We had a very somber day at RallyPoint when we lost one of our members SGT Shon Hill. Prior to his death, Hill reached out to the RP community asking how to deal with PTSD. The support was overwhelming, names and numbers were exchanged without hesitation. He was rallied around. Words of strength, guidance, and wisdom were given freely and most importantly he was told he was never alone in this battle.
Unfortunately, SGT Shon Hill’s battle with PTSD ended on July 5th, 2014. Loss is a very difficult subject to navigate, it is close to our hearts, it lingers with us. We remember everyone we have lost in battle, some die in the wars we fight and others, in their personal battles--all equal in their sacrifice and honor.
It is extremely difficult to see our brothers and sisters struggling, and sit by, powerless, unable to help. We never want what happened to SGT Shon Hill to happen to a close friend or to someone from our unit. There is no magic wand we can wave to alleviate the pain that ails our brothers and sisters struggling with PTSD. We can only be there to aid them in this battle, but here are a few things to consider:
1. Let them know they are not alone. Get their family and friends to instill in them a sense of belonging. Knowing they have a strong support system will make a difference.
2. Find them counseling. There are various support groups for PTSD along with chaplains who are more than willing to help. Help is available and do not let them forget that.
3. Make sure your loved ones are in a safe environment. There is a strong correlation between PTSD and substance abuse. While we can’t watch a person 24/7, we can advocate for healthy lifestyle choices. An established safe environment creates stability.
What we do today for our brothers and sisters will impact their future. Maybe our own experience with PTSD gives us the ability to be stronger mentors; nevertheless our mentorship will be highly regarded. What we do for them now could save their life in the future. Finally, do not forget that when you need support, we are here for you at RallyPoint – 300,000 strong.
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