Women’s Services and Crisis Centers – Vignette

Greg’s Story

Things were getting worse at home. Greg’s fuse was shorter than ever and then he shoved his wife Cathy, hard. He had never been physically violent before, but since returning from his deployment as a combat medic several years ago, he was much more volatile. He was even more impatient with their 12-year-old son. Cathy tried to convince Greg to get help, but he refused, insisting he just needed some peace and quiet.

One night he pushed Cathy again and she realized she needed help, fast. She did not feel safe and did not know what to do next. When Greg left for work the next morning, Cathy took her son and went to a local crisis center for assistance.  They helped her establish a safety plan – to stay with her sister for the time being– and then discussed options. The crisis worker did not inquire about military service, and at first when Cathy was talking about her fear at home, she did not mention it herself.

Eventually, Cathy said “ever since he got back . . . “ and it came out that when Greg was deployed he had been involved in violent and gory situations overseas. This helped crisis center staff provide the best possible guidance and support. They urged Cathy to consult with her local Vet Center for family and spousal support, and also consulted with the Chaplain in Greg’s Reserves unit. The Chaplain was able to convince Greg to get help at the Vet Center, where he enrolled in individual counseling and an anger management group. They connected Cathy to a support group for military spouses.

Today, with counseling and support, Greg has his temper under control and Cathy and their son are safe at home.  What might have happened had Greg’s military service not come up during that visit to the crisis center?

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Select your profession to see how:

By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” senior services professionals can:

  1. Help older veterans feel understood and respected for their military service
  2. Make effective referrals to Veteran-specific programs and resources
  3. Help military widows access survivor benefits
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” children’s services professionals can:

  1. Help a student thrive when a parent is deployed
  2. Support families facing deployment and reintegration
  3. Improve peer sensitivity to military children
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” employment and vocational services professionals can:

  1. Identify a warrior’s transferable skills
  2. Connect Veterans to military-friendly employers
  3. Help a returning Service Member access veteran job training programs
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” faith-based professionals can:

  1. Identify families in need of extra help during deployment
  2. Motivate communities to come together on behalf of those who serve
  3. Connect military families to the supports and services they need
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” healthcare and medical professionals can:

  1. Build critical rapport with a reluctant patient
  2. Understand the relationship between military experiences and medical symptoms
  3. Provide effective referrals and resources
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” higher education professionals can:

  1. Help a warrior acclimate to a civilian learning environment
  2. Improve peer sensitivity to veteran classmates
  3. Effectively accommodate service-connected disabilities
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” housing services professionals can:

  1. Identify families that qualify for Veteran-specific housing programs
  2. Address service-related barriers to stable housing
  3. Provide effective referrals and resources
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” law enforcement professionals can:

  1. Keep veterans and their families safe
  2. Build trust and rapport in difficult situations
  3. Partner with providers who help Veterans in crisis
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” legal services professionals can:

  1. Support justice-involved veterans
  2. Identify legal challenges related to military service
  3. Link to effective resources
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” mental health professionals can:

  1. Build critical rapport with a reluctant client
  2. Understand the impact of military stressors on mental health and substance use
  3. Help a family understand the emotional effects of deployment on the whole family
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” social services professionals can:

  1. Engage reluctant Veteran clients
  2. Meet a military family’s unique needs
  3. Coordinate services between veteran and civilian providers
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By asking “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” women’s services professionals can:

  1. Partner with veteran service providers in crisis situations
  2. Identify deployment-related triggers and risk factors
  3. Identify individuals affected by Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
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Call Us (844)-4ASKVET
Email Us AskTheQuestion@eastersealsnh.org