“…For the Sake of the Child” Empathize with the children of parents who suffer from PTSD!

http://www.militarychild.org/

“Ever wonder how a military lifestyle affects children? Tune in for a compelling discussion about military-connected youth & their behavior.”http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=4469716410121705800#editor/target=post;postID=6040106604398415601

I know from personal experience living as a child of a WWII combat veteran in a highly toxic home how children are affected.  The above link is encouraging to me in many ways, but still painful to think that none of us as kids, nor our parents, or the community, or the US Navy knew much about PTSD, especially how it damaged family members.  It took me years to develop confidence and a positive attitude for the future.  Joining the US Navy at age 17 gave me my first taste of feeling like a man with a destiny and the confidence started to build. My US Navy experience, although cut short after two years because of secondary PTSD,  provided excellent mentoring and vocational education; and gave me a big jump start as a young man.  Although growing up too fast is often a tad challenging, and the pain of learning from personal mistakes costly, my life now is a blessing at age 65.  The long and short of this story is that we need to pay more attention to the children of military families who are challenged with parents who are deployed in combat and life after war.  Transitioning and growing up as a healthy, happy, and productive adult can be facilitated more effectively with programs that address the issues and challenges of children who grow up in a military family, especially where extended deployment in combat is a factor.  My parents had no coaching or training to help them understand how to parent or where to seek help, if help even existed.  Those who suffer from the symptoms of PTSD are often so focused on day to day personal survival that children are left to fend for themselves.  After-school programs similar to my own involvement in http://www.neighborsforkids.org can also go along way to provide all children the one to one mentoring that makes a huge difference in their young lives.  Listen to the above interview link, it is very powerful!

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

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