Chad Robichaux author of “An Unfair Advantage” joined Glenn Beck on the Think Tank to discuss the serious issues veterans and active duty personnel face following their service in the military and how his foundation, Mighty Oaks Foundation, has saved thousands of lives.
“The Mighty Oaks Foundation is an organization we set up after I came home from Afghanistan,” said Robichaux.
Robichaux said he struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder upon returning home, contemplated taking his own life, and faced divorce before realizing he wasn’t the only one struggling with these issues.
The suicide rate among veterans is 21 percent higher for men and 85 percent higher for females when compared to civilian suicide rates which are up 32 percent for men since 2001 and 40 percent for women.
“I realized that 20 plus of my brothers every day were taking their life. Divorce rates were astronomical, and I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to give people the same pathway forward that I found.”
Paired with insufficient data and a lack of comprehensive studies, the VA says it’s difficult to treat these individuals.
The VA estimates that nearly 20 veterans a day commit suicide, and in 2014 alone, 7,400 veterans took their own lives. Numerous studies have also shown that PTSD significantly impacts their relationship with their spouse and children leading to divorces often within the first six months of returning home.
According to the VA’s website:
“Male Veterans with PTSD are more likely to report marital or relationship problems, higher levels of parenting problems, and generally poorer family adjustment than Veterans without PTSD. Research has shown that Veterans with PTSD are less self-disclosing and expressive with their partners than Veterans without PTSD. PTSD Veterans and their wives have also reported a greater sense of anxiety around intimacy. Sexual dysfunction also tends to be higher in combat Veterans with PTSD than in Veterans without PTSD. It has been posited that diminished sexual interest contributes to decreased couple satisfaction and adjustment.”
“One of the things that I think most veterans struggle with when they get done with their service, even if they’re at a low point in their service, is purpose. You’re doing something important one day and then the next that was gone. And so, you feel a lot of shame, guilt, or just purposeless,” said Robichaux.