Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) builds critically-needed centers for treating United States military personnel suffering the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS).
These injuries have severely impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of men and women who have served selflessly in defense of our nation. To help address this urgent need, IFHF is building a series of ten specially-designed treatment facilities, called Intrepid Spirit Centers, on military bases across the nation.

These centers act as Gymnasiums For The Brain, providing service members with the most advanced care available to address the complex symptoms of TBI and PTS. Seven Intrepid Spirit Centers are open and serving America’s brave men and women in uniform. More than 90% of patients treated in the centers are able to continue on Active Duty. Three additional centers remain to be built.

The Intrepid Spirit Center program is only the latest in the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund’s almost 20-year history of assisting America’s military community. Since 2000, IFHF has provided over $200 million in support for severely wounded military personnel and families of military personnel lost in service to our nation.

Today, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is engaged in a critical program to help military personnel suffering the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress. IFHF is building a series of ten Intrepid Spirit Centers that provide the most advanced and effective care to these wounded heroes, allowing more than 90% of them to continue on Active Duty and enjoy a full life.

Family Support
From 2000 to 2005, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund provided close to $20 million to families of United States and British military personnel lost in performance of their duty, most in service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Center for the Intrepid
In January 2007, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund completed construction of the Center for the Intrepid, a $55 million, world-class rehabilitation center providing treatment for service members suffering amputations, limb trauma and severe burns.

National Intrepid Center of Excellence
Following the opening of the Center for the Intrepid, IFHF turned toward another critical issue faced by our troops: Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress. In 2010, IFHF opened the $60 million National Intrepid Center of Excellence to address this vital need.

Follow This Link to learn more about The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

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Pets For Patriots

Pets For Patriots

NO MORE VETERANS IN NEED, NO MORE HOMELESS PETS
Our vision is to end animal homelessness in the United States while giving our military veterans and their families the greatest “thank you” of all: the extraordinary love of a companion pet.

We can make this happen through our nationwide shelter and veterinary networks, military and veteran organizations, and a public that values the lives of both the most vulnerable and heroic among us.

OUR MISSION IS TO GIVE THE GIFTS OF FIDELITY, JOY AND LOVE TO BOTH VETERAN AND PET THROUGH COMPANION ANIMAL ADOPTION
Our mission is like no other because we are serving the men and women of the most extraordinary military of the most exceptional nation in the world. The ways we think, act and deliver are all in support of fulfilling our mission:

COLLABORATE WITH THE ANIMAL WELFARE COMMUNITY
Build a nationwide network of shelter/rescue and veterinary partners who share our values and vision

GIVE HOPE TO THE HOPELESS
Find loving homes for the most overlooked sheltered animals: adult, special needs, and long-term homeless pets, and large breed dogs

BE A LEADING VOICE FOR SHELTERED ANIMALS
Educate the military community and the public about the plight of animals surrendered to shelters, promoting companion pet adoption as the only humane and responsible alternative to buying or breeding animals

HELP VETERANS AFFORD A NEW PET FRIEND
Reduce the overall costs of pet guardianship to prevent veterans from returning their adopted pets to the shelter due to short-term financial hardship

SHARE OUR LOVE
Provide ongoing support – moral, educational, and financial – to nurture the healing bonds between veterans and their adopted companion pets

Follow This Link to learn more about Pets For Patriots

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Pets For Patriots

Stop Soldier Suicide

Stop Soldier Suicide was founded by U.S. Army veterans Brian Kinsella, Nick Black, and Craig Gridelli in 2010 amid the worst suicide crisis our military has ever seen.

What we do

Stop Soldier Suicide empowers the military community by providing free resources and support to all past and present military and their families through an established, comprehensive, trusted network of individuals and organizations that meet the complex needs of the military community and are capable of anticipating and mitigating suicide risk factors, promoting resiliency, inspiring hope, and encouraging healing and personal growth.

Our resources include:

Mental health
Emergency financial aid
Housing assistance
PTSD and/or TBI referrals
Alternative therapies (HBOT, art therapy, equine therapy, etc.)
Education / GI Bill assistance
…and much more.

Why it matters

On average, 22 veterans and active duty service members are lost to suicide every day — and hundreds of thousands more struggle with mental and physical issues. This crisis impacts military from every generation and branch of service, as well as their family members.

Who we serve

Stop Soldier Suicide provides free resources and support to all past and present military and their families.

What makes us different

When you reach out to Stop Soldier Suicide, you’ll speak with a case manager who will work to identify your specific needs and connect you with resources that can help.

We track your progress over the course of 24 months, during which time we speak with you one-on-one no less than 10 times.

Get involved

YOU can provide mission-critical support to help Stop Soldier Suicide. Here’s how to get involved.
Download our info sheet

Click here to download a printable one-sheet with information about Stop Soldier Suicide.

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28th Medical Group Mental Health Clinic

Life in the military can be stressful for anyone from a pipeline Airman to a general officer. Fortunately, the 28th Medical Group Mental Health Clinic provides services for Airmen in need.

“Our primary mission is to return Airmen to their jobs and back into the fight,” said Airman 1st Class Bradley Borytsky, a 28th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician. “We want to make sure that [Airmen] are functioning at full capacity and handle whatever life throws at them with healthy coping mechanisms.”

The 28th Bomb Wing has begun teams to help build a support network between Airmen and the chaplain team and mental health clinic.

