June is PTSD Awareness month
Vision-Strike-Wear.Com has for many years been humbled by participating with our active duty men and women in uniform, veterans, prior service through supporting an environment of pride through creativity, designing apparel and items that are worn on the backs of our servicemen and women, designed in collaboration with them and ensuring the highest level of satisfaction and service. Our returning OIF and OEF Veterans with whom VSW began its company designing for we salute for standing up and making Congress know about the effects of PTSD. Vision-Strike-Wear.Com is honored to work with organizations like IAVA.Org and send year round funds to support their efforts.
June is PTSD Awareness month and throughout the month VSW will be supporting causes, non-profits and organizations whose mission it is to bring not only awareness but also find solutions and combating PTSD so our soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen and guardsmen can find the tools and solutions necessary to help with issues related to post traumatic stress.
One such organization, Vision-Strike-Wear.Com, will be supporting through the month of June is the Purple Heart Foundation, a congressional Charted organization founded in 1948 whose mission is to serve and support our veterans.
A percentage of every sale at Vision-Strike-Wear.Com will be donated to this fine organization to support their work helping our American Veterans.
In the modern day of our military never has such an important topic been discussed as the one called PTSD. Vision-Strike-Wear.Com is dedicated to helping and working with many other talented organizations whose firm goal is to help our men and women in uniform both past and present.
The mud, the trenches, the desolate battlefields and the fighting between hedgerows found throughout France and Europe during the First World War found soldiers battle weary, drowned souls without sparks of a willingness to live and move past the gray and black of artillery pock marked French soil found themselves shell shocked. America has never turned from a fight and since their great grandfathers of old that unified 13 colonies and ultimately fought the British for control of our country, a way of life and ultimately for a preservation of a way of thinking: freedom.
World War I
The shell shocked American doughboys of World War 1 faced the illusion of invincibility as these Yanks traveled to distant European shores and fought a German adversary they had not experienced since Washington crossed a river and cleverly destroyed the Hessian mercenaries during the American War For Independence. The doughboys and later the Marines found a well prepared, modern German army, and for years experienced the devastating effects of war that ultimately would lead to stress, weariness and stress disorders that would haunt them for the rest of their lives. Their victory in Europe came at substantial cost.
World War II
World War 2 came largely on the heels of the First World War and America found herself back in Europe fighting as we all know, Germany and the Third Reich, but also her Axis Ally in Japan and their expansive desires for controlling the South Pacific from Japan to Australia and as far away as Hawaii. US Army soldiers from the Normandy invasion to the ultimate taking of Berlin fought over the same ground their fathers had battled.
They battled in the skies with bomb laden B-17’s on daylight bombing missions with very little hope of return to safe shores, sailing across the Atlantic seeking out German U-Boats who were successfully for many years sending millions of tons of merchant tonnage to the ocean bottom. Then came the Army and Marines as they fought in dense jungles, intense heat and often without proper food and supplies against a determined Japanese Imperial Army on orders from their leadership to fight to the last man.
It was during one of these US Marine island hopping battles, The Battle of Peleliu, when then Marine correspondent Tom Lea, created a piece pf art that would become the icon for battle fatigue experienced daily by our fighting soldiers. Coined as the 1000 yard stare, this artwork Lea created became the stark reminder of the stress and disconnection to reality, the giving up on caring and the need to distance oneself from the experiences on the battlefield.
Like the image taken from the top of Mount Suribachi with Marines and a Corpsman hoisting the US flag over a war torn battlefield, the 1000 yard stare would become important as the image of a battle fatigued “America’s Greatest Generation” would have to experience as they returned to home.
The Forgotten War
Korea and its generation of American soldiers would find a different climate, a different nemesis as they battled for control of a peninsula fighting in a Civil War. The frozen hills and valleys of the Korean War produced its own element of battle weariness and stress.
Named the Forgotten War, Korea and its fighting, its threats, and the demands placed upon our soldiers was no different than their brothers in WW2 and though their sacrifice was just as great when fighting the incredible numbers of Chinese Communist troops the severity of their stress and mental anguish was no less severe. The Forgotten War was not forgotten in the minds of our Korean Veterans.
The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War, the Ten Thousand Day War, ushered in a fight in Southeast Asia that would pit the United States against a Russian backed Communist North Vietnam whose desire it was to control the southern half of Vietnam and claim it. Like Korea, America found itself battling Communism once again and fighting to restore freedom and unification of a country torn by Civil War.
The jungles of Vietnam where Army soldiers and Marines fought in densely populated jungles, in cities like Hue City, in places not heard of before on American televisions reporting on the war.
Places like Da Nang, Long Binh, Khe Sanh, Phu Bai, Dak To were soon filling American living rooms with stories of battle, casualties not previously reported and for the first time an American population no longer supportive of our troops.
American Warriors of the Vietnam War
Our American Vietnam Veterans returned home to a place that was hostile towards our soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen and guardsmen. Placing the blame of the war for the first time on the soldiers asked by its leadership to go to an unknown country, to fight and die in preservation of American interests abroad were heaped upon our soldiers already battle fatigued by their involvement in this unpopular war.
Like the dedicated Americans they are they found ways to deal with these issues, some keeping the issues internalized, never to be discussed, others turning to business or artistic endeavors or projects aimed at keeping these issues at bay. Nevertheless, our American warriors of the Vietnam War also experienced the same battle fatigue their fathers experienced and issues of veteran suicide began to get some exposure to the balance of the American population.
Under prepared and without the ability to deal with the mental issues our veterans were undergoing, the Veteran’s Administration was incapable of identifying and diagnosing the mental states of our returning veterans which even to this day is still a subject that alludes them, and something they have been incapable of helping our veterans with.