Welcome To CareForTheTroops.org

WHO is the site for? ... This site is for military Support Our Troops Ribbon members, civilian contractors, their immediate and extended family members; whether there is a family member deployed, between deployments, recently returned, or separated.. It is also for mental health professionals, congregations of all sizes and community leaders, and others who are in positions to provide help, compassion, or advice to those who are recovering from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

WHY visit this site? ... This site will help those who are both near and far from the existing DOD and VA facilities; who may be having difficulty getting the help needed in a timely manner. We are working to help better educate and train an additional civilian cadre of mental health professionals and community and congregation leaders on how better to understand the issues of those affected by the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict. The goal is to be able to provide the needed resources that can address the mental health issues when they arise and cause any further delay in receiving treatment.

What are some key signs and "triggers" to look for?

Triggers that indicate when someone you know may need some extra assistance with issues affecting them from the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Want to know more?--click here...

Congregation leaders (of small, medium, and large congregations) would include leaders of all faiths. Community Leader examples are school counselors, family practice doctors, members of social service organizations, police chiefs, fire chiefs, or other employers. It is without limits as it includes all civilians who come in contact with our brave veterans and their family members.

OUR GOAL for this web site? ... We want this website to be a resource you can rely upon and trust to help better understand the mental health issues of US military and their extended families resulting from the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other past conflicts. By better understanding the issues, more will recognize the symptoms and triggers and this will result in a better quality and quantity of referrals to mental health professionals.

Video of Military Family Reunions... What you see in this 10 minute video is consistent with the hope that CareForTheTroops has for all military families.

Is Your Congregation Close To Military Families?

Veteran Treatment Courts (VTCs)

This information may be useful to you should you find yourself helping a veteran who has to appear in court. Also, a Veteran Friendly Congregation ministry team may want to consider getting involved in their county or with other VFCs.

The first Veterans Treatment Court was founded by the Honorable Robert Russell in Buffalo, New York in January, 2008, after he noticed an increase in the number of veterans appearing on his Drug Court and Mental Health Court dockets. In response, he asked his local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and volunteer veterans in the community to join in creating a new court docket that would focus exclusively on justice-involved veterans.

Today, it has spread nationally and continues to grow in Tennessee, Georgia and other states where our VFCs exist. A Veterans Treatment Court is designed to provide rehabilitation vs punishment for veterans arrested and appearing in court for crimes not as serious as murder. It is a “problem solving” process facilitated and enhanced by the assignment of a Mentor during the entire process which is key to the success of the program.

The program has proven results in reducing the recidivism rate of veterans in prison. For example, in Knoxville, the group that has adopted our VFC model was already implementing a Veteran Treatment Court (VTC) effort. In one year, their efforts have reduced the recidivism rate from 90% to 10%.

With the help of Ed Junod in Tennessee and Bill Howerton in Georgia, CareForTheTroops has put a webpage together providing additional VTC background information as well as known contact information for the jurisdictions that have VTCs. The page also includes a National Locator site for our other states that have Veteran Friendly Congregations. Here's the link. http://www.careforthetroops.org/vetcourts.php

Today's News Reports
TOPICS: - PTSD - Military Veteran Mental Health

Georgia's Gold Star Family License Plate

Image of the Gold Star Family License Plate in Georgia

Surviving family members of a service member killed in action, while serving in the United States Armed Forces, are entitled to a Gold Star specialty plate. For more information about the Gold Star specialty plate visit the following WEBSTITE:

CareForTheTroops is focused on assisting therapists and congregations provide help to military veterans and their families.

What should congregation and community leaders consider doing NOW?

Many will come in contact with military personnel, civilian contractors, and their family members connected to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts at churches, synagogues, mosques, schools, medical offices, places of employment and where social services agencies are operating.

Congregation Leaders should start a Military Ministry; whether a large or small congregation. We describe how to do that here.

Community Leaders should learn about the military culture and signs of trauma & PTSD.

Want to know more?
Congregation Leaders -- click here,
Community Leaders    -- click here.

State of Tennessee MapNews from Tennessee. We have a Tennessee partner. The Vet to Vet Tennessee and the Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council picked our Veteran Friendly Congregation (VFC) model as their standard for outreach to the faith communities in Tennessee. They already have added VFCs, and given to us the idea of Veteran Friendly Ministries. Another passion of theirs is Veteran Treatment Courts which CareForTheTroops will attempt to promote also. Welcome Tennessee!! Please take a moment and visit their website tnvhc.org to learn more of what they are doing and what Veteran Treatment Courts are all about.

Syracure University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families in March produced a report entitled “THE BUSINESS CASE FOR HIRING A VETERAN, BEYOND THE CLICHES”

Click Here to READ IT

Leadership ability and the strong sense of mission that comes from military service are characteristics that are highly valued in a competitive business environment. The business case validating the organizational value of a veteran is supported by academic research in a way that is both more robust and more complex than leadership and mission focus alone.

