Letters of Thanks for Jan and Mary

Nothing we have ever published in the over twenty years of the VietNow National Magazine has received the kind of response accorded the long-running and excellent series of PTSD-related articles written by Mary Tendall and Jan Fishler.

If we hadn’t already known what a major issue PTSD is within the veteran community, we would have found out soon after the first article hit the streets several years ago.

We get letters, e-mails, and phone calls from veterans and from family members wanting to give thanks for the help, and most especially, the hope they have received from Jan and Mary’s thoughtful articles.

And at every gathering of veterans, at least one person is sure to come up to one of our officers to say something about what Mary and Jan have written.

Here on this page are just two examples of the heartfelt thanks we’ve received over the years for help and hope provided by Jan and Mary.

Dear VietNow,

I wish to commend you for the well-written and informative piece on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD Is It Treatable Or Do I Just Learn To Cope?”) It is a subject I feel will be most beneficial to the members of the Danvets (Danville Incarcerated Veterans).

If it is at all possible, may we have a copy of the piece, with permission to photocopy and disseminate to members of Danvets?

I served two tours during the Vietnam War, and I continue to combat PTSD. With that, added to my incarcerated situation, I struggle to suppress symptoms of PTSD when it arises. The magazine article gave me hope that I can combat my problems when dealing with PTSD.

May God bless you all for your hard work, and continue to bless you in all your endeavors.

Sincerely,
Frank Volkmar
Commander, Danvets

 

Dear Sirs,

Today I had been looking for information to help vets with PTSD, and I happened upon your web site. I am so glad I did. I was looking for practical information to help me better help my boyfriend.

(Well, I hope he’s still my boyfriend after the way he blew up at me for wanting to come to his place “without an invitation” to offer help while he was ill.) He is a retired Army officer and combat veteran of Desert Storm – his current job is with present-day and future weapons systems for the military. The job is quite stressful, of course, and like he never retired. The possibility that he might have to go back to Iraq for a work assignment surfaced a few months ago, which seems to have him declining emotionally.

He was diagnosed with PTSD some time ago, and exhibits nearly all the symptoms, except maybe flashbacks.

The articles by Jan Fishler and Mary Tendall gave me some much-needed practical advice and insight into the manifestations of this condition.

I needed to know if his reactions/behaviors were due to PTSD, or as he sometimes says, him being an “a##h###.”

Prior to reading Fishler and Tendall’s articles I was contemplating just “throwing in the towel” on this relationship due to his increased isolation and avoidance the past couple of months. Now I’m able to see a little clearer what the main problem is. The accounts of veterans and their loved ones coping and recovering was what I needed. I want to help him not push himself further away or upset him.

Any more articles, recommendations, or support would be greatly appreciated.

Name and address withheld.


 

Mary TendallMary Tendall, MA LMFT, has worked for over 20 years with combat veterans and their families, as a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in combat-related PTSD. She has consulted for the Gulf War Resource Center, National Public Radio, and Newsweek. She continues to work with combat veterans and their families, and is affiliated with several national non-profits whose goal is to help veterans, such as VietNow, Soldier’s Heart, Train Down, and America’s Heroes First. She can be reached by e-mail at maryten@jps.net.

 

Jan FishlerJan Fishler is an author, writing coach, and creator/presenter of a series of writing workshops. Her memoir, Searching for Jane, Finding Myself, is available on Amazon. You can learn more about her at janfishler.com. She is married to a Vietnam veteran.