Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Incarcerated US Veteran

What should we do to help the number of our veterans serving time in state and federal prisons for serious crimes? The numbers decreased from a high of 203,000 in 2004 to 181,500 in 2014. The Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report says that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness. For many US veterans with PTSD, the transition back into civilian life is a rough road towards recovery. For some of these veterans, they are turning to drugs and alcohol where they see that as the only alternative to alleviate their ongoing internal battle with PTSD. The BJS study shows that the stressors from war experiences from combat duty have created health and mental problems. To name just a few of those problems; anger, major depression (37%), theater veteran’s health problems where more than half reported a history of arthritis, one-third reported a history of heart disease and nervous system diseases, and many reported deafness (hearing loss). A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) report says that those with current warzone PTSD were more likely to report a history of chronic health conditions (agent orange for the Vietnam veterans). The VA report says that 2/3 of veterans from the Vietnam War, with warzone-related PTSD, had behavioral or substance abuse problems.

 

I believe that if nothing is done to remedy the continuing problem in their recovery, the furtherance of these veterans mental health decline will lead to anger, health problems, and criminal acts, the destruction of their family, going to jail, the cost to society, and possible suicide. Additionally, for non-violent crimes incarceration does more harm than good! In recent years nationwide, there has been a startup of veterans’ programs that have been developed to help with the veteran’s recovery; veterans treatment court, veterans justice outreach, and veterans court system. All are used to avoid the unnecessary incarceration of veterans diagnosed with PTSD from warzone trauma. The Vietnam veteran for many years received NO therapy for PTSD! The church was ill-prepared at the time, but now I believe that the church can do better in equipping the saints of God for the work of the ministry in Christ. We have all read the Bible verses of scriptures from Matthews 25:37-40, that says; “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did see you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick and in prison and go to visit you?'”The King will reply, ‘I tell the truth, whatever you did for one of these least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ With the US continued involvement in the Afghanistan War, we are going to have our service men and women returning home with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These veterans need our support and help in their recovery!

 

References:

1. National Center For PTSD. Veterans with PTSD in the Justice System (2008).

2. VeteransStatistics: PTSD, Depression, TBI, Suicide (2015).

3. VA-PTSD and the Vietnam Veteran: A Lasting Issue 40 Years Later (2015).

4. British Journal of Psychiatry-Documented Combat Exposure of US Veterans

Seeking Treatment for Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

(September 30, 2004).

5. New Federal Study Shows Half of Incarcerated Veterans Have Mental Disorder

(December 28, 2016).

Advertisements

How will this class specifically help you in your ministry calling?

Conflicts, boundaries, and marriage are areas that I may enounter in my calling. Anytime you are dealing with people there can come a time where aconflict in disagreement may come up. Establishing boundaries is always a good thing for many reasons: not skilled thoroughly in the field of counseling or in other areas that involve people giving advice as a lay person where the person is lead to believe that you’re with a church. The marriage portion of the class has already helped me to take a look at my role as a husband and the leader in the home. Instead of being in the “B-” grade, the class has moved into the upper grade of “B+.” I additionally believe that anything about people-to- people contact ministry will contribute to a better approach in handling a conflict from a scriptural context. The Bible is our instruction manual, a guide to dealing with family conflicts from disagreements over  finances, to raising the children, to just about anything with people in everyday life.

 

What did you like about this class? What topics covered more effectively?

The conflict, boundaries, and marriage I like the most. Setting up boundaries, I didn’t do as well in this area. The listening portion I got lost, there is alot of additional words that I feel were not needed make it clear as possible when lecturing. I will explain later.

 

Were there any questions that needed to be reviewed by CLI for better clarity?

No. Everything that i have learned is very good or better in some areas. Since enrollment into CLI, I have enjoyed it beyond words.

 

Are there specific topics you believe should have been covered?

No.

 

What could be done to improve this course?

Presentation!

I’m a disabled veteran at 65, and I have a hearing loss. I also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). When presenting information to the hearing impaired, it is best to slow down when talking so that they understand completely every word because one word could mean a ‘B’ grade instead of an ‘A’ grade. Finally, PTSD, it takes our  brains a little longer  to comprehend, where I have to go over several times, and if there is reading material to read, here to, I will read twice or more times. Pastoral Care and marriage did cause me some trouble where I received two ‘C’ grades during my study. I got a lot out of the class, and I enjoyed learning new things that I feel will help me in my walk with Christ and my relations with people. Thank you!

 

 

The Heavens Declare

Located within the Milky way is our solar system: our sun is the center of that system, our earth and its moon and eight planets makes up the remainder. The size of the Milky Way is enormous! I had no idea how large this cluster of stars and dust aparticles were, where the planet earth we live on resides. I first saw the Milky Way cluster of stars and dust particles while stationed in the Republic of Korea with the US Army in 1969. When assigned to night duty on a missile site located on top of a mountain, I would sit outside watching the rotation of stars around me for hours. The cluster of stars would stretch for miles. If I were lucky, in the night sky, there would be an appearance of a shooting star. I would see, but unknown to me at that time, “the Hand of God.”  In all this, I see His hand daily, even in the flowers and trees growing in my yard. Our God continues His work keeping His creation in order. We serve an awesome God! We see His beauty in His creation, His power and His Godhead. He is, without question, in total control, even over our lives.

In Isaiah 42:5, Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk on it.

As a twelve years old child, I would sit in my parent’s back yard viewing the wonders of God’s creation. At twelve, I knew that He, the Lord God made everything: the plants, the air I breathe, the birds chirping in the trees, and I knew also, that God made me. During my long sits, I would ask God, “who made, YOU?” I received no answer! That answer would come twelve years later at the right time.

Psalm 139:14, I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

What I have learned from Astronomy (180), and from the Holy Bible and the universe God created, is how the universe is in perfect harmony. NCG 4622 spiral galaxy, I found to be amazing with all the  known galaxies rotating counter clockwise, where NCG 4622 spiral galaxy that may be spinning to a different beat. Spiral galaxy NCG 4622 rotates in the clockwise direction, with its outer arms pointing towards the direction of rotation. That is quite strange, indeed! Astronomy has helped to see the another side of God’s creative power and beauty; how stars are born and how they die, how He keeps everything in perfect balance throughout HIS universe, created for His pleasure.

Colossians 1:16-17, for by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth. All things created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

Since my enrollment into Astronomy (180), I’m coming into contact with books, articles and movies on astronomy. Such as a copy of National Geographic titled, “Exploring Space (Journey To The Edge Of The Universe)” and “The Hand of God.” Both of these books have helped me to understand the universe we live in. This course  of study has been a very enlightening adventure for me. On my visits to Wasilla, Alaska, Veterans Counselling Center, I share with anyone who will listen to me talk about astronomy. I also feel that Christians should look into astronomy to learn about our creative God that we serve.

A quote from “the Hand of God”: For after all, what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, central point nothing and all and infinity far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginning are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.

Psalm 8:3-5, When I consider Your Heavens, the works of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You ordained, What is man that you are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

In Christ

Rudolph Ferdinand