Hope For The Warriors® has created the Family Reintegration Program with Holliswood Hospital in Queens, New York.  The Family Reintegration Program aims to, first and foremost, support wounded warriors and their families by engaging the warrior and their spouse/caregiver in a therapeutic experience that promotes family communication, recovery and resiliency.

Several family members have already attended the program and are experiencing the benefits at home and within their relationships.  One spouse shared her story below:

The Family
Reintegration Program at Holliswood
Hospital
was a fantastic opportunity and one that I believe all families
living with someone with PTSD/TBI should experience.  I participated in the program during my
husband’s second stay at Holliswood.
 

First Treatment
The first time my husband was a patient at Holliswood, I
spoke to him often and he would tell me about how he was feeling.  However, I spoke to the counselors only twice
during his 30-day stay and I didn’t really feel connected to his
treatment.  It was still “his problem”
and he was responsible for fixing it.
 
Returning to
Treatment

Nine months later, he was readmitted to Holliswood in the
Military Wellness Program.  This time, my
husband returned with a renewed sense of hope and commitment to getting
well.
 

Aynisa, the coordinator of the Military Wellness Program
contacted me, to see if I was interested in accompanying my husband to his intake
and then staying for a few extra days for the Family Reintegration
Program.  All travel expenses would be covered
by Hope For The Warriors®.  In addition,
respite activities for the spouses would also be planned.  I enthusiastically accepted the invitation
because I wanted to meet the people that would be treating my husband and have
the opportunity to interact with other spouses and family members of wounded
veterans.

“Living with someone with PTSD can be extremely isolating and lonely. People don’t understand why my husband doesn’t like to leave
the house or has problems interacting with people in public or has extreme road
rage at times.  I am too tired to always
explain it, so it is easier to socialize with women who know how I feel.”

Treatment for the
Family

On the second day of the program, Aynisa provided a class to
all of the spouses about PTSD, symptoms, and behaviors.  It was eye opening to hear that most of the veterans
there experienced similar symptoms and behaved the same way.  It was comforting to know that I was not
alone in my feelings about PTSD and the responsibilities that are associated
with the injury.  During the program, I
also had the opportunity to have two individual counseling sessions and two
sessions with my husband. 



“I cried a lot because in the five years that we have dealt with my
husband’s PTSD, I never felt that I could just release my sadness or
frustration to someone that would understand and could help me deal with these
feelings and learn to rebuild our life.”

The Importance of
Respite Activities

The respite activities provided by Hope For The Warriors®
were great.  We visited areas of New York
City and the outlying boroughs that I would not have known about if visiting
alone.  The Hope For The Warriors® staff
took us to dinner and to see the Broadway production of Mary Poppins.

 It was great to be
able to go to dinner and to the theater without having to worry if my husband
was going to be OK or determining where the closest exit or whether or not
someone was going to irritate him. 
“It was an opportunity for me to enjoy my time without any other
responsibilities. 
It is an experience that I will forever be grateful to Hope
For The Warriors®.”

Home Again

Things now are by no means perfect.  My husband has really good days and bad
days.  In the past, it always felt like
bad days and really bad days. 



“My husband’s second stay at Holliswood was a new beginning for him and
our marriage.”


My husband finally accepted that he needs my help.  Whether it be to track his appointments,
medications, or whatever he needs, he now knows that he can ask and doesn’t
need to be ashamed.  He is committed to
continuing his care with weekly therapy and staying current on his
medications.  I don’t know if my husband
will ever be out of the grips of PTSD, but after participating in the Military
Wellness Program at Holliswood, he sees that there is hope and a future as long
as he continues to work on his well-being and the well-being of our family.