The American Combat Veterans of War (ACVOW) states their mission as:
Approximately 20% of veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan will suffer significant effects of stress from sustained combat. Mostly young, they do not normally associate the stress to the changes in their lives after returning home. As warriors, they also are reluctant to admit it and seek help. We strive to educate them on how to recognize those effects, and offer help in dealing with it for those who want help.
We are invited to speak to marine units at the four major bases in the San Diego area during the first 96 hours of their return home. Our members relate their own stories of combat, and the ensuing stresses. With that rapport, we tell them that help is available and that we can guide them to it.
We have a weekly group session “Safe Warrior Outreach,” at which any combat veteran can come and relate with his/her peers. This allows the veteran to confront his/her problem without the stigma associated with telling his problem to his superiors in the Corps. This is the first and very important step in the healing process.
We also maintain an office in the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in La Jolla, CA. Many veterans, especially those with combat stress, have a difficult time applying for benefits from the VA. We have been quite successful in helping those veterans secure their benefits.
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