Medal of Honor Recipients Encourage Guardsmen to Get Help
(June 28, 2010)
ARLINGTON, Va., – Two Medal of Honor recipients were here at
the Army National Guard Readiness Center, June 25, to
discuss how to reduce the stigmatism of Soldiers seeking
help after returning home from deployment.|
Retired Marine Corps Col. Jay Vargas and retired Army Staff
Sgt. Drew Dix met with members of the Soldier and Family
Support Services office. They are trying to open new doors
so that Soldiers have more options when it comes to dealing
with stress after deployment.
“We need to take care of the Guard equal to active duty,”
said Dix, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions as
a Special Forces adviser in Vietnam.
“I know firsthand the challenges of war,” he said. “Your
experiences in combat are so powerful that very few will or
can understand what you went through.”
Twenty-eight Medal of Honor recipients recently launched the
“Medal of Honor – Speak Out” campaign to encourage troops
struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic
brain injuries and other health problems to take advantage
of services to help them.
The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Medal of Honor
recipients dating back to World War II echo a common theme
in video messages for today's returning combat veterans:
take advantage of the resources now available to treat the
unseen scars of war.
“Make use of them [resources],” the messages say. “Stay
strong, and don't let the enemy defeat you at home.”
The Medal of Honor recipients, many who have endured
harrowing wartime experiences, acknowledge in individual
videos the emotional challenges many returning combat
veterans experience. They can be seen at
“I started mine saying that I was just like you, and
followed it with thanking them for their service,” said
Vargas. “I finished it with ‘remember your warrior ethos,
refuse to accept defeat, do not let your enemy defeat you at
The Medal of Honor recipients expressed pride in today's
service members who are following in their footsteps.
“When these Soldiers get home we need to get the neighbors
to stick out their hands and say, “Welcome back!'” said Dix.
By Army Spc. Heidi Kroll|
National Guard Bureau
Donna Miles of American Forces
Press Service contributed to this report.
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