Over 3,000,000 military personnel have served in Iraq/Afghanistan. Data reveals that over 70% transition out of the military with some kind of service-related disability. Chronic stress, broken families and underemployment are far-too-common. And nationally, there are still 20 veteran suicides per day. Our veterans are ‘wired to serve’, and they represent a significant community asset.
There are approximately 18,000 U.S. police departments, with approximately 1,100,000 employed personnel. Stress never ends for a cop and his/her family, which is why the data is so alarming. Chronic fatigue, sleep deprivation and poor health habits are commonplace. These men and women who serve our communities strive to work cooperatively with the public, preserve the peace, reduce fear and provide a safe environment in our neighborhoods.
There are over 1 million career and volunteer firefighters in the U.S. – who face serious risks on the job: physical and mental stress, high levels of CO2 and other toxic risks around fires, including heat and flames. These dedicated Americans face therefore a high risk for many unwanted health complications. Our community safety is tied to the fire department’s constant education about prevention to protect our families.
Our Heroes Being Funded
DAVID'S SILENT BATTLE
I joined the Army when I was 17 on their delayed entry program. The day after I signed up, Saddam invaded Kuwait. Thirteen weeks later, I shipped out. I was part of the ‘100 Hours War’ to end the conflict. We marched toward Baghdad looking for the Republican Guard and their weapons’ stockpiles.
I was blown up on the way to Kuwait when explosives went off. I still have no memory of the event, even tho’ I was pronounced dead for almost 5 minutes. I spent 6 weeks in Mash units and then returned to Kuwait as part of our rear detachment.
When I left the Army almost two years later, I was diagnosed with severe PTSD. I managed to build a career in photography, but every few years, I would ‘lose it’: quit my job, start drinking and become self-destructive.
About five years ago on my 40th birthday, I made a commitment to work on myself. If I didn’t, I knew that I would lose my 2nd wife -I lost my first one due to my condition- and any hope for a more promising life. And so during these past five years, among the healing programs I have been a part of, my real healing has been my dedication to the military community; to help other veterans move from hell to healing. I speak to many groups, counsel many vets and be there for them in any way I can.
Through one of my TV appearances, I recently met the folks at Heal The Hero and investigated their program. I knew this chance introduction was no accident. I have found a group that not only cares about me but has a solution I want for myself and for so many others.
I certainly have many physical challenges, but my intuition and research tells me that this is the place for me. I write this letter so that a sponsor will step up and build a partnership with me: you help me heal and I will continue to help hundreds of other veterans heal. Together, we will succeed.
REBECCA'S SILENT BATTLE
MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT
My career with the Mesa police department began in the year 2000. My work for many years was in conjunction with the U.S. Marshal’s office and the Department of Corrections as part of a Wanted Fugitive Task Force for violent offenders. This was very tough work because I spent virtually all of my time chasing some of the worse elements of our society.
In 2012, I was shot arresting a wanted felon. My training prevented me from being killed. That incident helped me realize, among many things, that I wanted to be involved in training law enforcement officers.
Today, I am a subject matter expert in the use of cell phones for investigation purposes. I teach detectives about this area. And I am also responsible for the police work of six newer officers, teaching and supervising them in all aspects of their jobs.
I have been a big advocate for alternative medicine and healing for years. The gym, chiropractic care and yoga help with training my body. But I have wondered for some time on where I could go to train my brain. Now I know! Brain training is essential ,in my way of thinking, for my line of work. And on a side note, with my dad having Alzheimer’s, brain health and prevention go hand in hand.
I am encouraged to reap the benefits of the program supported by Heal The Hero.