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Not all wounds are visible.
Invisible injuries can remain long after the battle is over: depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injuries among them. The symptoms aren’t always clear, and may not be what you think. Like any wound, they can fester and worsen if ignored. They can get in the way of being a parent, sibling, soldier, friend and co-worker.
If untreated, invisible injuries can lead to an onslaught of problems including domestic violence, alcoholism and even suicide. Rates of each run high among vets compared to the civilian population.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Seeking help sooner rather than later can spare you and those around you a lot of pain.
Many vets learn to cope with these wounds, and come away stronger. One Iraq vet who fought to get his life back on track describes a renewed sense of purpose. “You know, I almost died, so I figured there’s a lot of stuff I need to do.” He went on to start a nonprofit outdoor adventure group for disabled people.
- Contact your health care professional
- Request an IAVA Veteran Transition Manager (click here)
- Find your nearest VA hospital by calling 877-222-VETS
- Check out the Vet Center Readjustment Services
- Call the VFW or American Legion for soldier support services
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