“Mom, I’m going to Iraq.”
What does a mother do with that information? First, she prays. No. Honestly, I’m ashamed to say, first she panics, then she prays. "Please, God, take care of my son! Please protect all of our brave Soldiers. Please send your best Guardian Angels to watch over them.”
My name is Dawn, and I am the very proud mother of an American Soldier who fought the war in Iraq. After the initial paralyzing fear (and the pity party), you have to pick your chin up and move forward with your life. What kind of Soldiers’ mother am I, if I can’t be more supportive of my son's decision to fight for our country? After all, the United States has fought in many wars and all of our Soldiers had parents, spouses, children, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends who love them and fear for their safety every day.
While he was gone, my sister Kelly, my husband Tom, and I immersed ourselves in helping families of deployed Soldiers in any way we could think of. When we were informed that our troops didn’t have some of the basic necessities, we sent supplies. When the Soldiers needed heaters, we sent them without hesitation. When they needed misters to keep cool, we sent them. We found that our Soldiers needed so much more than they were able to get through regular government means.
Along the way, we met some amazing Veterans and families who helped us understand the trials and tribulations that come from the horrors of war. Like most people, we heard about Soldiers who suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but we truly had no idea on how severe the impact of PTSD is for these heroes.
After our son returned home, we continued working with Veterans in as many aspects of their new lives as we could. We saw, firsthand, the problems families have dealing with PTSD. Our work with other Veterans, and our knowledge of the condition, was a blessing in disguise, as it helped us to recognize the signs of PTSD in our son.
Up to 20% of Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although there are many symptoms of PTSD, nightmares and hyper-vigilance are the two most common signs.
Your tax-deductible donation will help us establish Sycamore Sunrise Ranch on this majestic property in Virginia. A place for Soldiers and their families to fight PTSD together - and WIN!