Health and Wellness
Salute the Armed Forces® is committed to providing support and resources for our wounded veterans after they return home, for as long as it takes for them to heal physically, mentally and emotionally from the ravages of war.
Sadly, the Department of Veterans Affairs recently released its latest study which indicates that as many as 22 veterans are committing suicide each day – day after day. This number is not only real, and predicted to increase, it is totally unacceptable. And, Salute the Armed Forces® is committed to bringing this number down.
We are pleased to be partnering with organizations like the Laurus Foundation, and others, to bring true healing and restoration to our brave veterans. We share their philosophy that the vast majority of our heroes suffering from PTSD are not mentally ill; they are wounded and that true healing may be the first thing they need, rather than psychiatric medication. Over 5000 veterans have been treated to date!
After more than a decade of waging the war on terror, it is well known that the signature wounds of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) have become Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — TBI and PTSD. Due to the military’s advanced front line surgical techniques and world-class definitive care – our military personnel survive injuries that we have never seen before. In past military conflicts, the vast majority of these injuries would have been fatal.
Even when our brave men and women do survive their injuries or return physically unharmed, the constant stress and strain of combat leaves them with tangible, genuine scars of battle. These often-invisible wounds and the stigma they still carry make it difficult for servicemembers to seek care and healing. We make no distinction between physical, mental, emotional, or psychological illness. Each requires a significant amount of healing of the body. And, that’s where we begin.
For generations, men and women have returned from the horrors of war unwilling or unable to talk about their experiences. Our initial goal is not to press them to reveal or relive those experiences, but to help them heal physically and then begin to ‘feel better’ emotionally.
Once a degree of physical healing begins, they are now in a better position to address the psychological and emotional wounds of war.
Practical Treatments for PTSD
THE HEALER WARRIOR PROGRAM
One of the most promising programs we are supporting is the Healer Warrior Program, first begun by Dr. Frank Yurasek at the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) in Lombard, IL. Dr. Yurasek has been practicing acupuncture, acupressure, and Chinese medicine for more than 28 years. Over the past three years veterans from all eras have been successfully treated FREE of charge at the NUHS clinic, through their unique Healer Warrior Program.™
Here again, Dr. Yurasek does not ask the veteran to relive or even retell his ‘war stories’. He first treats their pain. It has long been known that emotional trauma or PTSD can cause physical pain. It seems that the body has a way of remembering, even storing, trauma. By relieving some of the physical pain, even minor, seemingly unrelated pain, the body begins to also let go of the trauma.
The protocols Dr. Yurasek has developed (and rediscovered) act as leverage to help the body, the person, also let go of the emotional and psychological pain. In addition to effectively treating veterans, Dr. Yurasek teaches these protocols to the veteran, so they can treat themselves, their family members and other veterans as part of a daily self-care initiative – thus the name Healer Warrior Program. ™
The Healer Warrior Program is now under way as part of an alternative therapy research project at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago.
Practical Treatments for TBI
From the beginning, Salute the Armed Forces has been a strong supporter of VFW Post 5917 and its sponsorship of an innovative Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) treatment program and study. Post 5917 received a grant from the State of Illinois to study the use of hyperbaric treatment (oxygen under pressure) for TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).
Physical Brain Health (Oxygen Profusion) Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a pioneering medical treatment which enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled to achieve improvements in brain blood flow. The results are encouraging.
HBOT is presently gaining widespread recognition for its value in new applications in the field of neurology where it is being used for problems such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, and other neurological disorders.
We will be adding new partners and programs as part of our Veteran University Health and Wellness initiative. Please join us in our effort to reduce the number of military suicides and to bring healing and restoration to the brave men and women who sacrificed so much for our nation. Salute the Armed Forces is committed to proving support and resources for our wounded warriors after they return home and for as long as it takes for them to heal physically, mentally and emotional from the ravages of war.
* Source: Suicide Data Report, 2012 Department of Veterans Affairs, Mental Health Services, Suicide Prevention Program, Janet Kemp, RN PhD, Robert Bossarte, PhD — http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/Suicide-Data-Report-2012-final.pdf