A family practitioner for over 25 years, Dr. Hubbard knows the medical world inside and out. Frustrated by managed care and the lack of time doctors were able to spend educating patients, he launched James Hubbard's My Family Doctor: The Magazine That Makes Housecalls, a national magazine written by health care practitioners that is his answer to hurried doctor visits, conflicting medical studies, and complicated treatment options.
It is difficult to imagine the sacrifice and horrors our heroes, past and present, have faced, but we must never forget. They have protected and taken care of us. It’s inconceivable that we would not do the same for them.
After our vets come home, the physical and mental scars do not go away. In fact, they affect the family they come home to also.
According to Science Daily, there are an estimated 23,816,000 veterans. The United States is getting close to 5,000 casualties in Iraq alone. Perhaps 10 or 15 times that many have been injured, and about 15-30% suffer posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). We’ve become aware of increased domestic violence rates after soldiers come back home.
I could quote more statistics, but our heroes are not just statistics. They are our neighbors, co-workers, family members, and patients. On November 11, thank them for their service. Be aware of their unique perspectives and health problems. Get involved if you suspect a problem.
Know the warning signs for PTSD, suicide, and domestic partner abuse. If you have suspicions, make sure the person is getting help. If he or she is not, talk to the vet or the vet’s family, call the nearest VA hospital, or call one of the following hotlines:
Here’s an important Department of Veterans Affairs suicide prevention PSA featuring Gary Sinise:
Have you ever helped someone in trouble? Please share your story in the comments section below.
By James Hubbard, MD, MPH
My Family Doctor Blog
[Originally posted November 11, 2008, James Hubbard’s My Family Doctor Web site.]