WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Coming Home actions; processing experiences, loss, and survivor guilt; desensitizing oneself to triggers that can families that the conversations they share are set off nightmares, "daymares," and flashbacks; and employing the right pharmacology. confidential. "The good news is that there are better programs in place to help service men and women Here is an ironic twist of events: Some vet- readjust than there were in earlier wars," Spear says. "We understand more about what veterans erans cannot seek treatment from the govern- have been though and people are reaching out to them, regardless of how they may have felt ment because they received less than an about the wars or their outcomes." honorable discharge for behaviors that may The challenge is getting veterans to seek treatment. Less than 50 percent of returning service be linked to trauma or brain injuries sus- persons will pursue treatment for "invisible wounds." Some are unclear about what they are tained in battle. Spear notes that exceptions experiencing and not aware of the services that are available, often times free of charge, through to this rule are starting to be made for veter- the US Department of Veterans Affairs and several nonprofit organizations. Others consider ans who are working to reverse their dis- such assistance to be a sign of weakness or an impediment to their ability to stay in the military charge status. Programs like Home Base, a or to obtain a civilian job. collaboration between Mass General Hospital "I try to check in with veterans or their spouses, parents, or children when they come to and the Red Sox Foundation, provide care find out about veterans benefits, to see how things are going, and make them aware of the serv- for PTS and TBI free of charge for veterans ices that are out there for veterans and their families," Spear says. He also reassures military and their families, regardless of discharge status. After Deployment, a freely available online wellness resource for the military community, offers useful explanations, health assessments, and opportunities to connect with others going through post-deployment transition. "The sooner vulnerable veterans and their families receive assistance, the better," Spear advises. "I emphasize families, because everyone needs to be educated about what soldiers are experiencing in order to move forward and, in many instances, for families to stay together." Although military families are We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 3 known for their resilience, some family members experience their own wellness issues brought on by the residual stress of having had someone close to them serve in combat and the challenge of caring for a wounded 90

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