OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“My friends told me I had changed, but I didn’t see it.”

Josh grew up in a military family. His father, grandfather, and uncle all told heroic tales of battle, sacrifice and proud service to his country. Josh joined the Army in 2004, became a member of the military police and served locally at Fort Lewis, overseas in Korea, and completed a tour in Iraq, stationed in Fallujah and Ramadi. Like so many servicemen and women, he witnessed many traumatic events. He saw villages and homes bombed, families torn apart by attacks, and mortar attacks on a daily basis. “It was just part of the job” Josh would later recount. “I didn’t feel anything.  It was just another day at the office.  It didn’t affect me at the time.” After his tour and a subsequent honorable discharge, he became a contractor and ended up in Afghanistan for another year. There, he saw much of the same, and worse, coming under mortar fire multiple times a day. After a year as a contractor, he decided to stay out for good. He tried to acclimate back to civilian life. He learned that his best friend was killed in action just before he returned. Although he didn’t recognize it at first, he was suffering from PTSD. “My friends told me I had changed, but I didn’t see it.  I was the same person I had always been.” He had nightmares.  He was losing control. He heard about other soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Some of them had episodes where they attacked friends or family. Josh did not want to be one of those soldiers.  One evening, when he was afraid what he might do to his family, he had to leave for a while and seek help. He got counseling, joined the VFW, and created a support system with other Veterans, sharing stories and resources. He was able to manage his PTSD, and began helping other newly-returned Veterans connect to the same resources he had used. Josh came to work at Valley Cities, as a Veteran’s Outreach Specialist. At Valley Cities, Josh connects with Veterans and Active Duty Military, and their families, where they are and helps them get the resources and services that they deserve.

Active Military and Veterans Services

Are you Active Military, a Veteran, or a Family Member with questions about Benefits and Services? Valley Cities can help.

Our Active Military and Veterans Resources Navigators can help you connect with:

  • Medical Benefits
  • Financial Assistance
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Counseling

All services are FREE to eligible Veterans, Active Duty, National Guard, Reservists, and Family Members.Call 866.326.5520.

This program received funding from the King County Veterans and Human Services Levy.

King County