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PAIRS Foundation Offering Free Classes to Help Combat Veterans Impacted by PTSD
Date:11/11/2009

PAIRS Foundation is actively collaborating with the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center and other military and VA facilities nationwide to help active duty, reserve, guard, veterans and family members impacted by combat deployment.

"We're honored that our collaboration with the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center was recently selected as a 'Best Practice' by the Veterans Administration," Eisenberg said.

Chaplain Ron Craddock, Chief of Chaplain Services at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, said the program is making a difference. "PAIRS is changing the lives of returning combat veterans and their spouses," he said.

"Combat deployment can significantly impact couple relationships," said Eisenberg. "The added impact of PTSD and TBI on many returning veterans requires urgent attention."

Eisenberg cited research conducted on a pilot group at Charlie Norwood that showed a 25 percent increase in the number of couples experiencing marital distress following deployment. "Early, effective intervention is needed to reduce the impact on these couples and their children," Eisenberg said, "Curriculum-based educational programs based on emotional literacy can make an immediate difference for these soldiers and their families," Eisenberg said.

"Following a weekend PAIRS retreat for returning combat veterans and spouses," Eisenberg said, "the percentage of couples able to effectively communicate with each other increased from 26 to 79 percent."

Laurie Ott of the CSRA Wounded Warrior Care Project in Augusta, GA was one of the program sponsors. "PAIRS is exactly what we were looking for in terms of real relationship skills for combat-returned and wounded warriors and their spouses," she said.
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