Serving New Hampshire Veterans

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1 Serving New Hampshire Veterans Presented by Jo Moncher, Bureau Chief, Military Programs New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

2 Agenda NH Veteran Snapshot NH Veteran Highlights NH Military & Civilian Partnerships Military Culture & NH Examples Recommendations

3 Manchester Community College Manchester Community College has a long standing tradition of providing quality education and training to veteran and active duty personnel and their families. Established as the State Trade School at Manchester in 1945, the school was founded in order to train returning WWII soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen for life after military service.

4 Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Community Based Military Programs Mission Statement To collaborate, coordinate and communicate with military and civilian provider groups in the delivery of services to New Hampshire veterans, services members and their families.

5 NH Veteran Snapshot Approximately 115,000 NH Veterans 5 th highest Veteran Population (per capita) in US Veterans account for almost 11% of NH s population Over 7,000 wartime post 9/11 veterans 45% of NH veterans are over 65 years of age Over 1/3 of NH veterans are Vietnam Veterans National Guard State Fort New Hampshire 2 VA Medical Centers & 3 Vet Centers

6 What is a Veteran? A Veteran is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of up to and including their life.

7 ASK THE QUESTION Have you ever served in the military?

8 What is Different About the War Today? 1 in 4 Americans have a connection to the Military Over 2 million veterans have served in this war High % coming home with PTSD and TBI Nearly half experience multiple deployments Psychological issues rise with repeated deployments Veterans can travel from a war zone to their living room in just a few days. Civilian Soldiers Army One Source Fact Sheet

9 What Soldiers and Marines Experienced Were attached/ambushed 92.5% Saw buddy wounded 23.9% Had hand-to-hand combat 15.8% Caused death of enemy 55.7% Caused death of non-combat 20.2% Saw bodies/remains 94.5% Knew someone injured/killed 85.0% Have handled corpses/human remains 50+% Saved soldier or civilian 20.2% Were wounded or injured 11.6% Source: Walter Reed Institute Research

10 Today s Military No one comes back unchanged. Colonel (Dr.) Tom Burke Department of Defense Director of Mental Health Policy

11 Afghanistan Veteran After returning home, I find that I get frustrated easily with others. People here at home get upset so quickly over the little things long lines at the grocery store, busy traffic. Don t they know that these are small things and we all need to be simply grateful that we live in a free country. NH Army National Guard

12 Admiral Mike Mullen Former Chair, Joint Chiefs of Staff Recommendations to New Hampshire Spring, 2014 DC, Feds or DoD are not able to care for all of our veterans; states and communities need to make it happen Veterans are not going to seek help; we need to find them Veterans need to know the path (for services) Need peer navigators

13 Risks of Ignoring the Need Potential for Increase in: Divorce rate Alcohol abuse Drug abuse Spousal abuse Child Abuse Suicide Vehicle Accidents/Death

14 The Role of Education in Serving NH Veterans It can t be just about education. We need to identify the impediments to our students successful negotiation of the classroom experience.it s never been about the brain power it s about the other stuff. Regina McCarthy Assistant Dean of Academic Student Services UNH - Manchester

15 The Role of Education in Serving Our Military Fallen But Not Forgotten In Memory of Travis Disiato Report By Keith Dyment College Composition University of New Hampshire

16 Military & Civilian Partnerships Justice Involved Veterans Task Force State Suicide Prevention Council Military & Civilian Homeless Committee North Country Veterans Committee Vet to Vet Peer Support Program Commission on PTSD and TBI Care Coordination Program (post 9/11) Mil-Civ Alcohol and Drug Committee

17 NH Commission on PTSD and TBI 2012 Survey to 1,200 NH Veterans Included 1/3 post 9/11 & 1/3 Vietnam Vets Top Barriers in Receiving Care 1) I am embarrassed and ashamed of my need for services. 2) I do not feel understood by the providers who serve me.

