What To Do When Your Loved One is a Veteran With PTSD

Posted by Eugene Powell on Oct 18, 2017 1:08:33 PM

Are you worried about a loved one with military PTSD? While our recent awareness of PTSD as a result of military service has led to increasingly open conversations and new treatments and therapies for veterans returning from deployment, PTSD itself is nothing new.

When your spouse, partner, family member, or friend shows signs and symptoms of PTSD, you may feel helpless and unsure what to do. 

We're here to help with advice for helping your loved one, as well as yourself, when dealing with the often-disabling effects of PTSD.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

What is a VA Disability Buddy Statement?

Posted by Bennett Gore on Jul 13, 2017 9:33:41 AM

When a veteran applies for VA Disability benefits as a result of service-connected conditions or other concerns,, they often present reams of documentation to prove their claim to the VA.

One of the documents that you may find useful, when looking to provide supporting evidence, is a "buddy statement."

What is a VA Disability buddy statement, and when is a buddy statement important for proving your claim? Let's take a closer look.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

What is a VA Disability Compensation Notice of Disagreement?

Posted by Bennett Gore on May 19, 2017 8:42:00 AM

In our initial series on VA Disability Claims, we touched on filing appeals in the case of a decision that you feel was incorrect. Today, we'd like to go a little more in-depth into what happens when you file a VA Notice of Disagreement.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Stationed at Camp Lejeune? You'll Want to Read This.

Posted by Bennett Gore on Apr 28, 2017 10:47:20 AM

We've written before about Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and the effects of the contaminated water on servicemen and their families. 

We have a quick update to share with you today regarding Camp Lejeune — the VA has officially established presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to the contaminants in the water supply.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

PTSD Related to Military Sexual Trauma: What Documents Do You Need?

Posted by Bennett Gore on Feb 3, 2017 10:12:00 AM

We tend to think of military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in terms of military service in combat — that the disorder is caused by being under direct fire, subject to IEDs and their long-term effects, or just the day-to-day stress of combat possibilities.

While we've spoken before about how PTSD can occur even when you are not in direct combat during military service, there's one cause of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that can be hidden for years or even decades — military sexual trauma.

Today, we'd like to take a look at this tragically common occurrance and what you can do if you're a survivor.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Eugene and Mary Lou Powell Sponsor Scholarship at USF

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Dec 6, 2016 7:59:10 PM

BNTD's Gene Powell and his wife Mary Lou Powell have recently started a scholarship program to help students attending Mary Lou's alma mater, the University of South Florida, on the GI Bill. The Veteran Success Last Mile Scholarship will help recipients who still need assistance in paying tuition beyond what is covered by the GI Bill.

Gene and Mary Lou both have the military life in their blood — alongside Gene's own time in the service, his three uncles all served during World War II. Mary Lou's father was a Navy man who served at Pearl Harbor.

While presenting the inaugural Veteran Success Last Mile Scholarship award during the USF Alumni Luncheon, Gene made the following remarks, which we print in full below:

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Can I Have PTSD if I Was Never in Combat?

Posted by Bennett Gore on Nov 3, 2016 7:52:39 AM

Service-connected PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is unfortunately an all-too-common side effect of serving in the military.

Military servicemembers may return from deployment with symptoms ranging from low-level anxiety to nightmares, to completely debilitating fears. PTSD can keep you from being able to work or could even affect your interactions with friends and family.

What about those soldiers who aren't deployed into combat zones, however? One question we are often asked is, "Can I have PTSD if I was never in combat?"

We'd like to take a look at the answer to that question today.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Gulf War Syndrome: What Is It and What Can You Do If You're Suffering?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Oct 26, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm were short-lived conflicts that took place between August of 1990 and March of 1991. It was also referred to as the Gulf War. Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, U.S. forces under the authority of the UN forced Iraqi soldiers out of Kuwait and ultimately obtained a cease-fire agreement from Iraq.

Of course, that wasn't the end of the conflict. Over the next decade, conflict and negotiations would continue, leading to a number of military operations culminating in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, what some would refer to as the second Gulf War. These conflicts in the Middle East would have widespread effects, not only on the world, but also on returning soldiers.

The symptoms U.S. soldiers suffered upon returning from the first Gulf War began suffering from chronic health issues that were chronicled and eventually became categorized as Gulf War Syndrome, a term that now stretches to encompass soldiers from several Middle Eastern conflicts, including subsequent deployments to the Middle East.

What is Gulf War Syndrome, and what can be done for soldiers suffering from this illness? Here are a few things you should know.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

My Spouse Was a Servicemember. Am I Entitled to Survivors' Benefits?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Oct 5, 2016 10:00:00 AM

To lose a loved one is always a tragedy. For the spouse or family members of a military servicemember, that tragedy can be compounded by many different factors — whether they died during combat or deployment, after their return, or even years or decades later on.

Family members may be left wondering if they'll have access to any benefits to help them navigate the difficult path after their loved one has died. One of the most common questions we hear is from the spouses of recently deceased servicemembers, wondering if they will be able to access the benefits due after their loved one's service. We have the answer below.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Can the VA Reduce My Service-Connected Disability Benefits?

Posted by Bennett Gore on Sep 21, 2016 8:00:00 AM

As we've mentioned in earlier blogs about working with the VA, disability payments based on service-connected disability or conditions vary widely depending on the injuries or disabilities that the claim is based on, and also the context and circumstances in which the injuries or disability occurred.

Even after a claim is settled and you begin receiving regular benefits, you may have questions remaining. Some of our clients have contacted us after settlement to ask, "Can the VA reduce my benefits?" Today, we'd like to take a moment to answer the question.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs