"You Saved My Family..." 5

Patriot Outreach Organizations Provides Real Life Coping Strategies

“You saved my family. I was at a loss. Tempers flared; my wife took the kids. Patriot Outreach’s Coping Strategies™ worked. My family is back together, healthier and happier than ever,” proclaimed SSG Joseph Oehring, a Smithville Veteran of the Iraq War.

For Oehring, a full time technical trainer for the National Guard, and more than 70,000 other military personnel, government civilians, battlefield contractors, first responders and their families (Patriots), “Victory Over Stress” has become a mantra.  It is also the mainstay of Patriot Outreach, a  ten-year old non-profit Veteran Group supporting Patriots and their Families. Patriot Outreach promotes Coping Strategies ™ to provide confidential and effective help with anger, stress, pain, combat stress, and even P.T.S.D. to thousands of those that most likely would never ask for help.

Oehring’s testimony is one of thousands the Patriot Outreach Organization receives annually offering gratitude for assistance in transforming lives dominated by stress and frustration into ones focused on the positive, providing an appreciation of “what is” as opposed to focusing on what “could’ve been or should’ve been”.

“The Patriot Outreach program helped me sort out everyday family issues,” explains Oehring.  “I do not have PSTD, but I was stressed out about a lot of everyday life issues. Stress affects everyone in some way: soldiers, spouses of soldiers, pretty much everyone. You can either choose to control the stress or allow it to control you. I chose to control it, for the sake of my family, my self and my career.”

“The Be Still and Know exercise, a core component of Coping Strategies™ provided by Patriot Outreach via a cd is ‘basic training for the mind’,” explains Oehring.  “After listening to the underlying principles and participating in the exercises, I was able to think more clearly and not get so aggravated with things. You have to listen to it yourself to understand why it’s so effective,” pauses Oehring.  “But really, it works.”

“What you learn is that if you only focus on the negative, it can tear your family apart. The Patriot Outreach Coping Strategies ™ taught me to refocus and reframe my thoughts. Instead of dwelling on the past and things I can’t change, I refocus on the positive.  It’s made a difference in how I live my daily life,” reflects Oehring, “and how I contribute to the greater good of myself and others.”

“After I realized how much the Coping Strategy™ CDs helped me,” Oehring shares, “I began taking stacks of them to work. I shared with others how much my family and I benefited from the program.  ‘No pressure, but they’re here if you want them’, I’d say.  They were all gone by the end of the day.”

Chaplain (LTC) Phillip L. Pringle, US Army, a Smithville resident, lauds Patriot Outreach’s Coping Strategies CD as an effective and practical tool that enhances stress management and builds resilience within the mind. The practice of silence and solitude is at the very core of the Be Still and Know Exercise.

“Learning to be still is one of the most needed, yet most difficult spiritual disciplines today. It is a helpful tool that can help military personnel become the resilient leaders we all need to be in the rapidly changing environment in which we live,” says Pringle.

The VP of Patriot Outreach, Colonel Jack Shafferman, is a Parkville Army retiree who deployed three times.  Shafferman also serves as the CFO of Patriot Outreach. “I really wear about 6 hats,” laughs Shafferman. “I’m CFO, VP, Supervising Engineer and more.  I’ve been working with Ret. Col Tony Monaco for the past 25 years. Tony started Patriot Outreach in 2006.  When I retired from the military in 2010, I became a full time volunteer assisting with the organization, and contributing however I can.  It’s definitely a rewarding effort to be a part of.  Our organization has provided assistance free of charge to more than 200,000 Patriots thus far; that includes Armed Forces, Retirees, Veterans, Government Civilians, Battlefield Contractors, First Responders and their Families (Patriots).

“Perhaps one of the things that has helped us help so many is the fact we know soldiers don’t like to talk with others about their problems,” Shafferman concludes. “Our programs offer an effective self-help option for these individuals and their families.  For many, the CDs and self-help are safer, more secure than other types, plus they get the benefit of having accomplished something on their own.”

For more information, visit PatriotOutreach.org.