Warriors With Character—Welcome Home
Our nation’s all-volunteer troops are returning from Iraq and beginning their return from Afghanistan. For many of these warriors, though, the war is far from over. In fact, a courageous battle to regain normalcy has just begun.
Consider this: many of the returnees will experience post-traumatic stress. For most, the experiences will fade away after a few months, with or without treatment. But over time as many as a quarter to a third of our returning warriors will not get better on their own and will need help. And many others will be facing extensive rehabilitation from traumatic injury. They will learn to function without arms or legs, or adjust to the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury.
This homeward bound group of military who saw action in Iraq and Afghanistan knows what’s happening to them. They received military training about post-traumatic stress as well as about traumatic brain and limb injuries. Thanks for this goes to work by Secretaries Defense, Veterans Affairs and medical community to de-stigmatize the mental and physical health problems that result from war.
We all want to help the young troops coming home, and the best place to start is to listen to them. They do not want to sit with therapists, nor do they want to be made into career patients. They want to get on with their lives–not talk and ponder. They need practical help. They need jobs. They need help with childcare. They need homes retrofitted to accommodate injuries.
For our part, we have listened and responded with a new book project entitled Courage in America: Warriors with Character, part of The Character Building Project. The book will highlight some warrior and warrior-families with great courage who have successfully–and against formidable odds–established new post-war lives after suffering traumatic injuries. We hope that by showcasing the good character of these young American heroes, their caregivers and families, we will inspire newly injured troops to successfully recover, and we will motivate others to find other ways to welcome and help our heroic warriors.
This site will help caring civilians to listen directly to our returning troops. For many college-aged youth, this is an opportunity to meet and help their contemporaries who chose a harder path right out of high school. Read their stories by clicking on their names in the box to the left. Meet their families and loyal friends in their photo galleries. Visit their favorite links and find ways you can say thank you in action as well as in words.