When we are gone, this baton will live on. Carry this as a flag for those who have returned.
I am a Shepherd and I live in the service of others.
As I walked out the door I knew I could lose my life, I wish it was that simple.
Somehow I have lost myself.
It’s complicated, not only can I not remember, I cannot forget.
Every piece of me given replaced with a memory.
What is seen cannot be unseen, what is done cannot be undone.
How can I return when so much of me is now lost.
You cannot see my scars or the wounds that won't heal.
They are hidden behind a smile and laughter as my war rages on.
I now fight the silent war within.
What is the PTSD Baton Ride?
After many years of personal experience with the effects of PTSD, one of the founders of Shepherds Australia, (Dean (Bear) Marks, had a belief that we could do much more as a community to help "share the load".
The first PTSD Baton Ride was held in 2017 after 2 years of planning. We depart from and return to the National Vietnam Veterans Museum on Phillip Island after a 5 to 7 day ride throughout Victoria and other Australian States and Territories where we collect donations and provide information to the public regarding this life changing condition.
The PTSD Baton Ride not only recognises the sacrifices of our Returned Service Personnel and Front Line Emergency Response Personnel but also raises much needed donations for the provision of PTSD Service Dogs to those who have served their country and communities and unfortunately suffered Post Traumatic Stress and or Traumatic Brain Injury as a result of that service. Shepherds Australia has partnered with Whiskey's Wish, a registered NFP and Charity who help train and provide Service Dogs, to provide this assistance where possible.
PTSD, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person’s daily life.
People with PTSD experience three different kinds of symptoms. The first set of symptoms involves reliving the trauma in some way such as becoming upset when confronted with a traumatic reminder or thinking about the trauma when you are trying to do something else. The second set of symptoms involves either staying away from places or people that remind you of the trauma, isolating from other people, or feeling numb. The third set of symptoms includes things such as feeling on guard, irritable, or startling easily.
PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. PTSD is complicated by the fact that people with PTSD often may develop additional disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health. The disorder is also associated with impairment of the person’s ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.