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Help for Struggling Veterans

Friday, October 10th, 2008



About 120 Pennsylvania therapists and counselors are donating their time to a mental health program for veterans and their families. Friday Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak recognized the Give an Hour program and urged military personnel to seek out help when they need it.



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Psychologist Barbara Romberg, who founded the national program, says post traumatic stress is a natural, human reaction to horrific experiences.

Romberg: We know that the symptoms of post traumatic stress are greatly reduced if appropriate treatment is provided quickly to those in need. We know that post traumatic stress doesn’t have to become a chronic mental illness, nor does it have to ruin lives or destroy families.

Congressman Sestak, a veteran himself, says about 40 percent of veterans returning home from Iraq come home with a mental health challenge like anxiety or depression. He says about 40 percent of that group don’t report the problem.

Romberg says it’s clear more help is needed, and Give an Hour extends the care that the military provides.

Romberg: Army personnel committed suicide last year at the highest rate in 26 years.

Jennifer Crane from Downingtown spoke at the hearing. She’s 25, a stay-at-home mom and an Army vet who served in Afghanistan. She has chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.

Crane: There are hundreds of thousands of people out there, just like me, suffering and feeling like society has forgotten about them.

It took Crane three years to find help. Psychologist Barbara Romberg is hoping her program will shorten that delay for other veterans.

Twenty-five-year-old combat veteran Jennifer Crane is now a stay-at-home mom living in Downingtown. She lives with post traumatic stress disorder and is getting help through the Give an Hour program. She says war veterans “come in all shapes, sizes, ages, races and sexes.”

Twenty-five-year-old combat veteran Jennifer Crane is now a stay-at-home mom living in Downingtown. She lives with post traumatic stress disorder and is getting help through the Give an Hour program. She says war veterans “come in all shapes, sizes, ages, races and sexes.”


One Comment

  • Ken Davis says:

    BEST KEPT SECRET IN AMERICA
    Homeless Veteran Develops Employment Program that puts you to work FAST
    By Jacquelyn Ward – Jan 31, 8:14 pm CT

    When C. J. Brown III was a homeless Veteran and decided to take his life back, he did it in a big way. A way that would not just help him get back on his feet, but a way to help many other Veterans who had as hard a time as he did trying to find employment. C.J. once lived the American dream, a corporate executive of his own company.

    He soon found his life upside down, experiencing bankruptcy and homelessness. It was when he was homeless, seeking employment and getting hopeless by the day that he conceptionalized the 28 Days to Employment System. This was his way of giving back, back to the community and many others experiencing life challenges.

    He admitted that he had made many wrong choices in his life and wanted to help himself. The individuals that participate in the program and employers that support it describe 28 Days to Employment as an “employment career camp.” C. J. realized that in his low time the thing that pulled him out of hopelessness was a job. He admits “getting that job was not easy” and “some of the agencies that were meant to help him and others find employment did not have a clue.”

    He says he wanted to help veterans and poverty stricken people “find a career, not just a job.” 28 Days to Employment was developed to help people find employment that no one else could. This includes the disabled, displaced veterans, the homeless and the hard to employ. The goal is to discover the individual’s skills, abilities and talents. Then these personal attributes are connected to soft skills development such as resume writing, filling out a job application, in person and telephone interviews.

    The uniqueness of the 28 Days to Employment program is the customer base. C. J. says, “It’s as much about working with the employer as it is with the job seeker. That is one of the factors that is missing from traditional employment programs.” C. J. Brown III conceived the program, but he admits that he did not do it alone. “There were many others including employers, social service organizations and the participants themselves that have made this a successful program,” says C. J. In 2010 he helped 72 homeless Veterans go through the program pro-bono and 69 were employed and off the streets. Now in it’s 6th edition and 9th year, the program has a 90% placement rate and 95% retention rate of those that complete and follow the program and C. J. still struggles to help Veterans without proper funding as he is told that those that control the workforce readiness funding and programs are afraid of him due to the success of his program. One state official stated when asked why they would be afraid of his program “they do not want to lose their piece of the pie.”

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