The Hire Heroes Act - VRAP Program

This Act included a section for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). It offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and the Department of Labor rolled out VRAP July 1, 2012 and as of July 9 it's received more than 30,000 applications.

Veterans who qualify for VRAP are:
 • Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
 • Are unemployed on the date of application
 • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
 • Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
 • Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to un-employability
 • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program

The program is limited to 45,000 participants through September 30, 2012, and 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Details on the VRAP are available HERE.

CareForTheTroops President, Rev Robert CertainA Message From Our CFTT President, Rev. Robert Certain

Current Message

Archived Messages

During late 2009 and 2010, Robert was appointed as a member of the DOD Task Force on Suicide Prevention by the President and Congress. Subsequently, he has become part of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention sponsored by Secretaries Sebelius, Shinseki, and Gates. Here is the CSPAN video of their final report (Full Report) findings and recommendations on August 24, 2010.

Click Here

HIGHLIGHT - Financial Management Information

This August we have added information about Financial Management to the website. CLICK HERE and check it out. It's also on the left menu.

Foundation For Financial ManagementFinancial Management is one of the most important issues that military families need to address. It is often a factor affecting the mential health and resilency of military families and therefore consistent with the mission of CareForTheTroops.

HIGHLIGHT - A great website on PTSD and Trauma for ALL family members

A very informative site filled with all kinds of resources about PTSD and Trauma. It is not just focused on military trauma so it might be useful for other members of military families. Go to the Gift From Within website.

For more info on PTSD and TBI see the pages on this website - PTSD -- TBI -

HIGHLIGHT - Check Out VA Vet Centers,
Now 7 in Georgia

Vet Centers (300+ so far) provide readjustment counseling and outreach services to all veterans who served in any combat zone. Services are also available for their family members for military related issues. Veterans have earned these benefits through their service and all are provided at no cost to the veteran or family. The five centers in Georgia are in Atlanta, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Macon, Columbus, Augusta, and Savannah.

....or call 877-WAR-VETS(927-8387) for a confidential conversation with a Vet Center Counselor.

HIGHLIGHT - New, free training material for Vets, Clinicians and Congregation Leaders

A Quick Guide for Returning Veterans (pocket-sized booklet) and Clinicians's Guide for counselors. Written by Pamela Woll, MA CADP from the ATTC Network. Read more about this material on our Training Material Page


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Brotherhood of St Andrew LogoClick to access Brotherhood of St Andrews files.


 • If you are a Vet or family member, here is a web site with helpful resources to pursue a degree online. AccreditedOnlineColleges.net

 • CareForTheTroops will continue to look for opportunities to sponsor EMDR Training Weekends for therapists working in a non-profit, prison, hospice, or government setting. Our 3 weekend series in Athens, Macon, and Brunswick, GA were quite successful. These weekends were co-sponsored with The Samaritan Counseling Center, The Georgia Association of Community Service Boards and GAMFT. Continue to check our training schedule for announcements of future EMDR training opportunities.

 • Visit GiftFromWithin.org   for
     training pod/web-casts on Trauma

Visit our Training Calendar for Upcoming Events

Click this button to go to the Event and Training Calendar

If you know of other training events, please share that info we us so we can advertise them to our site visitors.

CareForTheTroops Video

Rev Robert Certain, President of CareForTheTroops, and Peter McCall, Exec Dir, provide a 6 minute overview covering the formation and purpose of the organization. We hope you find it informative and motivates you to take some form of action to be supportive of our country's valuable military families, veterans, and civilian contractors.


What should Clinicians and Therapists consider doing?

It has already started, but certainly over the next couple of years, more and more clients with military backgrounds will be seeking mental health support from civilian, non-VA clinicians.

  1. Consider enrolling in the CareForTheTroops program
  2. Consider some training to treat patients with trauma using EMDR
  3. Consider becoming part of the CareForTheTroops Training Cadre. Over time our training needs will increase and we will need more and more trainers
  4. Consider speaking with the leadership at your current congregation or the congregations nearby your home and office, encouraging them to begin a military ministry and to work with the CareForTheTroops initiative

Want to know more?    click here.

Ten Things You Should Know to Help Bring the OIF/OEF Veteran All the Way Home

By Alison Lighthall, RN, MS

Item Number 1: So what if the person has changed?

They are not the same people they were before they deployed. But do not assume that is a bad thing. The Service Member may come home more confident, with better problem-solving skills. He may return with a deeper sense of gratitude for the comforts that he used to take for granted or she may have found a greater sense of purpose and direction than she ever had before. Yes, there may be many unseen wounds of the soul and spirit. But there are tremendous resources to help heal those wounds, both for the Service Member and the Service Member’s family, and an ever growing number of people who truly care and want to help.

HINT...this item will change every time you access the HOME Page

Want to know more? See all Ten? -- click here -- go see the Stuff You Should Know menu item on the left side.


All military Service Members begin their official time of service by taking this oath at a swearing in ceremony:


Speaking these words has far more emotional power than these words on paper could ever convey because a person in the military knows, in that moment, that they are agreeing to defend a principle with their very lives.

It is a moment they never forget!