PAT LAMOUREUX - One episode in a person's life, does not define the person.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I am fighting with everything I have - without your support

I cannot save Pat Lamoureux's life.

If you don't sign petitions - if you do not donate any extra dollars that you can afford, I don't care if it is $5.00 - I cannot save Pat's life by myself.  Pat needs your continued support - I NEED your continued support.

I have done everything I can to this point, the blog, the videos - but the bottom line is - this is about PAT LAMOUREUX's     L I F E......

This is not about the traffic jam you dealt with on the way to work, this is not about the 'bad hair day' you may be having - this is not about the weather - this is about Pat's LIFE.

If I don't get your help, if I don't get your financial support, if I don't get you helping spread the word to save his life - his life will be LOST.

When you spend that $5.00 tomorrow at McDonalds, or Starbucks - I hope you think about PAT LAMOUREUX.  Then, I hope the next day, you take a lunch, and make your own coffee - and send that $5.00 to Pat.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A disturbing conversation

I have tried not to use the blog as a posting for a journal or a diary.  However, I had a conversation with someone earlier that greatly disturbed me, and I think it deserves some discussion.

The person I had this conversation with is an Iraq Veteran.

This Veteran was quickly (almost instantly) infuriated by the thought of wearing an article of clothing that mentioned PTSD.  This article of clothing does not state "HEY - guess what, I have PTSD" - it is aimed at bringing awareness to the American public about the plight of our Veterans who have PTSD in a subliminal way while being delivered in a eye opening manner.

Yet, here we have a Veteran - who refuses to publicly acknowledge that perhaps he has PTSD; he doesn't want anyone to know anything about him; he thinks "Support our troops" is better than trying to raise the awareness of the American people concerning PTSD. 

What does that tell you all about PTSD?  And I personally know this Veteran is rated 50% disabled with PTSD after serving in Iraq.

So - if our Veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD are not even willing to help bring awareness to the American people about PTSD - how can we help these Veterans if they aren't willing to support a public acknowledgement there is a problem?

Apathy among Americans about PTSD, and fear among our Veterans with PTSD.  Perhaps our Veteran's fear is rooted in the apathy and/or lack of knowledge of the American people about PTSD.

I am going to sleep tonight with very disturbed thoughts about the future of this country and the ability to help our Veterans with PTSD.

Wake up America - we are in trouble.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The best help comes in person

(That is absolutely true-  the best help does come in person.  But the day I went to the VA mental health appointment with Pat just a few weeks before this horrific incident - his mental health provider slammed the door in my face in favor of having two students in the appointment.  She did not take the time to talk to me, and then documented what the issues were as if they were nothing.  I wonder what she thinks now?)

By Terri Barnes, Special to Stars and Stripes
Scene, Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sheryl is a career Army wife affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. Struggling to obtain counseling for herself and her children, Sheryl wrote: "My next goal and challenge is to speak out and make the military listen to me. I don’t want this to happen to another family, and I will … speak out loud and try and make it better for those who are behind me."

Soon after her comments appeared in a recent Spouse Calls column, I received an e-mail from Col. David Schall, Command Surgeon for U.S. European Command.

He didn’t take issue with Sheryl’s complaint or send me a list of Web sites to prove the military is doing something for families affected by PTSD.

He asked what he could do to connect Sheryl with the help she needed.

Knowing that many more "Sheryls" are out there, I asked Schall about resources for families affected by PTSD.

He and Lt. Col. Marianne Schlitt of EUCOM’s Quality of Life component provided their insights about connecting people with needed care.

It seems to me that information about combat stress is everywhere. AFN commercials tell us to call our chaplains. A mouse click yields plenty of PTSD Web sites. Tricare brochures list "Behavioral Health Services" for members and families, including psychotherapy, psychological testing, family therapy and more.

Why do some military families not find the help they need? 

Schlitt said she believes people get overwhelmed by their problems, or are confused about where to begin. Their search for answers uncovers more questions.

"What’s the first port of entry?" spouses might wonder, she said.

(click below for complete story)

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"
"Kain-man" the jokester....

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003
"Pat is an extraordinary, thoughtful, kind and generous man...not to mention a wonderful friend, in which one could always count upon to be there when in need." (words of a long time friend)

Pat's Family

Pat's Family
Mica & Heather, grandson Kain