Tiffany Smith

Daily Point of Light # 4663 Dec 22, 2011

Tiffany Smith is a psychotherapist with her own practice and a great deal of experience working with veterans, not only members of the military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan wars but also World War II veterans.
Tiffany says that the WWII veterans described symptoms exactly like what she sees today in soldiers who are young enough to be their grandchildren. “They were emotionally withdrawn, volatile, unable to bond with their kids, unable to sleep. These are the same symptoms soldiers who have seen combat have today.”
Currently it is the wives and mothers of soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan who she helps as a Give an Hour provider. “One young woman’s husband was finishing up basic training and they were both afraid he would be deployed to Afghanistan because he was in the Infantry,” she says. “Another of my Give an Hour patients was a mom whose son had committed suicide after returning from war with both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury. She had a younger son who I was able to refer to another Give an Hour provider since it was inconvenient for him to come see me.”
Tiffany sees the mental health problems stemming from the current conflicts as only getting worse. “You know the military gives these kids months of training before they deploy, but only a week of training when they return to civilian life. It’s just not enough when, after several deployments the soldiers are facing failing marriages and financial problems with full blown PTSD. Then it takes forever for the VA benefits to kick in. The system makes transitioning back pretty tough which is one reason I feel so good about being able to help as many as I can as a Give an Hour provider.” Tiffany’s willingness to volunteer her time to help soldiers and their family adjust is what makes her a Daily Point of Light.