We are Richard and Karen Strait. We formed Strait Ministries - Hope for Veterans and their Families over ten years ago. We felt God's calling for us to help and minister to other veterans and their families that are dealing with the impact of war and Post-Traumatic Stress just as we have and continue to do. We help with the spiritual disconnect, moral and spiritual injury that is caused by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD. We gave up nearly all we owned and set out in an RV full-time to do this very important work that the Lord has called and preapred us to do.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the current term used. It has previously been called shell shock, battle fatigue, soldiers heart, and a few other names in the past 100+ years. It is also called Post-Traumatic Stress, PTS, as some medical professionals now feel it is more than a disorder. This is happening as they gain a better understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress.
Whether you call it PTSD or PTS, the fact remains that many men and women from all our wars, conflicts, and hot spots suffer with it. The military, the military veteran, and their families deal with the effects and impact each and every day. The result can be destroyed marriages, strained friendships, damaged personal lives, self-medication, doubting God’s sovereignty, doubt, fear, and suicide for those that lose hope.
We know how it feels.
We know firsthand the effects and impact PTSD/PTS has on individuals and family as we have experienced this. Richard knows what it is like to go through several inpatient and outpatient PTSD programs. He has dealt with survivors guilt and the guilt of not being able to save friends who entrusted their life in his hands. Dealing with anger, rage, nightmares, and violent outburst. The doubting of God's love, God's sovereignty, and the feeling of being punished by God for what Richard had to do or not do in order to survive. Richard battles with the moral and spiritual injury daily. Despite all that he is going through, he continues to maintains HOPE, FAITH, and TRUST, in the Lord.
Karen knows what it is like to be a woman in the military and a spouse of a combat veteran with PTSD. She has lived with the hardships that come with being a spouse of a combat veteran with severe and catastrophic PTSD. Karen found it frustrating to constantly hear "Oh we are sorry, you are just the wife. We don't provide help or have anything for you or your children." She heard that from the VA and many other places when she sought out help. Well meaning pastors and churches said they could not help and referred her back to a VA Chaplain. She was looking for help, guidance, and most importantly, someone to talk to that would listen and that truly cares. Someone that has been there.
Karen had to take care of the home and the kids. She felt that she was “walking on eggshells" all the time. Karen and the kids lived in fear that at anytime, Richard would blow up without warning. It has happened too. All of this lead to Karen developing and being diagnosed with Secondary PTSD.
While we have made progress there are still challenges. We both continue in treatment yet we have HOPE. We know the Lord is on our side and He will never leave nor forsake us. He promised that! What He does not promise is a life without hardships. When times are tough, the Lord wants us to come to Him for strength and help.
How we can help.
We are here to listen, provide Christian support and spiritual help for Gold Star families, our military, veterans, and their families. We help those dealing with the impact of war, the moral, and spiritual injury. There is Hope for Veterans and their Families! That hope is found in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
We offer various small group studies, seminars, and workshops. We will help with starting up a Faith-Based Post-Traumatic Stress Support Group not just for the veterans but also for spouses and significant others. We will provide training for the those that are facilitating the group. We will help churches develop a Military Ministry/Outreach so that they can engage the military and veterans in their community.
Please know that we are not professional mental health providers or counselors. If you need professional help, we encourage you to seek it out just as we have done and still do. Seeking mental health help from a professional and licensed provider is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength and wisdom.
All the help we provide is free and should not be considered to be from a professional mental health provider or counselor.