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The “New Rosie”—Bringing Healing to Vets Recovering from PTSD

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LightWorkers talked to Sarah Dale about the “New Rosie,” and how this online community is uniting veteran caregivers across the country in the process of healing from PTSD.


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We’re all familiar with the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter, a symbol of hope and support for America in World War II. Though our country is not currently waging a world war, there are still thousands of active and retired military personnel dealing with the aftermath of combat. Sarah Dale and her vet husband John decided it was time to give Rosie the Riveter a makeover and bring her into the 21st century.

Hiding PTS symptoms or keeping them to yourself by isolating is like pouring gasoline on that fire.

So they started “New Rosie” an online community to unite veteran caregivers across the country in the process of healing from PTSD. “We aren’t making planes and bombs in factories,” explains Sarah. “Now we care for our loved ones before, during and after each and every deployment in a war that never ends.”

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Sarah shared more about the heart behind “New Rosie” with LightWorkers. 

LW: What was the inspiration for launching “New Rosie”?

SD: While attending a veteran caregiver wellness workshop with Hope For The Warriors, I had an “ah-ha” moment. A veteran spouse was sharing how hard it was for her and her husband to get any sleep. Like everyone else in the room, their veterans were navigating multiple injuries, transitioning out of the military, moving, changing jobs, raising children in the midst of all that and hardly sleeping. That’s when I shared a solution another caregiver shared with me at the very same workshop months prior. She told me how they have two separate twin beds in their master bedroom. They can push them together if they want or spread them apart so they can both sleep soundly without disturbing the other. I told my new friend how we’d tried the same solution and it had completely changed our lives. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing….That’s when it clicked for me. My husband and I finally turned our lives around after meeting other people like us who shared tips and tricks like that with us. That’s when I knew we had to make videos about these solutions and get them online.

LW: How important is the role of family and community in the healing process for vets returning with PTSD?

SD: Hiding PTS symptoms or keeping them to yourself by isolating is like pouring gasoline on that fire. PTSD breeds in isolation. Many veterans are ejected from the service rather quickly and all of the sudden find themselves navigating life completely on their own. It can be very jarring. The antidote is to get around other people going through what you’re going through so you aren’t alone in the difficult transition process.

LW: What’s your number one tip for vets and their families coping with PTSD?

SD: My number one tip for families coping with PTSD is to stop coping with it. If you are tolerating the symptoms, you are allowing them into your life. Find a therapist who can help you dig out the root of the symptoms and get rid of them. Don’t settle until you find the right person who can help you do this. Refuse to cope. Instead, heal.

LW: I love that you incorporate humor into your videos. Where do you get the ideas for your skits?

SD: When we began to create comedy sketches in Season One, I brainstormed ways we could bring humor and levity to the serious content of that week’s episode. Sometimes you gotta laugh to keep from crying. For example in our first sketch, Speed Friend-Dating for Veterans, it’s simply true that veterans can often have a hard time making friends when they’re no longer connected to a massive group of people who have been through what they’ve been through and “get it.” So I thought about some absurd stereotypes of “typical” veterans and Frank the Tank and Cole with the bros and beards were born!

LW: Do you have a favorite skit?

SD: My favorite sketch we’ve done is probably Operation Christmas In-laws. The whole point of the sketch was to make fun of how over-prepared John would get before we would go anywhere because of his Army training, so he filled that sketch with plenty of Army inside jokes.

LW: What’s the response been like from vets and their families? Any stories you want to share?

This past summer we taught a workshop together at a military families conference. We did our best to impart as much life-changing wisdom as possible in 1 hour. We received evaluation cards at the end and one simply read, “You saved me.” If everything we put out there only saves one person, one loved one, one family from one more suicide, it will have all been worth it.

To find out more about “New Rosie” check out their website at https://newrosie.com