Iris Rios Walters, Spanish Translation Coordinator
….Never quite understood all the horrible things that our vets have had to endure both physically and mentally; what an eye-opening experience! My husband served in the Air Force prior to Medical School as a Medical Tech. My eldest son soon after college graduation, enlisted in the Marines. My heart was so full and proud that he choose to serve our country. Still, we were very clueless as to the real special needs of our vets until meeting my brother-in-law, Donald Santucci. He served in the Vietnam War.
Donald was an incredible inspiration to our family, always keeping in touch and praying for us; he was a rock for the Walters family and many vets. When you were down he somehow knew the right words to say. Donald was not always that way, after he returned from Vietnam, he suffered silently with PTSD and severe depression leading him to want to commit suicide, we were devastated and felt so helpless! Being familiar with depression, even then, did not prepare us for the devastating suffering he endured…….that our vets are enduring today! My eyes were opened to a whole other world! With intense treatment and support, he survived and lives to help others.
Sadly not all stories end this way. One of my goals is to become more pro-active. The need is real! Restoring a sense of dignity is critical to the healing process; starting with the small things that can make the greatest impact on the life of a Veteran. Thank you DDS4VETS, Deb Doherty, for the wonderful opportunity to serve with your translation services. With my Nursing background, my Real Estate License, and being Bilingual, the opportunities to serve are endless!