Cesar And Teammates

KYC Staff Member’s Incred­i­ble Work to Sup­port Veterans

There are a stag­ger­ing num­ber of Vet­er­ans and Armed Forces Ser­vice Per­son­nel who face men­tal health chal­lenges. Stud­ies have shown that rates of Post-Trau­mat­ic Stress Dis­or­der (PTSD), depres­sion, and trau­mat­ic brain injury (TBI), among oth­er men­tal health con­cerns, are much more com­mon among ser­vice mem­bers than civil­ians. Sad­ly, stud­ies by the Sub­stance Abuse and Men­tal Health Ser­vices Admin­is­tra­tion (SAMH­SA) found that only half of Vet­er­ans who need men­tal health ser­vices receive them. Cesar, one of KYC’s staff mem­bers, works with Vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies through his pro­fes­sion­al work and vol­un­teerism, and we’re proud to rec­og­nize him as we pre­pare for Veteran’s Day lat­er this month.

About Cesar

Cesar has a BA in Phi­los­o­phy, MA in The­ol­o­gy, Mas­ter of Divin­i­ty, and a Doc­tor­ate in Min­istry. While study­ing for his Master’s degree in Clin­i­cal Men­tal Health Coun­sel­ing, Cesar is cur­rent­ly a Behav­ioral Sup­port Spe­cial­ist at KYC. He works with youth, help­ing them strength­en and prac­tice the skills they learn in ther­a­py to bet­ter equip them to use those strate­gies in real life situations.

Cesar is also a Mil­i­tary Ser­vice Mem­ber. He has served for more than 8 years as a U.S. Army Chap­lain, and is cur­rent­ly a senior Cap­tain. Chap­lains pro­vide spir­i­tu­al and emo­tion­al guid­ance to mil­i­tary mem­bers and their fam­i­lies, often tak­ing on the role of a coun­selor and con­fi­dant to the fam­i­lies who live on the mil­i­tary base. Cesar was part of the 807th Med­ical Com­mand, and often saw sol­diers with great phys­i­cal injuries. While oth­er med­ical per­son­nel healed their phys­i­cal wounds, Cesar helped sol­diers repair and improve their emo­tion­al and spir­i­tu­al health. 

Cesar is cur­rent­ly on leave from active ser­vice and has tak­en this time to advance his edu­ca­tion and grow his career in men­tal health. Cesar also vol­un­teers with orga­ni­za­tions that hon­or and care for our country’s Veterans. 

Cesar’s Sup­port for Vet­er­ans Organizations

Cesar has a strong desire to con­tin­ue to hon­or fall­en ser­vice mem­bers and Vet­er­ans, and has had a chance to do so through the May­wood Bataan Day Orga­ni­za­tion. The com­mu­ni­ty and the May­wood Bataan Day Orga­ni­za­tion now hold an annu­al com­mem­o­ra­tion hon­or­ing the hun­dreds of young men from their com­mu­ni­ty who served dur­ing World War II with the 192nd Tank Bat­tal­ion. Through his work with this orga­ni­za­tion, Cesar has learned how pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions of Vet­er­ans have faced their chal­lenges with men­tal and emo­tion­al health after return­ing from service.

Cesar also works with Vet­er­ans of more recent wars, such as the Vet­er­ans return­ing from Afghanistan and Iraq, with an orga­ni­za­tion called War­riors on the Way. Through War­riors on the Way, Cesar guides a group of Vet­er­ans through chal­leng­ing ter­rain. Just as in life, some­times their path is clear and sim­ple, and oth­er times it is tough, unsta­ble, and uncer­tain. The goal of this trip is to help Vet­er­ans find a path to heal­ing their emo­tion­al and psy­cho­log­i­cal wounds as they find their path on their phys­i­cal jour­ney. Ulti­mate­ly, the excur­sion rein­forces that they are not alone, and no mat­ter how dif­fi­cult the path, their jour­ney through life can also end happily. 

The U.S. Depart­ment of Vet­er­an Affairs found that there were more than 6,000 Vet­er­an sui­cides each year from 2008 to 2016, and that Vet­er­an sui­cide rates are near­ly 1.5 times high­er than for civil­ians. Cesar hopes for Vet­er­ans of all gen­er­a­tions to be com­fort­able ask­ing for help when fac­ing men­tal health con­cerns, and wants our com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to know that resources like KYC are avail­able and ready to help sup­port indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies address men­tal health needs. 

Clos­ing Remarks from KYC

Ken­neth Young Cen­ter sin­cere­ly thanks all Vet­er­ans for their ser­vice to our coun­try. We are tru­ly grate­ful to all of the Vet­er­ans and ser­vice mem­bers in the KYC fam­i­ly, includ­ing staff mem­bers, vol­un­teers, donors, clients, and supporters.

This Vet­er­ans Day, we hon­or those who have served and pro­tect­ed our coun­try, and we work to ensure that we can now help pro­tect them. KYC is here as a resource for any­one going through a tough time, and want you to know that you are not alone. If you or any­one you know could use some extra sup­port, please call KYC at 8475248800. If you are a Vet­er­an hav­ing thoughts of sui­cide, please call the Vet­er­ans Cri­sis Line at 18002738255 and press 1

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of us will expe­ri­ence some form of men­tal ill­ness in our lifetime

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