on the grief they’ve experienced for years.
Many Soldiers and Veterans do not get the help they need because they believe a stigma will follow. How can you ask for help if your a Warrior? If you are strong enough to throw rounds downrange, then why can’t you suck it up and drive on? These are common questions in military culture. The reality is that it takes a Warrior to ask for help. There are many resources out there today to get help and avoid problems.
If you or someone you know is experiencing what appears to be mood swings, a hard time concentrating, loss of memory, waking up in the middle of the night, and/ or difficulty sleeping, you should talk to someone at the Veterans Administration (VA). If you don’t want to go to the VA, reach out to a friend, or a battle buddy, and talk it out. You can also go to this website and take an online self-assessment. At least this will give you a gauge to see where you may be at. For more information on Veteran Resources in New York go to https://www.nysba.org/VetsResources/. The New York State Bar Association put together this great resource, so don’t be afraid to use it.
As warriors, we must fight for one another and break the silence. There is no stigmatism with PTSD if we all stick together and help each other out as Brothers and Sisters in Arms. It is part of our Warrior Ethos to never leave a fallen comrade, and we will not do it now that we are stateside. Our Ethos never fail us!
In New York, there are Veterans Courts sporadic throughout the State. Veterans with unaddressed issues often find themselves eventually in a courtroom for a bad decision. I will continue advocating for Veterans Courts in each Judicial District to address the unique needs of Veterans and will have future posts updating our progress.
-Andres D. Gil, Esq.
DISCLOSURE: THIS BLOG POST IS NOT MEANT TO PROVIDE LEGAL ADVISE OR ASSISTANCE. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE OR RELATIONSHIP WILL FORM AS A RESULT OF THIS BLOG POST. THE POST IS MEANT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. CONSULT A LAWYER TO DISCUSS YOUR INDIVIDUAL LEGAL NEEDS.