Course coaches vets, families how to cope with life after war

Course coaches vets, families how to cope with life after war

***Correction to story: Julianne Sanford and J.D Collett are considered "Peer Facilitator" NOT counselors or teachers.

JACKSONVILLE (KYTX) - A new course designed to help military vets and their families cope with life after war kicked off in Jacksonville Monday night.

When you gotten used to living in a war zone, the transition back into society can be a difficult one. That's why one Texas organization is doing something to help make the transition easier for military and their families.

The group is called Operation Resilient Families. It's an organization made up of ex-military and military family members. The program is different in that it educates both military and their loved ones on ways to approach and understand one another.

It's a challenge hundreds of men and women experience when they come home from war.

"From driving the right speed, not jumping every time you hear a noise, just total readjustment all over again," said Army veteran Annesia Davis-Parkman.

She served over seas in Afghanistan. 
"One day we were eating dinner in the de fact...and we heard this loud boom...left you see this big ol' hole in the back of the dinning facility ...we had been hit," Parkman said reflecting on her time overseas.

She said leaving a war zone is a rough transition, but with funds from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) people in the Jacksonville community started a peer program branched from the Texas based group Operation Resilient Families.

The first day the group met was Monday at the Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville to learn ways on coping with life after war.
"There's so many things that you don't' expect.when you have a family member that's been deployed," said Julianne Sanford. She's one of the educators teaching the Operation Resilient Families course.

The course is eight weeks long and vets and their families will learn how to deal with anger, return to family life, communicate and understand how war has impacted and changed their loved ones.

Sanford said, one of the keys in making programs like this work is being able to relate. Sanford is a military wife and mom. She peer facilitates family members.

Veteran J. D Collett peer facilitates veterans.

"I went to Vietnam spent three tours over there,when I came back to a different seemed like to me the whole world had changed except for me." 

They hope this course will remind vets of their world before war.

 The course is free and open to veterans and their families all over.



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