A critical and underserved part of the support network for military members are their parents. Often burdened with the financial, psychological, family and logistic challenges of their son or daughter who served, they experience their own stress related to both deployment and readjustment that may unfortunately be overlooked or minimized. Yet for parents who have maintained a singular focus on the safe return of their beloved child, the aftermath of deployment can be an overwhelming emotional roller coaster ride.
Courage After Fire For Parents of Service Members is a much-needed book offering support and understanding to parents when their son or daughter returns from war. The authors examine the common challenges of readjustment through the lens of parenthood, providing insights, coping tools, resources and practical help to all the mothers and fathers who selflessly raise and support those who defend our country.
Dear Parents: Help us learn more about the rewards and challenges of supporting your service member after deployment. Dr. Suzanne Best and colleagues at Lewis and Clark College's Graduate School of Education and Counseling are conducting a research study on the experiences of parents who had a son or daughter deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan. If you are interested in participating by completing an anonymous survey, simply click on the following link:
We've written Courage After Fire to acknowledge the many challenges faced by Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans, and to support our troops and military families in their transition home. This self-help guide provides information on combat stress, war related grief, anger, and sleep problems, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), as well as the effects of PTSD on couples and children. In addition, we offer specific strategies and assistance for the post-war adjustment and combat stress treatment of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans, Active Duty service members, National Guard, and Reservists.
Carol Sheets, National VA Director of Social Work states "The VA Social Worker of the Year award celebrates the accomplishments of a gifted social worker who exhibits exemplary service in the performance of his/her job, builds links between individuals and groups in the organization, thinks and acts innovatively, exceeds the needs of internal and external customers, and demonstrates outstanding competency in his/her job. Keith has made major contributions to the professional practice of Social Work and to patient care. He has created and implemented innovative and new programs such as developing the first VA mental health clinic on a community college campus (City of College of San Francisco Veterans Outreach Program) that pre-dated the Veterans Integration of Academic Leadership (VITAL) program. He has developed new models of service delivery providing treatment for families and couples. Keith has established strong networks with community partners and is a top notch clinical professor at University of California, San Francisco. His publications "Courage After Fire" and "Courage After Fire for Parents" are highly valued in supporting our returning Servicemembers/Veterans and their families. We want to acknowledge Keith´s leadership for his significant contributions to the profession of Social Work and to patient care."