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Lutheran Community Services helps vets’ children

Children of veterans affected by military-related stress can now receive help at Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) through its Our Veterans, Their Kids program. 

Empire Health Foundation and Inland Northwest Community Foundation, two Spokane-based charitable foundations, have awarded LCSNW grants to support young people with little or no insurance. 

Empire Health Foundation awarded $12,430 through the Responsive Grants program, and Inland Northwest Community Foundation awarded $8,000 through the Florence Wasmer Fund for Children and Families.

The Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) explains that “adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events in childhood that can have an impact an adult’s health.” 

Research shows that those who experience multiple ACEs are more likely to have social, behavioral and health problems later in life, said Heike Lake, associate director of Lutheran Community Services. 

Children of veterans are at risk for multiple ACEs, she said. 

“Veterans today face a range of challenges, including multiple deployments, military sexual trauma and high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder.  The military suicide rate recently reached an all-time high.  Statistics show military-related stress and trauma can affect any veteran, regardless of age, race or education,” Heike explained. 

Research suggests parental struggles cause significant suffering for their children. 

While several local programs serve veterans, none is designed specifically to address military-related trauma in children, she said.

Heike said that because Lutheran Community Services specializes in child trauma and offers counseling for veterans with experienced military veterans as therapists, they are able to combine the two areas of expertise so they can provide help for children struggling with military-related trauma at home. 

For information, call 747-8224 or email

Copyright © January 2014 - The Fig Tree