This Memorial Day, CAPC Pensacola honors those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, and those who lost their battle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after returning stateside.

According to a study by the Department of Veteran Affairs, suicide rates among US Veterans are 22% higher when compared to non-Veteran adults due to PTSD

Meet Valerie Young, a Head Start Parent Ambassador, Parent Council member and Head Start Parent of the Year. After serving nearly a decade in the United States National Guard, including a deployment in Iraq, Valerie was diagnosed with PTSD. Valerie and her two young children help make up the 7,000 Veteran households served by the National Head Start program.

Since utilizing the services provided by the Head Start program, Valerie says that her children developed crucial social and cognitive skills, and she learned how to communicate with them more effectively through the scope of her PTSD.

“By my children being active, they’re motivating me, and it just makes me want to soar higher,” Valerie said.

Not only did Valerie survive PTSD, but she found another purpose with Head Start: being a soldier for her children.

Through family engagement initiatives, comprehensive health services and home visits by certified early childhood education professionals, the Head Start program provides resources to help families succeed.

CAPC Pensacola is currently accepting applications for Early Head Start and Head Start programs for the 2019-2020 school year. For more information on the programs, click this link.