We are a charity that is just starting out. We have qualified as a GuideStar Gold Participant. We are looking for some businesses to assist us in helping disabled veterans and their families live more fulfilling lives. To start with, we could use some help from architects and real estate developers. Of course, we welcome assistance from any person or organization that wants to better the lives of those who protect our way of life.
The founders of our organization have a great understanding of what it means to serve and the sacrifice that it requires. They first met working together in a military operations center almost 10 years ago.
One founder, grew up in a home with a mother that is paralyzed from the waist down, and knows the difficulties that she has with things that other people don't even think about. He had an uncle who joined the Marine Corps after graduating from high school, to serve in Vietnam. After his service was over, he spent most of his free time at bars drinking. Eventually, he died of liver disease. This isn't exactly suicide, but his death was the result of a change in his behavior after his experience in the military. A close family friend joined the Marines at the same time. After his first tour of duty in Vietnam, he was unable to adjust to life back at home. He committed a crime, knowing that he would have the option of serving in Vietnam again, instead of going to jail. Had they had proper support after their service, both might have had much happier lives as veterans. His father also joined the Marines during the Vietnam War and after getting his college degree, became an officer in the Navy as a civil engineer. Both of his grandfathers served in WWII. One suffered from night terrors and couldn't sleep in the same bed as his wife, because he might attempt to fight with and strangle her in his unpeaceful sleep. His family has been serving in the American Armed Forces since the Revolutionary War, including at the Battle of Trenton and another that died while serving the American cause in 1777.
Check back soon to hear our other founders story.
While many people think about and focus on the physical damage of war, the psychological injuries are often much further reaching. It doesn't matter what term you use, from shell shock to PTSD, soldiers can suffer greatly from mental scars. Some studies have shown the percentage of soldiers that served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is around 31% a year after deployment. That would put the total number of service members and veterans who suffer from PTSD at more than 800,000 nation wide. Add to this, the fact that more than 260,000 veterans have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and we see how prevalent the need for help is.
Additionally, for every soldier killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, 7 soldiers have been injured. This has resulted in a huge increase in the stress put on the VA health system. In earlier wars, such as WWI and WWII, the ratio was 1.7 injured soldiers for every 1 killed. During the Vietnam War, there was one death for every 3.2 soldiers severely injured. Much of this is due to better body armor and triage care on the battlefield. The speed at which casualties can be transported to a Combat Support Hospital has also greatly improved. This has resulted in more than 48,000 severely injured service members since the start of these military campaigns.
According to a 2016 HUD report, there are over 39,000 homeless veterans across America. Most of these homeless have a disability (physical or mental), abuse drugs or are alcoholics, or had a family breakdown.
What we will do
Our goal is to build communities to house veterans suffering from both mental and physical injuries near to VA medical centers across the nation. These communities would give the residents the comradery and support of living within an environment where there is an understanding of past experiences and current conditions. All amenities that are part of each community will be fully accessible, following the concept of universal design.
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