As the year has passed I have continued to be impresses with the results the staff are able to obtain when working with Iraq and Afghanistan - Era veterans during their transition back home. As we all know, that transition may take a very long time but having an organization such as Vets 4 Vets available 24 / 7 to assist during the bumps in the road is priceless.
How can anyone write a review about an organization that has saved the lives of so many, and has the potential to change the lives of so many more. I learned about Vets4Vets V4V at a time in my life when the services of such an organization was sorely needed. I have learned that peer support, and the time to tell my story, are invaluable. I have watched first hand the power V4V peer support groups have on those who finally come to one of the workshops. I will continue to participate in such workshops not only as a casual observer but as one who will lead groups discussions, providing that vital peer support all veterans deserve after returning from the rigors of combat. There is no doubt in the mind of this 37 year Marine veteran that the program as presented by V4V is the most powerful ever offered. Semper Fi - Tim Bahr, CWO-4, USMC (Retired / IRR)
This organization assists Iraq/Afghanistan vets and helps us re-asimilate, as well as deal with WAr and all its isssues we carry home with us. I went to an alll expenses paid 'retreat' for FEMALE Warriors that is so new its unheard of---and yet there are many of us, myself included, who were wounded in the line of duty in Iraq/Afghanistan. We are the unknown ver population. Women are 'out there'--serving as gunners and every other field needed during a war. I was a field surgeon who served almost three years in Iraq in 3 tours until wounded in 2007. I spent almost 3 YEARS getting treatment for my injuries, lost my med license from a head injury, and was retired--spit out by the US Army. We females have many issues that we need the support and PRIVACY offered by Vets4Vets in this retreat---where we can cry if we need to and not be ashamed that we are weak for doing it. We hold up under pressure and have many war experiences the same as other guys---yet we are women, and we need each other, need female support, and need our sig. others to at least TRY and understand us. This organization put on a retreat where we opened up, learned, grew and healed together. They had volunteer counselors as well as a great outdoor experience in San Louis Obispo, Ca. I will never forget it. Since I am now a retired physician, I offered to be a volunteer for them--they do GREAT work. There is really no one concentrating on IRAQ and AFghanistan vets. We are different from Viet Nam, different from Desert Storm----we have unique experiences. They are meeting our NEEDS in a great way. They are a GREAT org!!!! I thank them every day for the healing I experienced at that retreat!
Vets4vets retreat. We held honest talks about our prior experiences during our military career. That included interventions with issues dealt during times away from family and friends. Fun activities were conducted to find common ground and to be able to trust each other and open up our internal pain and traumas encountered while over seas. The experiences helped each every one from the retreat to find happiness and lead other veterans to enter the Vets4vets meetings. Also these activities brought a sense of belonging and understanding, helping us realize that there aren't just few fellow soldiers dealing with everyday transition difficulties. We all dealt with it and thousands more and it was a way of opening up to a more healthier life. Vets4vets did and still carry on with their missions and I was proud to be a part of such movement.
My experience with Vets4Vets was really an empowering experience. I was able to freely bond with other veterans who encoutered some of the same hardships that I encountered. We were allowed a platform to be free and not judged by our thought and experiences. We were in a remote location that was close to nature and it created an even more serene atmosphere.
Vet4Vets has enable to move forward with my life and to realize thta their those who really care and are aware of veterans who suffer emotional and ohsycholigical issues as a result of serving out great nation in times of peace and combat. The organization made me realize thta I am NOT forgotten and thta their are others out there thta do suffer great emotional and phsycohological issues. I retired from the military and sufferred PTSD and other medical issues as a result of combat and felt alone and frighten and turned to alcohol to deal with my emotions as a result of PTSD. Vets4vets placed me in groups with other vets and made me realize thta their is hope for me and others like me. That their is an organization who truly cares for me. I can honestly say that if it were not for the group retreats, discussion groups, and the ability to share my turmoil and challenges in a quiet and safe environment, I would not be alive and sober today. Vets4vets is an organization that has made a positive and significant impact in life!!
