Event ID: 1982543
Event Started: 8/30/2012 2:53:32 PM ET
[ Captioner is ready and standing by ] [ Captioner is not hearing audio ]

Goof good morning. Today's top pick -- top pick is veterans anding a culture. My name is Paul Jones. Before we start a few basic instructionings. Obviously, you will need speakers or head phones to hear the presentation. So please check your connection speed if you have not done that already under the meeting manage my settings menu and dial up is not rk mended for these webinars and is probably not usable. If you have questions during the presentation, concerning the presentation, please type those in the chat window and hit the send icon bubble and we will discuss those at the end. Also, we have a captioning pod at the bottom. If you would prefer not to see the captions, then designate that in the window or the dropdown menu that is on the right side of the capping pod -- captioning pod. If you have problems, you can use the chat window top communicate those, technical issues or email cookke at Purdue dental edu. We also have an evaluation instrument and we would appreciate that. We are recording this webinar and will be posting it on the AgrAbility.org website. In fact, the PowerPoint presentation is already there. So go to the online training link on the main link and go to archive webinars and you should be able to access the PowerPoint. For those that are not familiar with AgrAbility, we are sponsored by the U.S. department of agriculture. Our focus is to assist farmers, ranchers and other work ares with disabilities. Currently there are 23 projects covering 25 states. The national AgrAbility project is housed at Purdue at the breaking new research center and the university of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. For more information please vest our website at www. AgrAbility.org. Just a quick promo. We are holding a veterans and AgrAbility workshop at Purdue November 7th and 8th and for more information you can visit breaking new ground.info/vets and we'll make that available at the end of the presentation, also. At this time I'd like to begin our presentation.

Good afternoon. As Paul said I work for the military family research institute at Purdue university and is an outreach special evident and I'm going to tell you a little bit later what that is. On my first thing I would like to introduce the U.S. military -- focus our attention on the military and veterans of conflicts and as a last point I would like to us talk about re' justment issues and strategies for those that come back from the service. First, a little bit about the military family research institute at Purdue university. It has been founded in 2000, and has been based since then at the university campus. It begins with funding from the department of defense but over time more fund ares -- funders found their way to us and the mission and types changed. We still remain funded by the department of defense but our name fund are is the enDowment. We also have programs that go across branches, which is what we call purple programs. Our goals are to support the military infrastructures that support military families so. You can see we're a service provider to the service providers. We try to work with civilian communities to strengthen their motivation and capacity to assist military families. We do research and thus generate important knowledge around military families, which we then put to use. We work on influencing policies, programs and practices to support military families and then as an organization, we try to create and sustain a vibrant learning organization. Here are a few program grams I wanted to show you. On the top you see passport toward success, helping military kids and families connect. This is a program working with children of military families who have been separated due to employments and it has components that will help military kids reconnect with a loved one that returns from deployments. Underneath that you see pra program tra's -- that's called talk, listen, connect, which has been created by the sesame workshop, which is a nonprofit sector of sesame street programs. This program specifically targets children of military families who have come either with deployment or living with a wounded family member or with the death of a family member due to military service. The last program that you sew on the righthand side is one of our newest programs. It's called star behavioral health providers. We're training priest behavioral health providers to understand military issues better and better able to serve military service members and also their families. The second goal, the program has a registry that's availability where military members can find those had have the training and can make appointments with them and find them this way. Here are two examples of how we generate knowledge. On the lefthand side you see a compilation of clinical issues related to military families, which has been designed for families working with military families. On the righthand side you see textbook used in family studies. You can see the name Shelly McDermott wadsworth. One side as an editor and the other as a coauthor. Then last, I want to talk a little bit about operation diploma, which is an initiative I'm working on. Operation diploma was created in 2008 specifically to work with student service members and veterans to help them achieve their academic goals and transition from school into meaningful employment later on. So we're basically a post secondary education initiative. Now I would like to talk a little bit about U.S. military and veterans. First, you see here the five military branches listed. For the sake of this discussion, I included the coast guard in this table, although the coast guard does not belong to the DOD, but it belongs to the homeland security -- the department of homeland security but for this discussion it makes no deference. Each one has an active duty part and reserves part. The army is the largest and the oldest. We we look at twt different categories, active duty means that service members that are in active duty basically have a full-time job being military members. People in the row serve typically have constant training on a regular basis but they have other civilian jobs but they could be called out at any point in time. There's also the national guard that I would leck to mention -- like to mention. Two of the branches have National Guard. We have the army National Guard and the air National Guard. Typically or not typically, the National Guard is not federal. It's state National Guard. So it usually reports to the governor of a state unless, like in cases of necessity, the president of the