This June we would like to pay tribute to our men and women in the armed services and their families by highlighting:
- National PTSD Awareness Month
- Army Birthday
- Women Veterans Day
June is National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month
National PTSD Awareness Month is intended to raise public awareness about issues related to PTSD, reduce the stigma associated with PTSD, and help ensure that those suffering from the invisible wounds of war receive proper treatment. In addition, Saturday, June 27, 2020 is PTSD Awareness Day.
What is PTSD?
People may develop PTSD when they are exposed to or witness something traumatic like war, physical violence, sexual violence, and much more. After such events, a person may start suffering from symptoms if they are unable to process what happened to them or what they witnessed. Military members are not the only people to experience trauma that can lead to symptoms of PTSD. external link, but soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guard men and women, as well as military dependents are often at a higher risk due to the nature of military service.
Symptoms of PTSD might include:
- Disturbing memories, thoughts
- Having trouble sleeping
- Feeling irritable or angry
- Having trouble concentrating
- Feeling hyper-vigilant or on guard for fear of danger
- Experiencing flashback memories
Resources for PTSD
As a part of National PTSD Awareness Month, it is important to help those who are suffering from PTSD find the resources they need to start the healing process. There are many resources for veterans, currently serving military members, dependents, and spouses. The Department of Veterans Affairs official site. external link has a large amount of information and advice. You can also learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s many tools and resources for PTSD. external link.
How It All Started
In 2010, in tribute to a North Dakota National Guard member who took his own life following two tours in Iraq, Senator Kent Conrad achieved official recognition of PTSD via a “day of awareness” (S. Res. 541). Suffering from PTSD, staff Sergeant Joe Biel died in 2007 in his home state after his return from duty. SSgt. Biel’s birthday, June 27, was selected as the official PTSD Awareness Day, which is now observed every year.
In 2014, the Senate designated the full month of June for “National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month” (S. Res. 481).
The official birthday of the United States Army is June 14, 1775. Army and Department of Defense agencies celebrating the Army Birthday usually do so on the base/local level with special events, ceremonies, social occasions, and more. Military service organizations such as the USO, AMVETS, The American Legion, VFW, and others also recognize the Army Birthday on a local or agency-wide level.
The Army Birthday Ball is a unique event held around the world – at military bases, community centers, civilian hotels and other establishments – to celebrate the creation of the U.S. Army. This ball is a black-tie formal event with military members wearing the full-service dress (“Dress Blues” or “Mess Dress” for military attendees). Many traditions associated with the Army Ball pay respect to those who sacrificed life and limb to serve, and to the newest members of the service and the future of the Army in general.
Read more at militarybenefits.info/army-birthday. external link.
Women Veterans Day
Friday, June 12, 2020 is Women Veterans Day. American women have proudly served in the military both formally and informally throughout the history of the U.S. and we would like to greatly acknowledge them.
How It All Started
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, in 2017, Texas had over 177,500 women veterans. This was the largest number of women veterans of any state. During the 85th legislative session in Texas, State Representative Victoria Neave filed House Bill 2698 to designate June 12 each year thereafter as Women Veterans Day, a day to recognize and honor women veterans throughout the state. The content of this bill was later attached as an amendment to Senate Bill 805 and was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 9, 2017.
How to Celebrate
The first Women Veterans Day on June 12, 2018, marked the 70th anniversary of the groundbreaking Women’s Army Corps legislation signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on June 12, 1948. In order to celebrate future Women Veterans Days, the National Association of American Veterans suggests the following activities:
- Post pictures of women veterans throughout your office or home.
- Coordinate and/or organize a trip to a local women’s veteran’s event.
- Write a tribute to a woman veteran to share with a group of women veterans.
You can read more: https://militarybenefits.info/women-veterans-day. external link.
Hear from Air Force veteran, Kaiser Permanente physician, Monica Pope.