Hope: Mantra of an Organization Helping Veterans
Writer / Tonja Talley . Photographer / Chris Williams
Americans everywhere salute our men and women of the armed forces both present and yesteryear for their sacrifices to defend our nation and her freedom. When a Hoosier veteran’s tour of duty ends, their thoughts head home to the beautiful hills of our southern counties, north through valleys of waving corn and grain, to the white foam on the northern shores of Lake Michigan. It is a time of peace and celebration. Nevertheless, for many veterans and soldiers who experienced combat, coming home may trigger the start of a personal, private war.
Shell shock. Combat fatigue. Vietnam syndrome. All are evolving terms of an affliction we today call combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), resulting from the way war invades, wounds and transforms many a combat service member’s spirit.
Warrior’s Hope, Inc.
History, along with combat veterans’ stories, has given mental health professionals a greater knowledge of PTSD and other mental health disorders, bringing hope to many soldiers and their families. One of the effective treatments used today by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in its mental health recovery program involves peer support recovery groups, such as Warrior’s Hope, Inc. in Greenwood.
Loren Minnix, the founder and president of Warrior’s Hope, explained the organization started meeting with veterans and military service members in September 2006. “Our organization’s desire has always been to help the soldier or veteran, no matter what branch of the military of any war or of any gender, readjust back into civilian life.”
Minnix believes the support groups bring hope and success to a service member’s readjustment, including those who suffer from various military traumas, such as PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI). A Marine veteran himself, Minnix understands the need to talk with others who can relate to the same experiences. “Veterans attend and enjoy the support groups because they feel comfortable discussing personal issues among other veterans who have ‘been there and done that.’”
Trained by the lead psychologist at the Roudebush VA Medical Center, Warrior’s Hope facilitators keep the sessions focused and any misunderstandings corrected. Minnix says the sessions start out with a reminder of conversational conduct, plus a statement of encouragement from the Bible or other sources. The bulk of the sessions focuses mostly on issues of life hopes, fears and frustrations. Within each group, informational resources, books and study materials offer guidance for the members in experiencing life’s joys and successes.
In fact, one of the veterans recently shared how his Warrior’s Hope peer-to-peer group helped him. The veteran explained how he had suffered PTSD, anxiety, anger and frustration every single morning since Vietnam. Recently, the veteran’s wife commented how he seemed different on that particular morning. While taking his dog for a walk, the veteran realized what had changed. For the first time since Vietnam, he had awoken free of any sense of anger or anxiety. He later told the group, “I was sad about what I had experienced, but it no longer has a grip on me.”
The veteran’s chains had been broken, and now he lives free.
Hope is the mantra of Warrior’s Hope. If you need assistance and new hope from your personal war battle, contact Warrior’s Hope at 317-412-2428. The organization is a 501( c )(3) public charity and not connected with any other Warrior organization. There is no charge for any services performed.