United States can request the National Guard to become federal, which happened during the last two conflicts. The National Guard is considered under federal command. What's very specific about the National Guard is members of the National Guard are very often described as citizen soldiers, which means they actually do have full-time jobs in civilian world but they train on a regular basis, typically once a month for a weekend and for one, tended period of time once a year and they can be called up for service at any point in time. In the recent conflicts that we have seen, many, many National Guard service members have been deployed. On average we currently see about 63,000 National Guard members either deployed or mobilized to potentially be deployed and we also see around 6,000 National Guard members typically at any point in time activated for domestic missions, which is when they're and state command. When we talk about military culture, there are a couple of things I want to talk about. First of all, in the military most of the service members have very strong values. There's a very high group of cohesiveness. They take a lot of pride in their service and also the specific branch they're serving. Often teams they have their own special lingo which sometimes makes it hard for civilians to understand. Even in their own branches they haver that own language for certain things, expressions that they only use in one branch and not in the other, so that sometimes can make it difficult for civilians to understand. You can also see the locals here, certain core values that the individual branches take pride in like army strong or the few, the proud, the marines, so some things that are very important for service members. Shortly after 9/11, the global war on terror started and approximately 2 own 4 million people have been deployed for OIF and OEF. We have seen 1.4 million service members transitioned from the military activetive duty to civilian status or civilian employment hopely. Of those, about half have used, for whatever reason, va health car. The number is based on those who have the VA healthcare after changed from an active status to a civilian status. The next point is very porchlt I want to stress that. Over the next five years due to bringing the conflict in Iraq to a close and also the drawdown in Afghanistan, we will see about a million or more service member tran signatures over to civilian status. That's very important to know there will be a large number of people transitioning. When we look at consequences of deployment, you see con paired to previous wars we don't see as many service members dying in the field during employment. The ratio of those dying as opposed to those wounded look much better in come Parson to Vietnam. Also, those who get wounded, few are die of their wounds, which these numbers are caused by several factors. One thing, wars are fought differently but also body armor has been immoved and medical -- improved and medical services between being wounded and being transperioded to a facility where it can be helped. All of that has been improved. So the numbers look bet are than in previous conflicts and wars. On the other side that also means we have more people coming back from deployments with serious injuries and disabilities. This is something to keep in mind. We had over 3 million deployments results in multiple deployments. That increases the risk with getting injured or suffering -- suffering from attacks. We've had over 6,539 deaths. The death toll has risen. We had almost 50,000 cases of people wounded in action and over 70,000 medical transports during that time. The main reason for injury or death is explosive devices, IED's or improvised explosive devices, also things like mortars. When we talk about these kind of things being a victim of an explosive device, there's sort of a mechanic that happens when people sustain blast injuries. We have several layers of impact on the human body we they get too close to a blast. We have a primary impact, which would be overpressure off the blast wave that hits you. This maybe targets soft tissue organs, things like ear drums, that may collapse. Secondary, we have a lot of flying debris from basically whatever object has been blown up but then everything else in the vicinity and also a lot of dirt, stones, sticks, these kinds of things, flying around, hitting people. On the third level we have body displacements. Many serious injuries will be sustained by that. On the fourth level we have injuries that don't fall in the first three categories like burns or toxic inhalation, diesel fumes, things like that. Also, people who get too close to blasts very often sustain several times of injuries, typically it's not only one. In most cases when someone suffers a head trauma it goes along with fractures, sensory deficits, things like that. Resultings from these types of injuries in many cases are service-connected disabilities. What I put together for you are new numbers of the U.S. department of veterans affairs, the latest benefits report. These numbers are from 2011, published here. What I listed here are the top five disabilities that people receive benefits for. At the top the majority receive benefits for musculoskeletal disabilities, which would be things to do with knees, back strain, these kind of disabilities. Then secondly they see a lot of skin injuries in disabilities, resulting from that, scars, burns, eke is a -- eczema. Auditory. Often teams ear drums get hurt, tinnitus, cases of hearing loss. In fourth you have mental disabilities like ptsd and things like migraines or sciatic nerves getting hurt, things like that. There are several things that might be surprising. It seems in the media there's a lot of talk about mental health issues of service health members that come back. We'll talk more about that later, but one thing I wanted you to know is the ratings that people get for disabilities are typically high are for mental disabilities than they are for musculoskeletal or skin. So we have a safe asum sthoon there's a lot of -- assumption there are a lot of cases that are not diagnosed. That's one thing I wanted to talk about. The other thing that is is your pricing, you don't see amputations listed here, which is something when you follow reports about conflicts, you see pictures and stories of veterans with amputations, but, in fact, the number of amputations is comparatively know until the middle of 2011. We had about not quite 1300 cases of amputations of service members. So that's something that might be more visible because it's a more visible disability. It doesn't show up here. I just wanted to point that out. What is resulting from many of these