Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation
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1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
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Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation
P.O. Box 738455
Dallas, TX 75373-8455

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We Stand with Those Battling PTS: A Letter from Our President and CEO

Honor Heal PTS image

Dear Foundation Familia,

With National Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) Awareness Month upon us, we at the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation stand arm in arm with the approximately 12 million Americans fighting the effects of PTS.

The Foundation knows that millions of those battling this vicious affliction do so as a result of their service during the Global War on Terrorism. As a U.S. Army veteran with multiple deployments, I know that the invisible wounds of war can be the heaviest, and sometimes the most difficult to seek help for. I have also seen PTS take the lives of too many people whom I cared for deeply, long after they left the battlefield.

If you’re wondering why we aren’t calling it PTSD, it’s because post-traumatic stress is an injury, not a disorder. Speaking from experience, the word “disorder” carries a stigma which adds to the weight some of us carry, and prevents many from seeking the care they need. We need to reverse that misconception.

Each day, the Foundation team and I answer a sacred calling to help those fighting through the aftermath of traumatic episodes. One of the core tenets of the Foundation’s mission is to help all GWOT veterans and their families heal from the mental, physical, and emotional scars of war so many of us bear. The GWOT Memorial will be a place to help all of those affected by the conflict. It also provides the opportunity for our nation to show the tremendous love we have for our veterans and family members, and how much we value them.

On the walls of the Lincoln Memorial—which overlooks the sight of the future national GWOT Memorial—are written the words of President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address in 1865. “Let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan,” Lincoln said.

We at the Foundation are striving to care for all who have borne the battle, approaching our mission with the sanctity and reverence it deserves. We hope you will too. If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of PTS, please check out these resources from the Department of Veterans Affairs, including a Veterans Crisis Line.

The wounds of war—even those unseen—are painful. But we know they were not in vain. With your continued support, all who fought will receive their due honor.

Gracias and Godspeed,

Michael “Rod” Rodríguez
GWOTMF President and CEO