Thursday, 09 August 2018 05:17

Operation North State: Helping Wounded Warriors, Disabled Veterans, and Deployed Troops

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Operation North State (ONS) Operation North State (ONS) Image courtesy of ONS

ROCKINGHAM - With the increasing number of wounded warriors and disabled veterans, as well as associated suicide rates on the rise, Operation North State (ONS) is one organization birthed with a mission to reach out and help in any area possible. 

Winston Salem, NC native Terry Snyder is the founder of ONS. He got the idea in 2010 while sitting at a Krispy Kreme donut shop with friends and discussing veterans’ needs. With Snyder’s strong desire to help veterans, wounded warriors, and deployed troops, he asked his friends one at a time, “What are you doing to help?” Snyder said “It was at that moment I would say was the beginning of ONS.”

It was Snyder’s question that stirred up a desire in those who conversed at that table. This desire then turned into action which began helping those in need. Snyder also serves as chairman to ONS and has served on numerous non-profit boards in the past as well as owning his own business. Charlie Smith of Raleigh, NC serves as the Chief Military Advisor to ONS. Smith has over 40 years of service to the state of North Carolina which includes 22 years as Director of NC Division of Veterans’ Affairs. 

ONS is a 501-3c non-profit organization which functions solely through the work of  volunteers such as Snyder and Smith. They currently offer 18 unique military support service programs for North Carolina’s deployed troops and veterans in need. Included in these services is the annual NCCARES Christmas Box Project. This year will mark the ninth year this service has been offered. 

One other way the organization helps is to host events which provide much needed therapy. These events are held in communities all across the state of North Carolina. One example of such is the anticipated annual “Fishing Festival” which participants thoroughly enjoy. This event gives wounded warriors, disabled veterans, and those who are isolated due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) a chance to connect with others while participating in something they enjoy. ONS makes sure the cost is paid 100% so a lack of finances does not hinder anyone who desires to attend. 

There are also several other events throughout the year which include golf, racing, and other sport related outings. The families as well as the attendees of these events have mentioned many times the positive effects the outings have on those attending. 

In speaking to Snyder, he said “Some people who deal with PTSD live in total isolation. I went to visit a wounded warrior once and his daughter answered the door. In speaking to her, she mentioned it was a good day for her father as he allowed them to turn the light switch on that day.” The suicide rate for PTSD victims was calculated at twenty per day in 2016, which is twenty per day too many. 

PTSD is a serious condition which has diverse effects on people. It is common among those who have served in the military, but also affects others. It is caused by a traumatic or terrifying event in one’s life. Some may totally isolate themselves to avoid anything that may remind them of the trauma which would cause them to relive it again; flashbacks often occur. Others may become depressed or suicidal, while some become full of rage and anger. Fear is another symptom which causes some to begin having severe panic or anxiety attacks. Physical illnesses are also commonly associated with those dealing with PTSD. Helping these heroes reconnect with their families, friends, community, and most importantly themselves is the main goal of ONS which aids in their healing. 

ONS desires to help all wounded warriors and disabled veterans, whether dealing with PTSD or not, to begin living life to the fullest again. In saying this, within the past few days ONS announced their plea to all hotels in the state of North Carolina to begin giving all wounded warriors and disabled veterans special reduced room rates. The reason for this is so they will have a better chance to attend out-of-town functions which help the healing process. Due to PTSD as well as other medical problems, many don’t have sufficient income to allow them to travel; lessening the expense via reduction of room costs could help. There is currently a discounted rate for hotel costs to state employees, but so far only one hotel franchise has extended this rate to ONS in order to help wounded warriors and disabled veterans. The plea is for all hotels to begin offering this rate to our military heroes; after all, they have put themselves in harm’s way on behalf of the country that we all live in. We need your help in making this happen; please consider reaching out to call on any hotels nearby to take this request into consideration. 

If you would like to help ONS financially, with services or products or simply volunteering your time, please contact Terry Snyder at 336-764-5967 or you can email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. ONS also has a facebook page you can follow: Operation North State.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 09 August 2018 08:46