Warrior (n): a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage or aggressiveness.
Trauma (n): a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.
It had been over five years since *Marc slept peacefully for more than one night at a time. The knowledge of the inevitable flashbacks of what he’d experienced during is seven years in Special Operations, with eight deployments became his personal nightmare. He served his country as a Sniper, protecting his teammates, and erasing the enemy as a threat.
“I look back on the man I was when I was in, and I know deep down, he can never resurface,” stated Marc.
“He saw things, no person can ever be fully equipped for or prepared to see…let alone, do.”
For years, he numbed the visions of pain, death and suffering he’d witnessed first-hand with bourbon; shoving them to the back of his mind where they festered. The feelings of survivor’s guilt, “I should have stayed in and done more,” haunted him.
Marc found himself having bouts of frustration and real anger, all of which he chalked up to the life of a single father, work stress and lack of sleep. Exhausted, Marc lived virtually every day “only partially sober.” He functioned for work and was always present for his kids – something he never compromised. Always the life of the party in social settings, he felt confident that people would think there was nothing wrong with him because he looked and acted normal.
What they didn’t see, was that when he was home alone, the isolation became the open door for his personal torment. He would shut himself away, finding the bottom of a bottle to black out the memories of years past.
The battlefield at home has proven to be a far greater a foe than any frontline – domestic or overseas. Veterans, active members of the military, first responders, and firefighters are often faced with traumatic events during their service. The experiences they live each day slowly cause a feeling of dread that can lead to PTS and unravel into a dependency on alcohol and substance abuse as they seek comfort from nightmares, flashbacks, and more; further heightening the damage caused by the memories of those events.
Many of our nation’s heroes are faced with fighting this personal war, every day. They’ve used alcohol, prescription medication or self-medication to reduce the impact of these memories. However, life hasn’t become easier. In fact, these surface level managements only seem to drive deeper into that darkness. Have you ever pulled a weed from the ground only to see a new weed spring up in its place a few weeks later? This is how it is with the struggles our heroes face – if you don’t dig deep to grab the issue by the root, it will continue to exist and grow out of control.
Warriors Heart – a private treatment facility, exclusively for Warriors, providing care for addiction, chemical dependency & PTS for active military, veterans, law enforcement and first responders – understands the unique demands of our warriors, and works to successfully navigate healing and recovery while in the company of people who personally understand each experience.
The role of a warrior requires you to be combat-ready, while maintaining the capacity to serve as a counselor, executioner, priest, lawyer or social worker all at once. This deep sense of dignity, respect and
courage is more often the reason why so many of these men and women are unwilling to seek help, fearing it will jeopardize their jobs or make them look weak.
Warriors Heart recognizes the need for a cultural shift to provide these warriors with the support they deserve, without the stigma of appearing fragile; offering a sanctuary for sick and suffering members of the Warrior community to come together under one common goal – to recover.
Having experienced or witnessed a deeply distressing or terrifying event, seen innocent life taken, witnessed friends being wounded or been caught for what seemed like days in the heat of a firefight, some memories you’d rather forget. Some of your experiences leave a mark on you that changes the way you see the world.
“There are many different forms of PTS,” stated Tom Spooner, Co-Founder of Warriors Heart. “You can’t simply look at someone suffering from trauma and expect to treat them the same. Volunteer PTS, which is most common in Military and First Responders, requires a much different level of care than that of victim PTS. The trauma is different; therefore, the healing must be as well.”
One of the main concerns of dealing with those suffering with PTS is that it’s not visible. “You don’t see a missing a limb, scars or burns,” stated Spooner. “To the outside world you don’t appear any different from the person standing beside you. You’re not special, you have no issue, no disability to really claim. For many, they don’t feel as though their issue, isn’t severe enough.”
There is a well-known saying among veterans and first responders
“The only one that knows what a soldier is going through is another soldier.”
Regardless of how strong you are, how fit for battle you might believe yourself to be, some battles require a force. Warriors Heart knows first-hand the magnitudes of being in battle, and provides a place where that mentality, warriors helping warriors, resides in the hearts of every member of the team. Other warriors and team members personally connect with those who have reached a point in their life where they think they have nothing to live for; showing them that strength is found in this unique facility, that simply and truly believes in the power of the warrior community, the power of each human who walks through the door of Warriors Heart and the power of each graduate who proudly emerges through the gates after graduation.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken