Who are we?
CombatPTSD.org was started out of an intense passion for serving veterans. PTSD and suicide are two of the most challenging issues facing our military and veterans today. Because of the cost on military members and their families, we decided it was time. Time to find a new approach. People often want to know “About the authors”, so here is some information about who we are. Dr. Williams serves as the Division psychiatrist over the Texas Army National Guard as well as the Medical Director of Behavioral Health at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, Texas. He has deployed to Benin, Africa. He and his wife Karen have one son and reside in Tyler, Texas. Dr. Tharp serves as the PTSD Program Manager in Waco, Texas and is a Lt Col in the Air Force Reserves at the United States Air Force Academy. He experienced first-hand the cost of war on our military men and women after serving as a NATO commander in Kandahar, Afghanistan. It was his responsibility to notify the country or service of those KIA and that of civilians as well, among many other responsibilities. He and his wife, Katherine, have two active boys and live in China Spring, Texas.
Why are we doing this?
Current research says between 18-22 veterans kill themselves every day, but we believe that even one is too many. Today, over 91 percent of casualties survive due to the incredible advances in surgical care. And for those who survive we are incredibly indebted for their service and sacrifice as well. That means though that the invisible wounds of war for those who survive as well as those who witness first-hand the impact of war, are very prevalent. The current evidenced based treatments for PTSD at their foundation are based on female sexual assault. At CombatPTSD.org, we believe that combat trauma is very different than sexual assault. We have both seen the benefits of such an approach and are very thankful for their efforts to serve our military community. However, we also believe that another approach was seriously needed given the basis for such a treatment. Through personal experience, sacrifice, research and integrating military tactics, concepts and strategy, Dr. Tharp and Dr. Williams have created a totally different approach to PTSD treatment. We believe that using the veterans training and military language and concepts, we are able to help treat PTSD at the core. Why? Because we know from personal experience that you are not broken. Instead, you have been trained through classical conditioning to respond in a certain way. And although you received intense up-training in preparation for war, there is very little down-training. That leaves the veteran in a state in which they continue to respond in the civilian world, almost exactly the way they would respond in a war zone. And this often leaves us feeling as if we are not normal and leaves friends and family wondering when the “old” us is going to come back. Through the Resiliency Formation Training Series, we help veterans to understand: First, how they were trained and the impact this has had on their military and post-military career and; Second, how to integrate these concepts with classical conditioning and insight to help unpair the triggers that they are experiencing. If this is difficult to understand at this point, no fear! We explain these concepts step by step in our program. And we are committed to offering this to each and every veteran free of charge. You paid the price when you agreed to serve.
What are we doing?
We have created a program that uses military language and concepts such as Exit Strategy and End State to help veterans understand what their New Mission is in life. We have written a workbook and are currently in process of creating video teaching modules to accompany every workbook chapter. Our goal is to make these resources available to every single combat veteran and first responder free of charge. To give them a future and a hope. We explain concepts that warriors can relate to. Family members and providers often hear, “You don’t understand because you’ve never been there”. Well, we have. We have experienced the sting of death and the aftermath that flashbacks and triggers can cause. We’ve seen people kept in bondage for years after their military career because they have never received the kind of training that would help them to understand why they are the way they are. We have sometimes lost that feeling of purpose and meaning in life. If time was the ultimate healer, not one WWII or Vietnam veteran would have issues. It’s not time that heals, it’s what you do with it that matters. We do not shy away from using any resource available to the person, including spirituality. We believe in taking a person where they are, but caring about them enough to not leave them there. We will not leave you behind is not just a slogan, it’s a promise. There are a lot of veterans that have this same passion for others, but until now, they have not had the resources to know exactly what to do. Our intent is to provide that training to veterans so that they can become as healthy as possible, and then reach out to others who are in need. We don’t believe in wounded warriors, we believe in healing heroes. And that is how we will change and provide for our most valuable asset in and after the military – our people. In war, we did not have the time to address the psychological impact that we experienced. We had a job to do and we did it. Sometimes, it was the job we experienced that caused us the most grief up and to include moral injury. But now, we have a New Mission – to get healthy so that the psychological impact of war that we experienced does not come home to our soil. We fought an away game on terrorism for a reason. We do not believe in bringing things home. Well, good news, you can find the resources to address the invisible wounds of war without having to burden your family or loved ones. I personally believed that by coming home and talking about it, it would adulterate my relationship at home. For me, the whole point of going to war over there was so that our loved ones do not have to experience it here. Brothers and sisters, that is why we are in this together.
What can you do?
You can join us in this endeavor. We want everyone to get involved in the process of first, their own healing, but second, to reach out to those who are struggling with their own demons. This means we need to treat and train not only the warrior, but their family and their community of providers. We have a daunting task but failure is not an option. The price is simply too high. We will adapt and overcome but we need your help! This help includes physically – by being available to those in need; mentally – by being as healthy as possible; spiritually – because we all need help and each other; and financially – to make this training series available to everyone who asks for free. We have put our own money, sweat and tears into this project and we do not take a dime out of it. So, will you help us reach out to those who need it?
- Like and Share our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Combat-PTSD-1020801554627796/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
- Go directly to our website: org
- Tell other veterans and first responders that they can sign up to join our waiting list for our free books and training series at: http://combatptsd.org/members/signup
- Keep up to date through our Events page: http://combatptsd.org/events/
- We are willing to go wherever we are asked and the resources are available: Keep informed of our free conferences at: http://combatptsd.org/events/
- We are able to provide everything free of charge to date based on grants and our own investment. In order to continue to grow and meet the overwhelming demand, we need the resources to continue supplying our books, conferences, modules, etc., all free of charge. If you know of a grant that people might be interested in helping us help others, or if you simply feel led to help in the cause as well, please contact us at information@combatPTSD.org or give back at: http://combatptsd.org/members/signup/donation
- Contact us directly at CombatPTSD@yahoo.com