disabilities, physical pain. They can cause physical any and almost a third of OEF and OIF veterans experience chronic pain. That can be due from blast injuries and on a day-to-day basis of being outside of the wire, outside of the safe compounds. Service members have to wear their full gear which weighs about 100 pounds and they have to wear it for hours at a time and doing things like running, jumping, taking cover. And that wear last lot on the joints, on the back. So a lot of pain results from that. Now I would like to focus my attention a little bit on mental health issues. As I said before, there is a lot of diagnosing going on in that field and we don't have exact studies. There's between 20% to 40% of combat veterans experiencing mental health issues. And here's a list from the deployment psychologist of the mental health issues that they see in their practice which is ptsd, depressive disorders, suicide, substance use or abuse. Sleep issues and tbi, traumatic brain injuries. When we talk about post-traumatic stress or post-traumatic stress disorder, we really have to make a deference between post traumatic stress, which is a normal response to an extreme or emotionally charged event which could be a car accident, experiencing violence in terms of being attacked in the street. It could be witnessing something that is extreme or emotionally charged. It could be anything. It also includes, obviously, combat situations. Experiencing post-traumatic stress is a normal reaction that people can attest to who have been in car accidents and such things. Then we have post-traumatic stress disorder which is an actual anxiety disorder that can follow these events. It is not necessarily the case that everybody who experiences post-traumatic stress will also develop a disorder. In many case the post-traumatic stress gets less and less over time and no disorder is developed. When we look at the estimate of incidents of ptsd, we see the incident are higher with OIF and OEF troops compared to the civilian population. Next, I would like to show you a video and I have two things to say. Your screen will change, so please bear with us as we change to the video. The other thing I who like to say, we're going to watch the video. It's not going to contain any graphic scenes of violence or anything like that but it's going to be a scene, a highly stressful car traffic scene in a very busy road with a lot of cars honking and it's very stressful to watch. So if you've had bad experiences like that and don't feel you want to watch out, the captions will be about two and a half minutes long, so you can take a break and join us after that. [ Cars honking ][ Cars honking ] [ Cars honking ]

The reason why I wanted you to watch this video is I wanted to show you, this is a typical scene driving in a combat area. I wanted you to see how much stress deployed soldiers or deployed service members can experience in a combat zone without actually being attacked, without anything blowing up. This scene -- we don't know if this is the first car in a whole convoy or this is lone vehicle, but the person who's driving this car might do this every day, maybe several times a day, is responsible for the safety and security of everybody else in his vehicle and potentially for those in vehicles right behind him or her so I wanted to show you that if this very often over a period of time and someone last to cope with this, it can make a big impression on a person and it might be difficult to come back and just get used to driving on the interstate without actually having had any direct combat contact. So when we look at ptsd symptoms, tiply they are categorized in three different categories. First we have intruesive memories, which include flashbacks of relieving the event, nightmares. Then we have avoidance and numbing. The person who's experiencing ptsd doesn't want to talk about the event, have problems with memories, feel hopeless and emotionally numb or is not able to feel the same emotions or what's going on around him or her in the civilian world. Then we have as a third category increased anxiety or hyperarousal. People get irritable, angry, show self-destructive behavior like driving too fast, drinking too much, engaging in dangerous sports. People get easily startled or frightened. Those are the typical symptoms we see with ptsd. Now I would like it talk about the other so-called signature injuries of the past conflicts, traumatic brain injury, TBI. Typically traumatic brain injury is sustained by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. For service members, traumatic brain injury often results from a bump, improvised explosive devices, mortars, grenades, bullets, these types of things. When we look Latin stances of TBI, what's interesting we have diagnosed roughly 45,600 cases. However, in the United States every year we have 1.4 million diagnosed sayses. TBI's go undiagnosed. In many cases they're not reported if they're experienced. So there is a high probability that there's many more cases as have been diagnosed. The second thing I would like to say is most of these are mild TBI's. About 3458% in both groups in civilian groups as well as veteran groups in mild TBI's. Those are injuries that you would call a concussion. Usually the effects wear off rather quickly over time but there is a good percentage where the defacts will not wear off and -- defects will not wear off. Typical symptoms are headaches, fatigue. Lethargy. One of the big problems, many symptoms don't show up after the incident. They can. Sometimes they're delayed and may show up a weeks or months later which makes diagnosing difficult. One other thing that's mentioned, there's a high co-morbidity. We can see quite a bet of overlap in the symptoms that people show with both of these injuries that would also be you can add mental health issues which, again, speaks and it's hard to get a diagnosis for. Now we're coming to the third part of my presentation. I would like to talk about readjustment, so going from service member status to the veterans status. There are three points I would like to stress. First dealing with disabilities. Then I would loke to look at -- like to look at employment and veterans in agriculture. First talking about disability. There are several concepts of disabilities, depending on what background you're talking about disability. When you look at public or media concepts, you find con isn'ts ranging from very much focused on the medical side, so very much focused on what kind of medical issues a person might experience to a description of people with disabilities that is very tragic or pity full. These kind of descriptions or you might find often related reports about veterans, this sort