18 Military Branches Personnel Army Soldier Air Force Airman Navy Sailor Marine Corps Marine Coast Guard Guardian PTSD 101-Military Culture National Center for PTSD

19 A Few Lessons Learned in Understanding Military Culture and Working with Military Communities 1. Soldier vs. Marine 2. Army Guard vs. Air Guard 3. Say thank you not sorry you had to go. 4. Say I look forward to seeing you soon not I disagree with the President; you should not have to go. 5. Bureaucracy of VA (be patient & assertive) 6. Mental health issues are huge: Federal and State systems are not equipped to serve our military communities. We need everyone s help. 7. Need to improve ACCESS to health care. 8. Creating military-civilian partnerships is a critical step in serving NH veterans, service members and their families.

20 Suggestions for Serving our Military Provided by NH Deployment Cycle Support Program Easter Seals Care Coordinators, If you say you are going to do something, do it. And don t have pity for their circumstances. They are people just like me and and my family (with the same needs). We share many of the same basic values they choose to serve in a different way. They are also moms, dads and spouses and when they are not working I leave their ranks at the door. Knowing the lingo helps the service member feel comforted that you know more about them. I have some red, white and blue in my office now. I try not to complain about any hardships or inconveniences I might personally experience, like working late or on weekends. I think that is a turn-off for most of them, who have sacrificed so much.

21 The Soldier s Creed I am an American Soldier. I am a warrior and a member of the team. I serve the people of the United States of America and live the Army Values. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my Warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and my self. I am an expert and I am a professional. I stand ready to deploy, engage and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life. I am an American Soldier. 6

22 Iraq Veteran Three weeks ago I was driving Humvees and kicking down doors, and now after three weeks of demobilization, signing papers and getting medical checkups, I am suddenly back on the streets at home, but I can t yet make myself understand it or believe it. Welcome Them Home, Help Them Heal

23 Vietnam Veteran When in uniform, you follow orders, no matter how you feel. When given a command, you use whatever force is necessary. Then you come back to civilian life and those things land you in jail. Welcome Them Home, Help Them Heal

24 Iraq Veteran When I was overseas, life was simple. I protected my buddy and kept my weapon ready. The rules were easy to understand. Now that I have returned, there are too many rules and so much that I don t understand. Massachusetts Army Active Duty

25 Spouse of Veteran with TBI When we are standing in line at a fast food restaurant, my husband takes a long time to order his food. People have no patience. I wish my husband would always wear his TBI Shirt that says, I have a Traumatic Brain Injury because I served YOUR country. Brain Injury Center of NY

26 Persian Gulf War Veteran For seven month, (after my return), I was like a zombie. I was in a haze. I couldn t work. I could hardly function. Finally, I don t know why, I just gradually came out of it. Welcome Them Home, Help Them Heal

27 Persian Gulf War Veteran I will only speak to another combat Marine about my experiences in the Desert. No one else can understand what it means to be a Marine or what it means to be a combat Marine. Marine Veteran, Wisconsin

28 Military or Veterans Impacting New Generations MOVING Grant Award! 1 st Place - $5,000 2 nd Place - $3,000 3 rd Place - $2,000 Goal: To enhance the experience of the student veteran! Award Guidelines Announced: Jan 15, 2015 Application Deadline: April 15, 2015 Recipients Announced: May 1, 2015 Implementation of Programs: Fall of 2015/Spring of 2016 Presented by: NH Commission on PTSD and TBI Sponsored by: LTC Partners

29 A Few Recommendations Organize round table discussions (with veterans, students, faculty, community leaders & volunteers) to identify interest and focus. Ask the question, have you ever served in the military? Identify the community based services in your area Increase military culture awareness, education and appreciation within the faculty, students and community. How, when & where do you promote a veteran outreach message. Increase and expand your military safety net.

30 Proud Men & Women Difficult to Accept Help These are generally very good people, eager to help, feel awkward and embarrassed asking for help. It took enormous courage for them to walk into your office. Forgive them if they cancel an appointment. Give them time to find the words for their entire story. They probably feel that you can never understand. Do not mention political beliefs. They did what their country asked of them. That s more than 99% of Americans are willing to do. They can be guarded, not trusting. That trait has kept them safe. Easter Seals Care Coordinator NH Deployment Cycle Support Program,

31 Thank You! Thank You for your leadership and service to New Hampshire s Military Community!

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