As we approach another Veterans Day this week, Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic (PHMA) would like to thank all U.S. servicemembers, veterans, and their families for their continued sacrifice. PHMA, located in the heart of Arlington, Virginia, stands in the shadow of the Pentagon, a massive structure symbolizing the United States military. With its striking edifice and its labyrinth of halls, teeming with flag-level officers, the Pentagon is a symbol of strength. However, none of us can forget the vulnerability of this structure as one of its wings crumbled under the massive force of extremism that struck on 9/11.
Although much of the general public has managed to return to their normal lives, many service members, veterans, and their families have continued to struggle under the burden of two wars fought with an all-volunteer force that has been stretched to its limit. The Pentagon is similar to many of these American service members, embodying both the greatest of human strength and the most fragile of human vulnerability. Many of these men and women have combat experiences that none of us can imagine, suffering grave emotional wounds under the heavy stress of these engagements over the past ten years. With the stigma still attached to seeking assistance, many continue to cope in harmful ways. For example, according to 2008 Department of Defense Health Behavior Survey, prescription drug abuse doubled among U.S.military personnel from 2002 to 2005 and tripled between 2005 and 2008. Additionally, 27% of service personnel met the criteria for alcohol abuse four months after returning from Iraq.
Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic supports all servicemembers, veterans, and their families. There is also other assistance available for veterans who are struggling with addiction. If you are one of these veterans, the following resources may help:
-Speak with your existing VA healthcare provider
-Contact the OEF/OIF Coordinator at your local VA Medical Center
-Contact your localVet Center
-Call 1 888 671 9392, VA’s general information hotline
Again, PHMA thanks you for your courage and sacrifice! For more information about Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic, call 1 888 671 9392.