The Red Cross is helping veterans reconnect.
Whether they’ve been out of the service a month or 20-years, Kathy Muscari with the Red Cross, says vets are finding they’re facing issues arising from their service.
A workshop at the Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center in Charleston on Friday tackled the issue of anger.
“Anger can be used in a way to where we get things done productively, like mow that grass or wash those dishes,” explains Muscari. “But it can also lead to situations that are not so comfortable. It can be things like being insulting or abusive to even domestic violence or acts we regret later.”
Muscari works with veterans on skills to build coping mechanisms, taking their anger and changing it into good energy. She says during an hour and a half seminar, the vets can talk with her and each other about situations they face where anger becomes a problem and how to deal with it.
From anger to stress to learning to communicate with others, vets often have to learn new skills to deal with traumatic incidents that happened during their service.
“We want to head off some of the things that happened in our history of not paying attention to the trauma of life-threatening situations where anger becomes an unhealthy coping skill,” says Muscari.
She works with everyone from veterans who have just served in Iraq and Afghanistan to those who returned from the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Muscari says there are a lot of things that can trigger anger problems for veterans years after they’ve returned home. And they need coping skills to deal with it in a healthy way.
“To avoid depression, to avoid frustration of life not turning out the way they had hoped,” says Muscari.
To find out about more Reconnection and other programs aimed at assisting veterans, you can go to the American Red Cross website at www.redcross.org.