We all fight battles -- it's one thing that everyone in this diverse, dispersed human race has in common. What makes each of us unique is how we respond to these battles when they arise. For some of us, these battles are physical, for others, they're emotional. But for many Veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, these struggles deal a blow to both body and mind.
There are few issues more pressing, or overlooked, than the complex challenges Iraq and Afghanistan war Veterans face as they return home from their tours overseas. For too many troops, physical combat on the battlefield turns into a psychological battle as they struggle to transition back into a turbulent American society. Reintegration issues are serious and all too common: Recent Army data states that as many as one-third of Iraq War Veterans returning home from combat experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or depression, and 14 percent of that group experiences it so severely that they develop significant problems in their daily life, including insomnia, depression, alcohol misuse and violent behaviors. Other Department of Defense data points to an even more dire trend, in which the suicide rate among returning Veterans is surpassing the number of troops killed in action by one each day. PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Sexual Assault and Military Sexual Trauma are real issues that afflict Veterans returning to American soil every hour of every day, and they should concern you regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum.
With this in mind, I created Harvesting Happiness For Heroes, a nonprofit organization that provides stigma-free comprehensive services at no cost to returning Veterans and their families, our goal is to heal these invisible wounds of war and aid in the complex process of reintegration. Some of the services offered through the nonprofit include Battle Buddy workshops, family awareness training, online community support, one-on-one coaching services, and retreats to help Warriors decompress from battle and adapt their military skills to civilian society.
Harvesting Happiness For Heroes has recently partnered with the Groupon Grassroots Campaign to help a nationwide audience discover our mission. The beauty of Groupon's campaign is that it uses collective action for an altruistic purpose. Groupon subscribers can pledge support for the HH4Heroes® REBOOT Campaign initiative in increments of $10, $25 and $120, with each $120 providing six weeks of online programming for a Veteran. HH4Heroes invites civilians to help heal our wounded warriors from the inside-out, sustaining the longevity of our nation's veterans and strengthening our military reintegration needs.
In the process of launching and managing HH4Heroes® I transcended my struggles by helping others overcome theirs. I hope you'll join me in this meaningful initiative and do the same.