Take the Vow

Friendly Wheels, Issue 48
February 2012

Featuring Ken and Patti Katter, Saginaw, Mich.

After Patti Katter's husband, Sergeant Ken Katter, returned from serving in Iraq in 2007, her family began adjusting to their "new normal." Ken was injured in the war and lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

As Ken started experiencing headaches, memory loss, chronic pain and seizures, Patti realized that she and her three children would also face challenges while living with her husband's condition.

Ken and Patti Katter

Knowing that she and her family must not be alone in their struggle, Patti started the non-profit organization Voice of Warriors (VOW) in February of 2011.

VOW is a community of veterans, their friends and family members and patriotic American citizens who hope to bring awareness to veterans' stories and issues.

"I decided to start Voice of Warriors so that veterans, their family members, friends and organizations would have a place to combine their voices to speak up about issues our veterans face," Patti said.

PTSD is an issue that many veterans face after returning from war. It can manifest in different ways depending on the individual, but symptoms often include anxiety, nightmares, depression and trouble sleeping or eating.

With symptoms similar to PTSD, Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder (STSD), can affect family members and friends of veterans as they attempt to deal with the difficult changes they see in their veteran's behavior or mood.

"War does not only effect our veterans," Patti said. "It effects their family members who are on the home-front trying to hold it all together." Voice of Warriors logo

Now medically retired from the army, Ken and Patti own their own business in Saginaw, Mich. Even while staying busy with her husband, children and business, Patti remains committed to VOW's message and hopes to educate the public on how to respectfully provide help and support.

"Everyone has the ability to reach out to our military veterans and their family members by doing a kind deed for them or offering a simple thank you," Patti said.

Do you VOW to make a difference? Visit the Voice of Warriors website to educate yourself about veterans' issues or make a donation.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with PTSD, call the confidential Veteran's Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK.

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