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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