Supporting Military Families Struggling with PTSD

 Can you imagine leaving your loved ones behind uncertain that you would return home?  For many military families, this is a reality they face. Those who have fought for our country, sometimes come back wounded and often experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among other mental/physical challenges. Life becomes much more complicated on the return and that’s one reason Congress named June 27 as PTSD Awareness Day. U.S. Military Veterans have a suicide rate of 22 per day. In many cases, suicide is seen as the only option. Although many have families, they still feel alone.  Often their families feel isolated too by the different behavior of their loved one.

The Houston office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) has a heart for our military families. We know that there is nothing that we can do here equate to the major sacrifices made by our military personnel. However, in our own special way, we simply say thank you through our acts of kindness and love. In the first quarter of 2016, as well as in 2015, our Houston employees volunteered with the PTSD Foundation of America’s Camp Hope in Houston. Camp Hope provides interim housing for our Wounded Warriors, veterans and their families suffering from combat related PTSD in a caring and positive environment. Our employees have supported where they can; they have served food, cleaned up or just assisted with other sundry duties. 

Lori Ivanoff, our DVP of Network Management in the Houston office, heard about a great cause that supported military families and knowing our office’s passion about helping veterans, she eagerly presented the idea to the rest of the Houston office.  Without hesitation, leadership and employees alike were eager to participate. With such a strong commitment to our military and families, the Houston office of BCBSTX has now become the Title sponsor of the Red, White and Bike ride.  The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Red, White and Bike Ride for Little Heroes is an event to raise funds for bikes for the children or siblings of Purple Heart recipients or military who were killed in the line of duty. 

Prior to the Ride on April 10th, Dr. Bob Morrow and Lori Ivanoff joined the Operation Red White and Bike team to present the children or siblings of Purple Heart veterans with their own bikes personalized with their names on a special Red, White and Bike nameplate.  The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Red, White and Bike Ride is BP MS150 recommended ride and we anticipate that as the word gets out over the year, that ridership and funds raised for these “Little Heroes” will increase. 

We care about our military heroes and families and hope you join us in our expression of love.  To learn more about the ride, visit www.redwhiteandbike.org. For information about PTSD or Camp Hope, visit www.ptsdusa.org.  The PTSD Veteran Line is 1-877-717-PTSD (7873).

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