First off let me say "I am NOT a COMBAT Vet"! I am a Marine Corps Vet and served with Fox Co. 2/8 2nd Mar Div. I am a "disabled Vet" and served 82-86 and have my own problems, but would never look a "Combat Vet" in the eye and say "I understand" even with my training. I was fortunate, maybe even lucky some would say to never have had to apply the skills I was taught and trained for. I am always looking for ways to help other Vets as well as help myself and was introduced to Vets4Vets a couple of years ago by my friend Joe Sturdivant whom I met while serving on the Mental Health Consumer Council at the VA Hospital in La Jolla California and is also an OIF/OEF Case Manager for the VA and Veteran Advocate. Even though I am not a "Combat Vet" Jim Driscoll, founder of Vets4Vets and the staff allowed me to attend 4 Vets4Vets weekend workshops around the Country and the best I can come up with to say is "WOW"! While Vets4Vets is no "Silver Bullet" the effect's are awesome. Again like I said earlier I am no combat vet and face my own problems and V4V helped put things in perspective for me and I got to witness first hand what it did for our men and women, "gay" and "straight" who have had to face the horrors of war. I have been in the VA system as a patient for 23 years and have seen many Vet programs and in my own humble opinion Vets4Vets has to be one of the best I have seen and been a part of. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of really good programs for Vets out there this just happens to be one that I personally know about, was fortunate to have been allowed to be a small part of, and stand behind 100%. The great thing about Vets4Vets is that it is truly "Non-Partisan, Non-Political"! No Doctors, No "Rank", just men and women who have been there done that, or like in my case, have a closer connection than most. I feel confidant saying that all monies that go to helping Vets4Vets help our Vets is money very well spent and deserved. I am not employed by, or have any connection with Vets4Vets other than being a disabled Marine Corps Vet who was helped by and had the fortune and honor of being allowed to attend Vets4Vets weekend workshops. As for the question below that asks "How frequently have I been involved with the organization"? Directly? or Indirectly? Directly, at the 4 workshops I attended I got to spend time with Jim and participate in the groups and feel as well as see the beginning of much needed healing. Indirectly, This is an every day thing for me. I spread the word about Vets4Vets via he internet and in person to anyone and everyone who is interested in knowing and learning what V4V is about and it's benefits. What did you do? I sought the help I desperately needed and found Vets4Vets by accident or coincidence either way V4V was a huge help. As for "Your role" My role is being a Veteran myself and making sure my fellow Vets know about organizations like this that are out there for us and are ready and willing to help. What did you do? That is a broad question. What I did do and what I continue to do is to help Veterans of all eras in any way I can. Is this review for a specific contest? YES A Race. The Human race and those of us that served for whatever our reasons are, or were, and to make sure that our service to our "Country" was not in vain. When was your last experience with this nonprofit? That would be like asking me "When was my last experience with oxygen". I live this every day of my life with honor and pride.
As a Marine Iraq Veteran of two tours, I experienced and witness a lot of negative situations in the war. After I discharge from the service, I was feeling a sense of isolation and many other symptoms that I had. I ended finding out that it was PTSD symptoms that I was having. I was diagnosed with PTSD from the VA and I started receiving treatment through them. Even though I was receiving treatment, I felt that I was still struggling in school and my social life; due to my symptoms. In late 2007, I attended my first Vets4Vets workshop. Immediately, I felt extremely comfortable and there I learned and experienced the peer support. Vets4Vets has been a place where I can share and talk about my experience without anyone judging me. With their support and guidance I have felt that this organization has helped me more on my journey to recover from my PTSD disability. The VA has been a great help, yet I credit Vets4Vets more for my recovery. Ever since my first workshop I attended, I have felt better as a person. I strongly encourage every Veteran to attend these workshops because peer support is a big tool to utilize and it does help talking to other combat veterans. Since Vets4Vets has helped me so much, I have started our own Vets4Vets chapter in Los Angeles and have local meetings on a monthly basis. We even had a family BBQ at the park for Veterans and over 100 Veterans and their families participated.
Vets4Vets was a GREAT peersupport group that helped me out alot in 2008 and I am now wanting to go back and talk about my experiences in Combat and let that load off of shoulders again. I takes more than once or twice to help yourself, it takes years.
My Name is Joe and I am a combat veteran of two Wars Opeartion Desert Storm and Opearation Iraqi Freedom. I first heard about Vets4vets in 2008 upon enrolling in the VA Medical Center right after my discharge from the military. At first I was skeptical about what I read and heard about this program that offered workshop retreats across the country to combat veterans at no cost. Vets4Vets gave me an opportunity to talk to other veterans like myself, by taking equal and uninterrupted turns listening and speaking. This experience has most differently increase my ability to self manage my life as I do suffer from the unhidden wounds of this war. Thank you to all whom serve to support organization such as this. Semper Fidelis, Joe Sturdivant Msgt USMC " Marine for Life"
Hello My Name is Kevin Cottrell, I'm an Iraq Veteran from Northern New York. My first time attending a Vets4 Vets workshop was in Sept of 2008 In Stoney Point New York. This was a great experience I meet Able and Johnny from V4Vs. I learned a lot about listening turns in a group and one on one. i learned that i was not alone in the way I was thinking and feeling. I meet 25 different other vets from different areas of the U.S. but we all had the same things in common. I left this workshop with tolls in my tool box that i could use to help me and help others. I returned to college and work with my counselor to start a vets support group and a network of vets on campus. I also took away a network of friends that i can call and talk with on the phone or via email. I have attended several other vet gruops put on by the VA and found them to be less efective in helping me. The greatest outcome from my workshops is the fact I Listen to a fellow Vet and Know that it just helps to listenand aloow them to get rid of that thought that is holding them back.