“After husband’s tragic death, widow takes on PTSD” – Stars and Stripes

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In this May 2, 2014 photo, family, friends and members of the military gather beside Kryn Miner’s casket after his funeral outside St. Lawrence Church in Essex, Vt. His widow Amy Miner, third from left, believes the Veterans Affairs health system must do more to help veterans who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after returning home. EMILY MCMANAMY, BURLINGTON FREE PRESS/AP

Widow takes on cause of PTSD awareness…

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In this May 12, 2014 photo, Amy Miner, of Essex, Vt., poses in Burlington, Vt., with an April 2013 photo of herself and husband Kryn Miner, an Army veteran who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and who was shot to death by one of their children in April after threatening to kill the family. Amy Miner believes the Veterans Affairs health system must do more to help veterans who struggle with PTSD after returning home. HOLLY RAMER/AP

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The story referenced in this blog post, is very real to me, and the tragedy can happen to any family living with the painful circumstances and toxic behavior connected with family dynamics in the privacy of home.   I write in my book about the constant fear and threat that can make loved ones feel trapped and in fear of their own lives.  Constant outbursts of anger and rage causing emotional and physical abuse have the potential of a life threatening action either as a suicide to end the pain, or the ultimate act of defense by a loved one to escape the nightmare of domestic violence.

We must do more in our communities at the local level to take ownership for helping veterans on their journey of healing in life after war.  In my view, the VA does not currently have the capacity to provide critical care or appropriate personal connection with veterans when they return home.  Veterans suffering from the painful symptoms of PTS feel lost when they return home.  If there is an unrealistic expectation of what the VA is supposed to do or not do, responsibility for caregiving in the local community can suffer.  The lack of speedy access to “tender loving care” and the ignorance of denial at home where our warriors live, puts lives at risk every day.  I know from my own childhood experience how scared we were as siblings observing my father’s frequent rages and angry outbursts.  We had no choice but to stay out of the line of fire as much as we could.  We couldn’t wait for the opportunity to get away from home to be with friends or in the safety of teachers at school.

If this tragic story, along with my own reflective comments, rings a bell in your own circumstance, or with someone else, do not hesitate to seek help from friends and neighbors, including local mental health resources.  Do not give up or wait for the VA to act.  The local community must take action as the primary caregivers of veterans who struggle adjusting to life following extended deployments in combat.  Don’t let your hero feel lost in the shuffle of a higher bureaucracy and alone at home suffering in silence not wanting to impose on friends, family, and local resources.  Our warriors protected us and risked their lives.  Now, we must do our part to care for them when they return home.

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation, A Son’s Story

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

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