Enhancing the Lives of PTSD Veterans
OFW is a non-profit organization founded to help rebuild a sense of community and belonging for veterans living with PTSD. Raising awareness of the brutality, rejection, and hate that is experienced by PTSD veterans every day, is at the core of this mission. It is time to embrace our veterans, raise their spirits, happiness, and sense of purpose.
Often misunderstood and criminalized, veterans living with PTSD face rejection to the point of total isolation. To combat this, our fundraising is for a COOL bus, where we will help our isolated veterans reintegrate into their communities on their terms. The plan is to identify as many of these veterans as we can, then offer them a safe space, free from judgment of their PTSD where they can express themselves openly and freely, on the bus our veterans will have the opportunity to speak with life coaches, therapists, and other veterans who have managed to overcome their trauma and rebuild a fulfilling life. This is so important if we expect people to take us seriously.
Experiences of police brutality and a relentlessly ruthless environment led Carol, OFW’s founder, to retire from working at the Department of Defense. As a woman of color who suffers from severe PTSD, she now finds herself terrified, experiencing panic and fear whenever the police are around. Despite being innocent, she has been arrested three times, where she has experienced violence and sexual assault, adding to her experiences of traumatization and terror.
Her own harrowing experiences have only heightened her feelings of determination, to combat the inevitability of a life of loneliness and isolation that is so common for those living with PTSD. Carol was forced into a psychiatric hospital after being robbed, where she was injected against her will and kept from food for days. Here, she was physically harmed and sexually assaulted by the police who were supposed to protect her, causing her to suffer hearing loss, a dislocated shoulder, and bruising all over her face and body.
Being treated as less than human is not unusual for people with PTSD, and that is what Carol is fighting to change. She is a strong empath and a recluse, who has suffered greatly due to her experiences of PTSD. Having experienced rejection from all corners of society, from friends and family to doctors and judges, her mission as a Quaker is to help bring PTSD veterans back together, to build a community based on trust, respect, and mutual understanding.