SOURCE: The Real Warriors Campaign

June 27, 2011 05:00 ET

Helping Service Members Transition to Life Back Home

Tools to Help With Resilience, Recovery and Reconnecting

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Jun 27, 2011) - (Family Features) Returning home from deployment can be difficult for any service member. Members of the National Guard and Reserve have a unique challenge balancing their military service with civilian life, and returning to a civilian life that does not include those with whom they served can be especially stressful. However, resources like the Real Warriors Campaign are available for service members who are experiencing challenges associated with transition.

Sponsored by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), the Real Warriors Campaign is a public education initiative designed to encourage service members, veterans, and their families to seek care and treatment for the invisible wounds of war.

"Warriors are hesitant to seek treatment for invisible wounds because of a fear that it will affect their career, but that's a myth," Capt. Paul S. Hammer, DCoE Director, said. "In fact, if you don't seek help, it will affect your career because down the road, symptoms may affect a service member's ability to do his or her job effectively."

To help service members and families with transitions and reintegration, the Real Warriors Campaign provides tools, tips and resources such as the ones below to encourage service members, veterans and military families coping with invisible wounds to reach out for support.

  • DCoE Outreach Center: The Outreach Center allows anyone to confidentially speak with health care professionals 24/7 by calling 1-866-966-1020, by using the online Live Chat feature, or by emailing resources@dcoeoutreach.org.

  • Video Products: At the heart of the campaign are Real Warriors who are proving through example that reaching out is a sign of strength. The campaign website includes video profiles and public service announcements featuring these Real Warriors who have reached out for support and are continuing to maintain successful military or civilian careers. Check out the video profile of Staff Sgt. Meg Krause, an Army Reservist, who overcame the challenges associated with combat stress and is now sharing the message that it is okay to ask for help.

  • Articles: The campaign website features more than 70 articles for members of the military community at all stages of the deployment cycle, including members of the National Guard and Reserve. Some topics include: How Guard and Reserve Veterans Get Support from VA, Yellow Ribbon Program: Support for Guard and Reserve, and Free Support Program for Warriors in Transition for warriors in treatment.

  • Message Boards: Campaign message boards provide a forum for members of the military community to engage with one another directly. Join the conversation and start your own dialogue with warriors and their families.

  • Materials: Campaign promotional and educational materials can be ordered free-of-charge. Check out the Real Warriors Campaign Brochure for the National Guard and Reserve: 7 Tools that Reinforce Psychological Strength.

  • E-Cards: Service members, veterans, friends and family can share messages of support and thanks by sending electronic greeting cards to their loved ones. Reach out and make a difference today by sending an e-card to your friends and family.

Every service member should know that they and their families should feel comfortable reaching out to their units and chain of command for support. Reaching out is a sign of strength that benefits yourself, your family and your unit and service.

The Real Warriors Campaign is online at www.realwarriors.net. For general inquiries, e-mail dcoe.realwarriors@tma.osd.mil.

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