BALTIMORE, M.D. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Since the US went to war with Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 6,700 servicemen and women have lost their lives and at least 50,000 more have been physically wounded, but it's the wounds you can't see that are proving just as devastating. Now one woman's vision is helping thousands heal their invisible psychological scars.
Just six weeks after marine Justin Constantine's first deployment to Iraq in 2006, a sniper shot him in the head.
"The marines around me thought I had been killed," says Justin Constantine, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps.
But thanks to a young medic and his then girlfriend Dahlia, Justin survived.
"When I woke up she was there," Justin tells Ivanhoe.
Since then the two have married, but it hasn't been easy. Justin's had 25 reconstructive surgeries and like one in five other service members, suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"A lot of nightmares, trouble sleeping, hyper-vigilance, and the slightest noise would wake me up," explains Justin.
Justin's wife Dahlia Constantine recalls, "I didn't know what to do and I didn't know how to cope with it."
Veterans also account for 20% of US suicides, averaging one a day. That's why psychologist Barbara Van Dahlen started the non-profit website www.giveanhour.org, a national network of 7,000 mental health care professionals offering free counseling to folks like Justin and their families.
"It's for as much care as you want; there's no limit, there's no paper work, there's no cost. Period," explains Give an Hour Founder Barbara Van Dahlen.
The organization began as a way for Van Dahlen to honor her father, a World War II vet.
"I think he'd be proud," says Van Dahlen.
Now in its eighth year Give an Hour's given 87,000 hours, worth 8.7 million dollars in care. Helping folks like the Constantines.
"I've seen a huge difference," says Dahlia.
"I just know what my triggers are and how to deal with them," explains Justin. "I wouldn't know that if I hadn't gone to a lot of counseling."
Justin continues to use Give an Hour's services and recently accepted a position on Give an Hour's board of directors. Barbara Van Dahlen was named as one of Time Magazine's 100 top most influential people in the world last year for her work with Give an Hour.
You never know when something's gonna happen. You might hear about it or see it on television, but when it's you it's something different."
Authorities in Bibb County arrested a 22-year-old Centreville man after a brief chase Tuesday night.
During the Wednesday morning County Commissions meeting, Commission President David Carrington claimed that Calvin Grigsby, the attorney representing a group of sewer rate payers, offered to drop the appeal to the Jeffco bankruptcy exit …
A former assistant to Birmingham Mayor William Bell who was recently arrested on drug charges is no longer working for the city.
The area around a certain part of Smithfield looks like a normal overgrown lot. However, it's anything but a normal overgrown lot.
Governor Robert Bentley says Alabama will be among the states submitting a proposal next week to land the assembly plant for Boeing's new 777X aircraft.
Police have concluded that Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro committed suicide by hanging weeks into a life sentence with no chance for parole.
The county school district wanted to increase the number of resources officers from seven to eleven, which would add four more armed law enforcement officers to the county-wide system.