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“In Afghanistan and Iraq, life and death are a daily routine. Our service men and women must push their emotions aside so they can function. What was real is no longer real. Then they come home to where life went on without them, where they have to swallow their emotions, and change the way they love, live, and relate.

”Dr. Cyrus M. Ellis understands the emotional crisis often faced by returning war veterans. He is an Associate Professor of Counseling at Governors State University, with 20 years service in the U.S. Army, and has been on a number of military deployments.

“Veterans need to share the intangibles with someone who understands, someone who won’t question their values, and who will keep them from being alone in the darkness.”

Vets 4 Vets began in 2005 to address this need. The organization provides free, specialized training for veterans and professionals and students in counseling, psychology, social work, addictions counseling, and nursing to enable them to organize and facilitate small discussion groups comprised of veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. Guided by the facilitator, the veterans help each other, share experiences, and find understanding and solace.