Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Veteran Thankful for Red Cross Support

By Mary Urban

Veteran Don Rinehart admits that he never thought he would find himself in a situation where he had no income or transportation, and difficulties staying employed. Don is a 61-year old vet battling PTSD and depression.  He shared his experience of daily life with Red Cross, explaining the isolation and living conditions that are experienced by many veterans, fearing others don’t understand the
Thank you card from Don Rhinehart
issues and everyday challenges due to the trauma he and other veterans have endured.  Don states “self-isolation” is very common, but isolation can be a road to suicide.  Don emphasized that attempts to break the isolation or being in the company of others may present on-going struggle for himself and other veterans, and the pressure to “act normal” is difficult to endure.

Don is very passionate about reading and writing, and uses these tools as well as sketching as a form of therapy to express and explore the struggles and isolation he experiences. But, Don also shares he loves to write “uplifting stories that give hope.” He has drafted four books but has had “literal computer meltdowns”   using outdated or older, refurbished computers, and eventually found himself without one altogether. The Red Cross in collaboration with his VA case manager provided Don with a new laptop.  He expressed  in his amazing and beautiful letter to Red Cross his sincerest thanks and gratitude for the gift of a new computer, and what it meant to him. Don says, “Writing gives me a reason to hope and to live. I write for me, not to be published or to make money, but to fight for my life.”
Portion of the thank you card text sent by Don Rhinehart

Since WWI, the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program (SAF) was instituted to aid America’s military and veterans. The American Red Cross supports the recovery and rehabilitation of service members and veterans. In collaboration with medical authorities / case managers, the Red Cross may provide medically and/or educationally beneficial material support to wounded, ill or injured service members and veterans who are receiving in-patient or out-patient care in a military or Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility within Colorado or Wyoming. Contact your VA case manager for further information.

The Red Cross is extremely grateful to Don for his military service and for sharing his story. We wish him the best in his writing and overcoming his struggles.

Red Cross workers provide emotional support for members of the military and their families by participating in a variety of events and programs organized both by the Red Cross and by partner agencies. Learn more about our 100+ years of service to our service members, their families and veterans at SAF program.

Learn more about the Hero Care app! The app is designed to put vital Red Cross services right at the fingertips of our service members, veterans and their families. Visit  Red Cross Apps page

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