On Tuesday, June 22, LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dog Britta (LCC Squad) and her veteran handlers, Dale and Joyce Sasse, attended "22" Dinner at Trinity Lutheran Church in Auburn, Illinois. The purpose of the event is to bring attention to the 22 veterans who take their lives every day. The event was well attended. Joyce spoke to the veterans about how the LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry started and serves veterans and their families.
The program for the evening was to spotlight that June is PTSD Awareness Month. The speakers were veterans Matt Sorenson and Kara Barnes. Matt has been attending Trinity's "22" Dinners for some time and has shared his experience with PTSD. He shared his struggles with alcohol abuse, flashbacks, survivor guilt, and losing his family, home, and business. Matt has found his way back and married, and he and his wife Kristi are building their life together, renovating their home, and taking vacations. Matt still has a daily struggle, but with the help of his wife and family and the support of fellow veterans and LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dog Dinah (Trinity - Auburn, Illinois) he keeps going.
Kara Barnes is a veteran and the Suicide Prevention Program Manager for the Illinois Army National Guard. Kara was the speaker at the May "22" dinner and told the veterans about her job and how her own experience with PTSD and considering suicide led her to her present position to help other veterans.
While PTSD is a hard topic to discuss, both speakers did an excellent job informing us and helping us understand the struggles associated with this illness.
We look forward to sharing time and fellowship with veterans and their families each month.