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AUBURN, Calif. — A home where veterans and their families are welcome back again and again, C & E Auburn V-Twin Inc. celebrates each of you by sponsoring a ride, run and barbecue recognizing your service to our country, Sunday, June 24, 2012. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the ride starts at 10 a.m. Tons of festivities will take place at Western Gateway Park, Penn Valley, where the ride ends at noon. Many friends and fellow service members, as well as the community, will be there to shake your hand, say thanks and support all who have stood for the values and principles upon which this nation was built.
“It is so important that we thank those who have given so much to this country,” said Emma Lujan, owner of C & E Auburn V-Twin Inc. “We are grateful to every veteran. So, this is our way of giving back something to each of them - gratitude. At C & E, we value everything they stand for. It was logical to create a special run. We are proud to announce that every single branch of the Armed Services will be represented by area servicemen and servicewomen, past and present. Because of their service we live free and ride hard, thanks!”
Welcome Home Vets Inc. is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit whose mission is to create a healing community where veterans, active duty military and their families feel understood and valued. There is an emphasis on competence in psychotherapy and the military culture, understanding the role of both while providing comprehensive services. Welcome Home Vets Inc. seeks to remove any financial impediments for those who choose to receive any psychological services locally within a continuum of care. Services are for individuals, groups and families, and there are also some peer-based opportunities through the organization.
“As a veteran, I am always impressed with the local community when they come together for a good cause,” said Steven White. “Anytime there is a call for a gathering to support other veterans – you can count on me to attend. Together, we can make it through anything! All people from all branches of the military deserve recognition. Things have come a long way since the 70s; honor, respect and dignity is what every service member deserves! This event is designed to do just that. I like it!"
Invitations have also gone to every Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and American Legion in the area. The ride portion of the event leaves C & E Auburn V-Twin at approximately 10 a.m., and concludes at Western Gateway Park, Penn Valley. The cost of the ride is $20, which includes a barbecue lunch. If you don’t ride, you are welcome to join everyone at the park and enjoy the barbecue for $15.
Welcome Home Vets Inc. also believes in advocacy for veterans and their families by working to increase community awareness of the problem of military-related psychological trauma and its effects on all. In the past, post-traumatic stress disorder was commonly known as shell shock or battle fatigue. The definition included a range of behaviors resulting from the stress of battle, which decreased fighting efficiency. The most common symptoms are fatigue, slower reaction times, indecision, disconnection from one's surroundings and inability to prioritize. The ratio of stress casualties to battle casualties varies with the intensity of the fighting.
In World War I, shell shock was considered a psychiatric illness resulting from injury to the nerves during combat. The horrors of trench warfare meant that about 10 percent of the fighting soldiers were killed in World War I. Statistics show only 4.5 percent died during World War II. Whether a shell-shocked sufferer was considered "wounded" or "sick" depended on the circumstances. The large proportion of World War I veterans in the European population meant that the symptoms were common to the culture.
However, today’s veterans not only deal with PTSD, but also have to process the radical differences in ways of life. Oftentimes, people hear stories of young children welding high power rifles with the intent to kill and with no real regard or value for life. Religious beliefs affect how other combatants from various countries perceive their death during conflict. There is also a disconnect between basic human rights. Women are often treated as second-class citizens. In a country riddled with war, our active duty service members see so much that is wildly different than what we are accustomed to that those items alone can throw one into a scenario of the unknown. Introduce weapons and improvised explosive devices, and a recipe for nightmares is inevitable. Welcome Home Vets Inc. provides a lifeline to confidentially discuss the realities of war while coming to terms with memories.
Combining the horrors of war with trying to reintegrate into civilian society means that a toll can occur on family life/time at home with loved ones as well. Even family members have a difficult time with the changes of the returning warrior. The unsung heroes are those behind the servicemen and servicewomen. Those left behind to run the homes of the men and women of the Armed Services are usually unsung heroes. However, even more in the shadows of the public eye are the families behind these veterans. Often it is these family members that sacrifice so much, such as holidays, birthdays, special events and the things that normal families take for granted. Spouses must assume the roles of their absentee mate, rearrange agendas to fit offbeat schedules, or simply learn to function independently. Job commitments and pressures sometimes foster breakdowns in communication between spouses.
“Welcome Home Vets is making a difference, one person and one family at a time,” said combat veteran Thomas Horne. “My family has had tremendous benefits by utilizing their service and talking through things that are different or seem to have changed. In reality, nothing has changed in the world, but more inside of me – the way I think, react and act. They literally put a family back together and were the catalyst for serious healing. For the first time, in a long time, I am facing things head on rather than burying them and pretending nothing happened. A lot happened over there and to survive I developed very dysfunctional ways to hide my pain/anguish in coping.”
For more information please contact Welcome Home Vets Inc. at 530-272-3300, email info@WelcomeHomeVets.org or visit www.WelcomeHomeVets.org.