of image or inspirational image, a strong person who overcomes all the disabilities despite story, so media concepts that we see. When we talk about the military it is very important to talk about why people are on active duty in the military, being fit is very important because if are a not fit for duty, you're not able to do your job. So being injured having a disability puts you at risk of not being able to perform your job. So very often we see in the military a soldier on mentality where people do not want to show weakness. Then we look at the VA. They have a rating system to rate disability. This rating system is expressed in percentage ranging from 0% which who basically be a condition that they can diagnose that exists but is not disabling enough to be -- to require to compensate somebody for that disability up to 100% or in some cases people have multiple disabilities. You can actually have a rating that goings over 100% and it goes in 10% increments. The study at the university of Arizona has shown within the veteran community they sort of have their own hierarchy of disability, which basically means disabilities that have been acquired while serving in combat are regarded sort of more honorable than disabilities that have been inquired in one performing normal service duties, which would then be trumping disabilities that were remembered, whole someone wasment on duty but had a private didn't or something like that. When we look at veteran's attitudes, I have to say this is a have the generalization. I'm fully aware that individuals might feel completely different than people have expressed in studies. This; again, a gemmization -- generalization. In general, we find there is a reluctance to identify as disabled which very often goes along with the need or wish to get a high rating from the VA because to get benefits you need to get a higher rating. The higher the rating, the higher the benefits and people might depend on the benefits they get from the VA. So that could put veterans in a double situation. Service orientation and coor the men -- cohort mentality. We have seen low self-management skills and in terms of language, very often veterans don't -- we look at specific issues. We have to bear in mind that disability is newly acquired. So that comes along with lack of knowledge of accommodations and services that are available. Typically individuals are not familiar with mitigating skills like reading braille and using technology, these kinds of things. Now I would like to focus on employment. When you look at the screen, when you compare the unemployment numbers to veterans and civilians. In every category, the unemployment rate is higher than the civilian category. It varies, depending on age and gender that we're looking at but everall we can say veteran unemployment is higher than civilian unemployment and is, in general, on a very high level. When we now look at employment by disability status -- and those graphs you see show only the employment status of veterans with disability, you can see that veterans with a disability have about a 10% lower rate of being employed than veterans that do not have disability, and I believe not very surprising, you can see the more see veerks the less like -- severe, the less likely a person is employed. However, veterans bring a lot of desirable workplace skills when they transition from the military to the civilian world. Some of them have been listed here. Many of them are hard skills but there are also a lot of soft skills that employers look at like leadership, problem solving, these types of things. When we look at employment and training, I wanted to quickly note the legal framework. The two major laws that are very important for veteran employment are the uniformed service employment and re-employment rights act, USERRA. That regulates people coming back from service and getting reintegrateed into their own work and the work opportunity tax credit which has special provisions for hiring veterans with disabilities. When we look at training, there's several laws that are real Lill important here. One is chapter 31Voc rehab. That is one that many of you meet be familiar with that helps veterans to get training, especially veterans with disabilities to get traning. The GI bill, chapter 33 funding and REAP which would be chap thr 1607 for selected row serve and National Guard. This can be used for post secondary education. It's in the only for college but for various types of certificates, these type of things. There are also many statewide programs where people can get money from top do training for employment, but there are various sources veterans can look at. In the last step I with like to take a look at the impact of the conflicts on the rural areas. What we see is we have a very disproportional share, about a third of OEF, OIF service members that come from rural areas, compared to the overall population. So, you see that many veterans in the rural areas. When we think about who is it that might go and serve the United States in the conflicts, it's very often people who are in rural communities like firemen, like people who drive ambulance, people like that, are very often prone to the service. When living in rural areas, veterans often have less access to medical services. On the positive side rural areas offer a they are piewting it environment for healing and reintegrating and that's something we should think about using more. When we talk about veterans in agriculture, we have about 6.1 million veterans living in rural communities. The USDA has found the veterans employment office, the 2012 farm tbhail might or might -- bill that might or might not go through congress. There are a variety of farming programs targeted toward veterans. We see a multitude of for profit and not for profit training and educational, therapeutic programs, Archie's acres, veterans farmers project. Places like Michigan state have programs. We have interest groups becoming more inthroughen shale -- influential and the they are a pew tick horticulture. On my last slide, I want to shar some takeaways. Again, about one million service members will make the transition to civil world over the next five years. Many veterans leave with vair ring degrees sufficient disabilities -- of disabilities and rule airs are very critical for veteran reintegration. Before I turn it over to Paul, I added several slides to my presentation of resources where you can see several topics that I talked about today. Also, I have several slides of references, so all the things I said today all the materials I referenced are listed there, so you can go there and also lock things up. So with that, I'm going to turn it back over to Paul.

