In the Royse City community; the Laramore-Osborne American Legion post has worked programs that have supported the local youth, veterans and the community. But recently they faced a scenario they had to create a program for. After leaving the post meeting in May, Jason Castleberry, a post member, was stopped by multiple families who had spouses suffering from PTSD. One family had a veteran who refused to leave the house because he was suffering with severe anxiety, and another family had a spouse and veteran who had severe anger issues and struggled to get adequate sleep. If that wasn't enough, that evening two other families shared their struggles.
Seeing this, the post came together and partnered with a local faith-based counselor business called Higher Hopes Counseling which is owned by Erin Kincaid, who is the spouse and daughter of a veteran. Together they created VetJam, a live music and auction event.
The event took place on September 6 at the Occasions at Stone River, and over 80 people came out to show their support for local veterans. When asked about the event Castleberry said, "This event is personal for me because I also suffer with PTSD. These veterans who are struggling oftentimes haven't a purpose or a a release for their anger. We hope that by providing counseling and real PTSD treatment that veterans and their spouses can find peace and understanding so they can cope better with the symptoms they suffer with".
The event raised over $6,000 for local veterans and will provide numerous sessions for them. Rosa Ortega, the post commander was truly surprised by the community's support. "I am in awe at the support we have received. Our members and the community came out and really showed their support. We just want to thank all of our sponsors and everyone who showed us support."
Veterans have already begun using the program and really like the fact that the counseling is faith-based and that they can have that one-on-one time to work on the symptoms they are suffering from. Soon the program will offer group counseling sessions and more.