Starting the New Year

It’s January again, after Janus, the Roman god depicted looking both forwards and back, seen often over doorways. On the threshold of a new year and looking back over last year, I think about the impact of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the return of those Veterans and the effect of the withdrawal on all the Vets carrying visible and invisible wounds from twenty years of war. And not only them, but their families and loved ones. When the withdrawal was announced, we heard from Vietnam Vets all over the country, whose memories were triggered, their voices filled with frustration and anger that their experience was being repeated a generation later.

How do we heal from these things? Like a bell struck resonates afterwards, the echo of memories lingers long after the initial injury.

How do we reach out to those who need to process deep grief by being heard? Or those who struggle to put their lives back together in a new way. The ones who need food, medical care, a place to sleep that’s not on the streets.

Here’s how we do it at the NVF: day by day, phone call by phone call, one Outreach mission and then the next. We established our Lifeline for Vets crisis and information hotline over 35 years ago. Because in the midst of rapid, sometimes cataclysmic, change, nothing comes close to the power of one-on-one contact. That’s why Veterans pass our number to others at Vet Centers, clinics, community groups, colleges and training schools, even combat zones.

It’s important work. What doesn’t change is the need for it. We need more counselors on the lines, more frequent Outreach missions. You can help by supporting our efforts. Charity Navigator rates the NVF a 4-star charity. That means your gift goes where help’s needed.

You can donate securely on our website: DONATE NOW

Please be as generous as you can. Let’s walk boldly into this new year with all its challenges and joys knowing we’re up for both if we stand together. If you know a Veteran who needs help, here’s our Lifeline for Vets number: 888.777.4443.  

healing veterans
NVF Outreach Mission for the Homeless in Los Angeles

You can be a part of our mission to help Veterans by making a tax-deductible donation!

About the Author

Shad Meshad

As a U.S. Army Medical Service Officer in Vietnam in 1970, Shad Meshad began pioneering treatment techniques for what would later become known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is the founder of the National Veterans Foundation and founder and co-author of the VA’s Vet Center Program.


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