New Research: Combat Experience and Strength of Faith

The authors, VA researchers, wanted to explore the relationship of combat deaths to changes in strength of religious faith.  Findings showed that Veterans’ experiences of killing others or failing to prevent a death weakened their religious faith.  Faith was weakened both directly and through guilt.  Weakened religious faith was related to greater use of mental health services.  That was true regardless of severity of PTSD symptoms or limits in social support.  The finding suggests that a primary motivation for Veterans’ continuing in treatment may be their search for a meaning and purpose in their traumatic experiences.  The authors concluded, “This possibility raises the broader issue of whether spirituality should be more central to the treatment of PTSD, either in the form of a greater role for pastoral counseling or a wider inclusion of spiritual issues in traditional psychotherapy for PTSD.”

Want more information? See the source: The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 2004, Volume 192, Issue number 9, pages 579-584.  Authors: A. Fontana & R. Rosenheck.  Title: Change in Strength of Religious Faith, and Mental Health Service Use Among Veterans Treated for PTSD.

Medical Programs Congressional Submission FY 2013 Funding and FY 2014 Advance Appropriations Request

Executive Summary of Medical Care.  Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to providing Veterans and other eligible beneficiaries timely access to high-quality health services.  VA’s health care mission cover the continuum of care providing inpatient and outpatient institutional and non-institutional settings; and other health care programs, such as CHAMPVA and Readjustment Counseling.  VA will meet all of its commitments to treat Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) Veterans and service members in 2012 through 2014. 

Medal of Honor recipient pays tribute to Cedar Bluff Middle School, Knoxville, TN

Medal of Honor recipient pays tribute to Cedar Bluff Middle School, Knoxville, TN

11-13-2012. Cedar Bluff Middle School gets the nation’s first Medal of Honor Foundation flag as a reward for their commitment to the Congressional Medal of Honor Education program.

The educational program focuses on six pillars of character; courage, commitment, sacrifice, patriotism, integrity and citizenship found in every Medal of Honor recipient.

Medal of Honor Recipient Colonel Bruce Crandall spoke to Cedar Bluff Middle School on Tuesday as a part of their Veteran’s Day Ceremony. Colonel Crandall received his Medal of Honor, the Army’s highest award for valor, during a White House ceremony February 26, 2007 for his heroic actions in the Battle of Ia Drang.

Colonel Crandall was the helicopter pilot who continued to deliver men and ammunition while evacuating the wounded in the Battle of Ia Drang Valley during the Vietnam War. His actions were portrayed in the book and movie, “We Were Soldiers.”

For months, the students and teacher have been working together to integrate the stories of Medal of Honor recipients into different aspects of their curriculum.

Christine Oehler, principal of Cedar Bluff Middle school said “Our teachers are very collaborative now so they are sharing the stories of some congressional medal of honor recipients within the social studies classes and then they’re doing other activities in all their other academic classes.”

Colonel Crandall presented the flag to the school for all their hard work in hopes that they will never forget the things they have learned from the Congressional Medal of Honor Education program.

“We want our legacy to live on with the these students. We would like to see no more Medal of Honor recipients because that means no more war.” said Colonel Crandall.

The flag will fly high with the American flag out front of the school as a reminder of what the program has taught them.

The Medal of Honor Foundation will use Cedar Bluff Middle School as a model as they expand their education program to other schools across the country.

Over the next couple of weeks a flag will be placed at West Point and the Citadel.