Hearts of Valor to uplift service member spouses - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Hearts of Valor to uplift service member spouses

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A Fort Benning wife has reached out sharing her family's struggle, and how a peer support group helped them cope. The group is called is Hearts of Valor.

Ambra Roberts, an Army wife, says, "We are the strongest link in the chain. So, if we break, the whole family suffers."

Roberts says this is a lesson she learned through personal experience. Her husband was deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Each tour weighing on his psyche.

"He struggled with bouts of depression, suicidal thoughts, and PTSD," she explains.

Roberts says the entire family shared in her husband's suffering. "It is a difficult process if you don't have support," she adds.

Roberts says she reached out for support, and found the national organization Hearts of Valor. It's an extension of Operation Homefront that provides what she calls a peer support network for the spouses who are suffering along with their service member.

She says, "That support means, you know, we'll discuss topics that relate to how we cope."

It's a process psychiatrist Dr. Kaizad Shroff says can be strenuous on spouses like Roberts.

"When people are suffering, they tend to suffer less when they congregate, and share experiences. That is basically the premise of group therapy," Shroff explains.

Through monthly group meetings, and retreats for spouses and families, Roberts says Hearts of Valor helped her take care of herself, and in turn, take better care of her family.

If your story mirrors hers, she says you are not alone.

"You're not, and if you're willing to lock arms with us, we can tackle this together," she says with assurance.

Roberts says Hearts of Valor primarily serves the spouses of military members who suffer from physical or mental health issues. To learn more about Operation Homefront, visit http://www.operationhomefront.net/.

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