“One of the things we have recently started is implementing human performance teams in collaboration with the chaplains and other helping agencies,” said Capt. Timothy Naill, 28th Medical Group Family Advocacy Officer. “We want to build relationships with Airmen in their units…it’s really getting people to see that we are on their team.”

May has been National Mental Health Month since 1949, bringing awareness and educating the public about mental illness. In the military, there are misconceptions of what the mental health clinic does.

“First off, people think [getting help for mental illness] will ruin their career,” said Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Garrison, 28th MDOS noncommissioned officer in charge of the mental health clinic. “They think they have no privacy because their commanders and first sergeants are privy to their information. That isn’t true.”

Garrison explained that although commanders and first sergeants are given limited information when it relates to harm to self, harm to others or mission impact, generally, what Airmen disclose to their provider and the specific details they have are not given to their commanders.

Naill elaborated on how the misconception of going to mental health will ruin a career is wrong. He explained that the earlier someone gets help, the more manageable their situation will be. Airmen need to know there is support out there to help cope with whatever is happening in their lives.

“We come from a variety of different backgrounds,” Naill said. “We all have different upbringings. The mental health clinic teaches skills that someone may not have learned at other times in their lives.”

These skills improve the overall well-being of an Airman’s mental state, one portion of being ready to win the fight. A general outline of an Airman’s health falls into the categories of Comprehensive Airman Fitness.

This model includes pillars that represent the physical, spiritual, social and mental portions of one’s readiness. The health of each of these pillars have a tremendous impact on how an Airman performs.

“How someone explained mental health to me was by comparing it to spraining an ankle,” Borytsky said. “When you’re running and sprain your ankle, people don’t expect you to be ready to run a mile-and-a-half. Your mental health is the same. You shouldn’t be expected to be at your best after something traumatic happens.”

Getting mental health care is important as demonstrated by Kevin Hines, one of 36 people to survive a suicide attempt by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California. Mr. Hines was invited by the base community action team to help bring awareness of avenues for Airmen to find support at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

“If you are out there in the military, and you are hiding and silencing your pain, I need you to do yourself a favor and tell your truth to someone who can help,” Hines explained.

He described how getting help is a daily occurrence and how important it is to have people who support you and empathize with any situation happening.

Getting help may have a stigma associated within the Air Force. The 2018 theme being promoted for National Mental Health Month is “#CureStigma.” Stigmas tend to create an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“The stigma is starting to fade,” Garrison said. “In the more recent years, we have seen a tremendous amount of people starting to visit. That’s always a good sign.”

Garrison added that in April, the mental health clinic saw more than 700 patients. This care gives way for more Airmen being able to return to the 28th Bomb Wing fully ready to provide Airpower – Anytime, Anywhere!

For more information on mental health awareness, contact the chapel at (605) 385-1598 or the base mental health clinic at (605) 385-3656.

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, SD, UNITED STATES
05.18.2018
Story by Airman 1st Class Nicolas Erwin
28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


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National Veterans Foundation

The founder of the National Veterans Foundation, Floyd “Shad” Meshad, has been working with Veterans since 1970. Meshad was a Medical Service Officer during the Vietnam War, where he counseled soldiers in the field who were suffering from a multitude of psychological and emotional problems resulting from their experiences in combat, including what would later become known as “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” or PTSD.

After the war, Shad continued to counsel Vietnam veterans through his work with the Veterans Administration in Los Angeles. He co-founded the VA’s Vet Center program — 300 storefront facilities throughout the country, located away from VA Hospitals, where veterans walk in off the street to receive mental health counseling. He also authored the critically acclaimed book A Captain for Dark Mornings, which chronicles his experiences both during the war and after coming home.

Today Meshad remains one of America’s most sought-after experts on Combat Stress, Trauma Therapy and the readjustment issues confronting returning soldiers and their families.

Staffed by a team of veterans (from Vietnam, the Cold War, Iraq and Afghanistan) who are specially trained in the delivery of crisis information and referral services, as well as a team of licensed volunteer counselors to whom all crisis calls are routed, more than 400,000 veterans in need of medical treatment, substance abuse or PTSD Counseling, VA benefits advocacy, food, shelter, employment training, legal aid or suicide intervention, have now been served by this unique, one-of-a-kind resource.

Also, as a recognized leader within the community of organizations that specialize in providing human service programs to veterans and their families, the National Veterans Foundation frequently plays a key role as advisor, partner, and collaborator.

Over the past two decades, this has included providing financial assistance, training, and donations of food, clothing, and other goods to other non-profits serving the specialized needs of veterans including New Directions (CA), The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (NJ), LA County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (CA), Desert Storm Justice Foundation (OK), Point Man of Northern California (CA), Veterans Coalition of the Hudson Valley (NY), Westside Stand Down (CA), Stamford Homeless Project (CT), US VETS (CA), and Swords to Plowshares (CA) among many others.

The NVF’s extraordinary record of service has not gone unnoticed. As one of the world’s most sought-after experts in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the U.S. Government asked Shad Meshad to provide training to the counselors at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The National Veterans Foundation continues to evolve. Shad, his team and the Board of Directors are committed to continually seeking and developing the most effective means to help those who have served our country and their families. The NVF is open to all who seek emotional support and other assistance.

Follow This Link to learn how the National Veterans Foundation can help you.
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