Former Staff Sergeant Joe Biel had served multiple tours of duty, including two tours of duty in the Army as a Trailblazer. While in Iraq, he cleared Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), helping to dispose of over 400 of them during Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom. He received many awards and decorations, including a Bronze Star.
After he returned to North Dakota, he joined the North Dakota National Guard but struggled to leave the war behind him. After years of struggle, in 2007, he took his own life.
For over a decade his fellow National Guardsmen held an annual motorcycle ride in his honor on his birthday, June 27th, to make people aware of how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suicide affects soldiers’ lives every day. In 2010, Senator Kent Conrad proposed June 27th be named PTSD Awareness Day in Biel’s honor, and in 2014 the Senate designated the entire month of June for National PTSD Awareness month.
PTSD may occur in people who have witnessed, been threatened with, or experienced a traumatic event. It can happen to anyone. PTSD is a serious problem that claims many veterans’ lives and livelihoods. Symptoms of PTSD include recurring and unwanted memories, flashbacks or nightmares of the traumatic event, avoiding things or people that are reminders of the event, negative mood changes including numbness, being hyper-aware, having trouble concentrating, and more. Read more about PTSD at the Mayo Clinic website.
Quiet Professionals is veteran owned and more than 80% veteran staffed. We understand the traumatic physical and psychological impacts of war and deployments firsthand. This is why we support veterans via several groups doing important work. These groups include the Florida Veterans Foundation, a group that provides an emergency hotline, emergency financial assistance, special projects to help homeless veterans, and more. We also support SOF Missions, a group that supports post-9/11 veterans in the areas of psychological, physical, spiritual, and social wellness.
If you think you might have PTSD, there are resources that can facilitate your recovery. Don’t delay your treatment. If you are a QP employee, you can find information about QP’s Employee Assistance Program via UHC here (or call 1-888-887-4114). The Veterans Administration runs the National Center for PTSD, which houses a wide variety of resources on the topics of PTSD understanding, treatment, and what to do if you’re a family member or friend. The Veterans Crisis Line is available for phone, chat, and text help and referrals. Call 1-800-273-TALK to reach help fast. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is the exact same phone number, or you can visit their website for more resources.
Quiet Professionals is proud of our veterans. PTSD is a battle that all too many of veterans face alone. Reach out for help today.