Sometimes the real fight starts after the battle.

The Elliott Fund exists to advocate for reform in how the unseen wounds of war are viewed and treated so that the broken places can be made whole.

Click ‘Join the Fight’ to read and sign the petition.

You’ve likely found yourself on this part of the world wide web having read a book called War Story. If that’s the case, thank you for reading the book. If not, we’re glad you’re here all the same. One of the ways we are advocating for our service members in 2019 is by sending a petition addressed to the Chairmen of the Armed Services Committees of both the House and the Senate as well as the Secretary of Defense. This petition details the specific reforms that we believe need to be enacted to properly care for those who’ve made the decision to serve and in doing so, help strengthen the fabric of our nation, our communities and the families who serve alongside their loved ones in uniform.


Does the Elliott Fund accept donations?

No, the Elliott Fund does not currently accept donations. The Elliott Fund simply passes through revenue it receives from sales of the book, ‘War Story’ to other non-profits already doing good work in addressing the needs of the military and veteran community. If you’d like to offer your financial support, we encourage you to give directly to our partner organizations.

Is military and veteran suicide the main problem?

No, though suicide is certainly the most devastating and dramatic outcome untreated war trauma. Other outcomes include divorce, financial struggles and job loss. We know that roughly 20 veterans a day commit suicide which is a rate nearly twice that of the civilian population. We don’t however know nor can we presently measure the other, negative impacts often experienced by the military and veteran community.

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

According to the American Psychiatric Association: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault.

PTSD has been known by many names in the past, such as "shell shock" during the years of World War I and "combat fatigue" after World War II. But PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. PTSD can occur in all people, in people of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and any age. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed PTSD in their lifetime. Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD.

People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people. People with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions to something as ordinary as a loud noise or an accidental touch.

A diagnosis of PTSD requires exposure to an upsetting traumatic event. However, exposure could be indirect rather than first hand. For example, PTSD could occur in an individual learning about the violent death of a close family. It can also occur as a result of repeated exposure to horrible details of trauma such as police officers exposed to details of child abuse cases.

Does every veteran who served in combat have PTSD?

No. Just like not every veteran who served in combat doesn’t have a gunshot wound or a missing limb, not everyone who serves in a combat zone has PTSD. While there are certain indicators such as prolonged combat exposure that can make PTSD and other issues more likely, one cannot assume that simply because someone deployed to a combat zone that they suffer from any sort of war trauma, to include PTSD.

Is PTSD the only type of unseen wound that is incurred?

No. PTSD is certainly one of the more common issues faced by those who have to war but it is by no means a catch-all for every type of wound. Other types of wounds include moral injury and survivor’s guilt both of which can occur concurrent with PTSD but are in and of themselves not PTSD.

Are there cures for PTSD and other wartime traumas?

Yes, though the journey and path to healing can vary drastically from person to person. There is no off-the-shelf solution, so to speak. There is a variety of treatment modalities to include medication and talk therapy that can be tremendously helpful on the journey to healing. Such occurrences have been well-documented and can even lead to "Post Traumatic Growth" in which the wounded individual not only heals but becomes a source of strength for others.

Isn’t this mostly the VA’s Problem?

Yes and no. The VA is certainly responsible for providing care to our veteran community however the wounds, be they physical, emotional or mental, were incurred while the veteran was a member of the active duty military. As such, the active duty branches of the military have a duty to provide appropriate education and care at the point of trauma in order to reduce the impact of that trauma over time.

What can the active duty military do to help solve the issue?

We hope that we can engage in a collaborative effort with the active duty military to implement the 17 Recommendations that have been compiled. These initiatives would formalize and centralize the command and control of mental health providers in the military as well as eliminate the numerous policies that can serve to reinforce stigma in accessing mental health care.

How can you take action?

Whether or not you’ve ever been in the military, your voice can be placed in service to the women and men of the military. Thank you for taking the time to consider joining the fight and we hope you’ll lend your support to thecause by reading and signing the petition below.

Partner Organizations


Recommended Corrective Actions For Fixing Military Mental Health Care
Additional Actions Needed to Enhance DOD’s Efforts to Address Mental Health Care Stigma
Executive Policy Summary
Quality of Care for PTSD and Depression in the Military Health System
On this Veterans Day, where is the outrage over mental-health crisis?
Corrective Actions Essential for Fixing Military Mental Healthcare
VIDEOS View All >>

Let There Be Light

In many respects, the journey begins here. Commissioned by the War Department and made by legendary filmmaker John Huston, Let There Be Light cuts through the myth that war trauma is a recent phenomenon and underscores the power of recognizing and treating war trauma while service members are still in uniform. The film was confiscated and classified on the night it was to be screened in 1946 and was finally declassified in the early 1980s. It was first screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981.


Shades of Gray

This is the military training film that effectively replaced Let There Be Light and encapsulates the stigma and misinformation that has governed so much of how mental health is viewed and treated for the latter half of the 20th century.


Thank You for Your Service

A modern look at age-old realities of war stress, trauma and the hope of recovery within the context of community.

BOOKS View All >>

On Combat

by Dave Grossman

On Killing

by Dave Grossman

War Story

by Steven Elliott

In Crisis?

If you or a family member is in crisis please contact one of the following numbers immediately:

Board of Directors

Steven Elliott


Steven is the author of 'War Story,' a memoir detailing the events leading up to during and following his time as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan. Professionally, Steven serves as a member of the executive team for Capstone Trust in Olympia, WA as well as an executive producer with Hero Productions in Tulsa, OK.

Brook Elliott

Vice President

Brook is a painter and ceramic artist, mother of Gracie and Hazel and a passionate advocate for those suffering untreated mental illness. Having seen those effects play out first-hand in her and Steven's marriage, she has and continues to serve as a key catalyst and advisor to their family's' efforts in this area.

Patrick McClelland

Pat is the founding partner of Capstone Investment Group, LLC and having retired from his day-to-day duties as a wealth manager, serves as a member of the executive team of Capstone Trust in Olympia, WA. Pat currently serves on the Board of Evergreen Christian Community. He is married to his wife Valorie, and they have twin adult sons.

Evan Essenburg

Evan is a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan having served in both theaters as a member of 2nd Ranger Battalion. He and Steven have been friends since college and joined the military at the same time in 2003. Evan, his wife Rachel and their family pastor Storehouse Church Northwest in Puyallup, WA. Their family also owns and operates Kingdom Builders Construction, LLC and Fleurish Home, LLC in Sumner, WA. Evan and his wife make their home in Puyallup with their four daughters.

Ryan Frederick

Ryan Frederick is the principal at EMG. He and his wife Selena write and teach extensively on the topic of marriage and family through their Fierce Marriage platform. Ryan and Selena reside in Tacoma, WA with their two daughters.

Media Appearances

An Un-American Tragedy (2006)

ESPN’s Mike Fish provides what Steven Elliott believes is one of the best journalistic examination of Pat Tillman’s death and its immediate aftermath.

Enduring Guilt (2014)

Revisiting the issue on the tenth anniversary of Pat’s death, ESPN’s Mike Fish and Outside the Lines talks with one of the possible shooters, Steven Elliott, for the first time.

Steven Elliott Interview with NPR’s All Things Considered (2014)

Given on the 10-year anniversary of Pat’s death, 22 April 2014, Steven Elliott discusses his experience with NPR.

Steven Elliott’s Interview with NBC’s Lester Holt (2014)

A brief look at Steven Elliott’s journey and his involvement with his local Veterans Court.

Contact Us

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