Question from Stephanie: I am writing you in regards to my son, who was enlisted in the Army for 20+ years and at this time, he is dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the beginning, he was having bad dreams and would constantly “jerk” during the night. Currently, the dreams seem to be getting worse. I need to find out where to go or who to call in order to get him the help he needs. I’ve been talking it over with him and he does not want to be placed on drugs. We wrote two years ago about the loss of our other son. Any help you could give in this matter will be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance.

Response from Ami Neiberger-Miller of TAPS (who is also Military Loss editor for Open to Hope):
I am so sorry for the loss of your son, and that now, you are dealing with post traumatic stress disorder. If left untreated, the PTSD may get worse. Your family doctor may be able to suggest a counselor or therapist who can help, and help you explore other options besides medication. We have heard of innovative therapies involving counseling, tai chi, art, and yoga. I would also suggest contacting the local Vet Center and making an appointment to speak with a counselor. If you go to www.va.gov and then click on locations, you can find a location near you with contact information.

Many veterans with PTSD tell us that they are troubled by memories of seeing a buddy die. There is a special peer-based emotional program for veterans called the TAPS Battle Buddies program. Offered by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), this is a peer support program designed to help military service personnel who are grieving the death of a comrade-in-arms. More information is available on the TAPS website at http://www.taps.org/survivors.aspx?id=1076 or by contacting battlebuddies@taps.org.

If your spouse is a veteran who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and is currently going through the disability evaluation system or processing a VA claim, free legal help is available from www.LawyersServingWarriors.org. The percentage rating assigned to a veteran going through this system determines the level of benefits that they and their family receive for life. Having the advice of an attorney trained in veterans benefits while going through the disability and claims process can help you think about long-term needs and focus on a recovery from PTSD.

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Ami Neiberger-Miller

Ami Neiberger-Miller

Media relations, writing, strategic communications, and social media are all part of Ami Neiberger-Miller’s daily workload. She provides clients with strategic counsel, designs campaigns, builds relationships with journalists, and crafts copy for social media, press releases, and publications. Helping nonprofit organizations, associations and businesses communicate more effectively has been Ami Neiberger-Miller’s passion and focus for more than two decades. 
Ami founded Steppingstone LLC in 2003 to provide communications and graphic design services for nonprofits, associations and small businesses. Her client roster soon included the American Forest Foundation, the National 4-H Cooperative Curriculum System, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. It expanded to include NAFSA: Association for International Educators, the Nature Conservancy and many others. From 2004-2007 while working as a consultant, Ami also served as the communications director for Sister Cities International, a national association of international city-to-city partnerships working to build understanding, education, cultural awareness, and economic ties. She supervised a staff of five and was responsible for the organization’s website, public relations, advocacy, publications, and member communications. She also published her first book in 2005 with the organization, Peace Through People: 50 Years of Global Citizenship. 
In 2007, tragedy struck when Ami’s brother, U.S. Army Specialist Christopher Neiberger, was killed in action in Baghdad, Iraq during the troop surge. Ami managed media attention on her grieving family after being notified of her brother’s death. She became a public advocate for trauma survivors and those left behind following the death of a military service member. She served as a spokesperson and public affairs officer from 2007 through 2014 for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, a nonprofit organization that assists grieving military families. Ami cultivated relationships and worked on stories with reporters from the Associated Press, Fox News Channel, CNN, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes, National Public Radio, NBC Nightly News, C-SPAN, USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and many others. She coordinated media interviews for a chapter in “For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism and Sacrifice,” by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrakesan. 
While working for TAPS, Ami continued to build and grow her consulting practice with Steppingstone LLC. She worked for several years on a grant funded project managed by the American Association of Community Colleges that supported thousands of older adults going to colleges around the country to re-train for new jobs during the Great Recession. In 2008 she began working for the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP), which provides pro-bono legal assistance to veterans and military service members seeking disability benefits. She managed media relations on behalf of NVLSP for the class action lawsuit, Sabo v. United States, which successfully won retirement benefits for thousands of service members with post-traumatic stress disorder who had been discharged without the federal benefits to which they were entitled. She continued to represent NVLSP in 2018 and worked with national and local reporters covering the military and veterans issues. Ami appeared on the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart to discuss “Loss & the Military.” To hear her interview with Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi, go to the following link: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/35107/loss-and-the-military

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