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Week of 6.13.08

Resources for Soldiers, Vets, and Families

Below is information for active-duty soldiers, war veterans, and their families on traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and substance abuse. Also included is a list of legal groups and organizations offering services to military families.

Health & Trauma

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The National Center for PTSD offers a variety of guides for soldiers, vets and their families:

Help for Veterans and Their Families
Coping with PTSD and Recommended Lifestyle Changes
Returning from the War Zone: A Guide for Families (PDF)
Video: Women Who Served in Our Military

Rand has produced a variety of publications to help soldiers, vets and their families identify and cope with PTSD.

The Department of Defense's Mental Health Self Assessment Program offers service personnel and their families the opportunity to take anonymous, mental health and alcohol use self-assessments online. After completing a self-assessment, individuals receive referral information.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has topic blogs on PTSD, and mental health.

Substance Abuse

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a resource page specifically for soldiers and veterans. This includes a substance abuse facility locator to help locate local drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs.

Traumatic Brain Injury

The following organizations provide tools and resources to help understand and treat traumatic brain injury:
The Bob Woodruff Family Foundation
The National Institutes of Health—National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
The Mayo Clinic: Traumatic Brain Injury

Legal Information and Advice

The National Archives has a page for veterans with information on correcting military service records and discharges

Legal Services is the U.S. Army's military legal information portal with the stated goal of advising soldiers, family members, and other eligible clients on their legal affairs by delivering preventive law information and resolving personal legal problems.

The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program provides free attorneys to veterans and their qualifying family members who have an appeal pending at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) describes itself as dedicated to ensuring that the U.S. government honors its commitment to veterans by providing them the federal benefits they have earned through their service to our country.

Lawyers Serving Warriors is a project of the NVLSP that provides free legal representation in disability, discharge and veterans benefits cases to service members and veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

The NVLSP produces a Veterans Benefit Manual for advocates who assist veterans and their families to obtain benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Disabled American Veterans offers claim representation services to veterans and their families, assistance in filing claims for VA disability compensation, rehabilitation and education programs, pensions, death benefits, employment and training programs.