As I look back over the year and see how many Veterans lives have been impacted in such a positive way, I feel humbled to have you as a partner in this important work. Giving hope to a Veteran who is at the end of his rope by paying his rent and keeping his family from becoming homeless, keeping utilities on, or putting food on the table has been life changing for so many of the Veterans you have supported.
There is one man, in particular, that stands out as I think over all the lives that have been touched through your generosity.
A few months ago, Jammie called our office asking for rental assistance. Neither Jammie, nor I, could have imagined the journey he was about to take and how life changing it would be for him. We decided to meet for lunch.
Over lunch, Jammie told me that he had served in Iraq in 2004, in the battles of Fallujah and Ramadi, as a young Infantryman. He finished his military service in 2005 and started his life as a civilian. What he didn't know was that issues resulting from war would intensify and sabotage his life for the next 13 years.
- He was unable to sustain a relationship.
- He couldn't sleep
- He couldn't hold a job
- He had become somewhat reclusive.
- He had trouble remembering details
Jammie told me about the debilitating pain in his jaw.
There were days he couldn't leave his apartment and to top it off, just the heat of the sun would cause the pain to flare up if he was out for more than a couple of minutes. But the possible brain injury concerned me the most. I continued to pick up on more symptoms of TBI and wondered why it had never been treated.
And then one day I received a call from Jammie and I knew I had to act. The neurologist he was seeing wanted to schedule an appointment to drill a hole in the side of his head to see if they could relieve the pain/pressure in his jaw! I knew that couldn't happen.
Jammie agreed to cancel the procedure with the neurologist and allow me to set up an appointment to be evaluated at Revive Centers in Colorado. Revive Centers is a holistic, cutting-edge, research-based treatment center where many Veterans with TBI have been treated with much success. Through a series of physical, cognitive, and emotional evaluations, along with blood work, previously undiagnosed TBI and other issues can be pinpointed and treated.
Six days later, Jammie was at Revive Centers. After his evaluations, the doctor called me to say that Jammie's emotional scores were the worst that they had ever recorded. She also believed that he had a viral load that had settled in a cluster of nerves in his jaw and she confirmed TBI. It is no wonder he was struggling!
The doctor assured me that they could help him.
After two and a half weeks at Revive, I picked Jammie up at the airport. He was exhausted but energized at the same time. For the first time in over a decade, the pain in his jaw was no longer disrupting his life. He was finally sleeping better. And he was hopeful for his future.
Today, Jammie will tell you that the financial and moral support from Defenders of Freedom and treatment at Revive Centers saved his life! He drives now and is in a relationship. Because of the official diagnosis of TBI, the VA has awarded him Full Disability. This has allowed him to focus on his health and continue his journey to stability.
Your generosity changed the life of Jammie and many other Veterans like him this year. Together, we have been the solution when the phone rings with Veterans in crisis on the other end. This year alone, 169 Veterans have received financial support, and treatment at Revive Centers for TBI and other issues.
But there is still work to do.
We MUST address the hidden issue that many Veterans face. It is believed over 320,000 post 9/11 Veterans suffer from undiagnosed Traumatic Brain Injury. It is, perhaps, the biggest challenge facing these men and women. Very little is being done to effectively treat them. Defenders of Freedom is committed to dramatically increasing our support to these men and women.
I know you care about our Veterans just as much as I do. I know the work we do together for them is important to you.
Will you join me in this new commitment to provide treatment to more Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury?
Will you make a donation today that will give a Veteran like Jammie his life back? I don't think there is a more generous thing we can do for them.
PS - Revive Treatment Center is addressing the challenge of Traumatic Brain Injury in a very unique and impactful way. What makes this clinic different is they are aggressively using many different treatment modalities at the same time, focusing on several aspects of the brain during treatment. The results are absolutely amazing and lives are being changed. Will you make a donation today so more veterans can get the help they desperately need?