If you have ever lived outside of the country in a foreign culture for any length of time, you know how strange it feels to return to your hometown in the United States. For returning veterans, in addition to readjusting to the culture of "home", the enormity of reacclimating is compounded by intense, sometimes traumatic experiences that are difficult to reconcile and process. As many veterans of all ages have said, not all returning servicmen and women know what services they are entitled to or recognize that what they are feeling is something other veterans are feeling too.
On this Community Conversation we discuss some of the challenges that arise when returning to civilian life and services created to help resolve war related readjustment issues. We also have an opportunity to hear what some veterans have shared about their experiences in writing, and talk with a former army chaplain and an Iraqi veteran who is using his experiences to reach out to other returning vets.
Dr. David Hunsinger, Medical Director of the Binghamton VA Outpatient Clinic.
Michael Blake, Iraq Veteran (2003-04 active duty) served 3 years 7 months in US Army, and is the Project Manger of the Veteran's Sanctuary Project underway near Ithaca NY. He is also active with the Combat Paper Project. (photos from project in Savannah , GA)
Allison Miller, PhD. Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Team Leader at the Binghamton Vet Center (1-866-716-8213) "Getting the word out to Veterans about services that are available to them, reducing stigma in seeking those services, cultivating confidence that these services can help, and educating the community about how to be supportive are vital to healing veterans and their families."
Pastor Bob McGehee, Chaplain at Fort Drum in 2003 and served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991 in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Currently Pastor at West Endicott Baptist Church.