Martina, thank you very much for that, lent presentation. If you would like to ask a question, please type that into the chat window at the bottom and hit that little bubble icon to enter that in. While we're waiting for questions, we would like to do some of our poll questions to get your feed back on the session. So I will open the first one at this point. This asks about your professional afillation and we realize you may be in more than one category, but if you can click the best choice in those areas, that would be helpful. I'll dpef you just a meant to -- give you just a minute to work on that. Again, we will be connecting you to another, ternal link for the military family institute's evaluation survey and we would appreciate it if you would go ahead and follow that link after we're done with the questions and answers and we can get some further feed back from that mechanism. Okay. Looks like we got a pretty good response on that poll. The next poll question involves regarding the information that was presented. Please let us know if you felt the information presented today was valuable, met your expectations. I'll give you a little bit more time to work on that.Okay. Thank you for your feedback. The next question, number three out of four, asks about the technology that was used today. Please let us know if it worked for you. I think several people may have had difficulty, getting kicked out of the webinar. If that was the case, if you would let us know through the chat window, that would be helpful. This is actually a new version of the webinar software, the first time we've used it. I know there are always some potential glitches, so if you can give us some specific feedback on anything specific that happened, if there was a problem, we would appreciate knowing that. Okay. Thank you very much for your feedback on that. Then our final question involves -- it says based on today's session, I would attend another session in this series.Okay thank you very much. At this point, I will turn things back over to Martina for questions, and, again, at the end, we will ask you to do the military institute family survey. I pasted that in the bottom left. It says MFRE oval wages survey. If you check the browser, you will be taken to that. There are also web links for this afternoon's reporting and the PowerPoint. Currently the PowerPoint is already up. Finally, breaking new ground.info slash vets link is also listed in the web links spot. If you want more information from Purdue no in November. So I will turn things over to Martina now. Thank you very much.

Hi. You're back with me again. I saw there was one question, and I'm going to read the question outloud for the per who is doing the captioning. The question was does any of this information apply to nonmilitary federal employees deployed to an active combat zone? Most of the sta ties techs I showed you would not include those people simply because most of my statistics come from the VA, so they would not be included in that. I would assume, though, most of the things I talked about in terms of issues, service members experience employed with apply to that group the same way as they do for service members. I hope that answers the question. Please ask anymore questions and we have several people typing. So just bear with us for just a second so I have time to receive the question.I think I sew a question in my chat box. How about row source available to nonmilitary? They're working on the health providers. Also, federal employees that are nonmilitary that have the same issues, it could -- those health providers that have been trained, I think it probably is a problem if you look for resources through the VA other than things that are made public available through websites and things like that. I would also assume a lot of the research and assistance should also be available to nonmilitary members. For example, I know the VA has done a lot in terms of prepping up their research about ptsd. I think they have or than doubled their -- the money they spent on research on that particular issue over the last five years. That is something that eventually will help other groups connected to those. Ic see there is a question about -- I can see there is a question about what is Archie's acres? Does it help veterans become involved in farming again? It's a training program. It's been founded, as far as I know, by a veteran and his wife. They're out in California, I believe. I believe you will find the link to har which I's acres in the resources I gave you. It's a training program that teaches veterans to become involved in farming. They can learn about certain techniques there and also about what does it take to run a farm. It also has some they are pew thick component -- therapeutic components to it.Again, thank you very much for participating. Again, please take the time to go to our link and do our evaluation. I promise it will only take five minutes and help us improve our program for future presentations like this one. So thank you and on behalf of AgrAbility. [ Event concluded ]