My name is Mark Baird. I am the founder of HirePatriots.com. I write about everything that helps US veterans, the organizations that support them, and US small businesses.
The Truth: PTSD & Veteran Employment
The truth is that very few go into combat and then return unscathed. This is a price that veterans of war pay. The trauma of war can imprint difficult images and emotions in a veteran’s psyche that may never go away. This has always been a reality for warriors throughout history. In America we have referred to this in a variety of ways. After the Civil War it was called “Irritable Heart," after WW I “Shell Shock,” after WW II “Battle Fatigue," after Vietnam “Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.” And today we have identified a separate effect and another category, “Traumatic Brain Injury.” This new diagnosis makes a distinction between physical and psychological trauma.
I have counseled with those suffering from severe PTSD. And certainly, they were not ready for employment. Instead, they rightfully deserve to be cared for until they can recover. But for the vast majority with bad memories of war, it is something they can learn to deal with and control when in a work or public environment. Their internal experience does not hinder their ability to perform their duties and tasks. Combat veterans are often deployed to multiple “hot” conflicts and engagements. They live under constant duress. And they learn to deal with it.
But too many employers sensationalize this Injury. They think that every veteran is a ticking time bomb. Hence, they are unwilling to hire them. In fact, I have attended HR conventions and heard hiring managers say, “I would like to hire veterans; but, I have to look out for my employees. I don’t want them to catch PTSD from those soldiers.” – There is a huge amount of ignorance about this subject.
In truth, a higher percentage of civilians experience PTSD than do veterans, because war is not the only cause of trauma. Furthermore, military members are prepared in advance for the experience of combat. But civilians who suffer car wrecks, injuries, sexual assaults, loss of loved ones, violence, etc. normally have no training or peer group to deal with those harmful encounters; whereas, military members have tremendous preparation, support and treatment available. Hence, it is far less risky to hire veterans than civilians.
Our US veterans are strong, stalwart men and women with great reservoirs of discipline and self control. They have been refined and hardened in fire, just as with making steel.
Hire a US veteran today! Post your jobs on HirePatriots.com. –And if you are a resident, post the chores and repairs that you need help with around your home: Hire a local US veteran for a day.
For another post about the facts about PTSD: http://www.hirepatriots.com/news-and-blogs/entry/45-000-000-americans-have-ptsd