Sunday, March 27, 2011

Equine Therapy, Wartorn, Articles of Interest

This week on Thursday I interviewed Theresa Flaigle, a therapist who is starting an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning program for veterans here in the Wichita, Kansas area.  Go here to listen to the complete interview about the therapeutic value of working with horses helps those who have experienced trauma. 

The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) is dedicated to improving the mental health of individuals, families, and groups around the world by setting the standard of excellence in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning, also known as "horse therapy" or "equine therapy."

Theresa also provided these contact numbers for those interested in learning more:

Flint Hills Therapeutic Riding:  316-733-8943
Innerworks Holistic Healing Center:  316-946-0990
Theresa's mobile:  316-617-3032

I just had the chance to watch Wartorn 1861-2010.  It's an HBO documentary produced by James Gandolfini and it highlights real veterans and their personal stories and struggles from the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam and present day.  It is an important documentary for anyone who knows or cares about a veteran.  A Civil War veteran commits suicide after the war - his family said he came home "changed".  A WWI officer writes "I closed up like an oyster because I realized my friends, my country - spoke a different language".  A mother cries out "they put him through a paper shredder and then sent him back to us to put the pieces together", and a wife says "he's home, but he's not home".

That's what GallantFew is all about.  Helping our veterans come home.  If you can mentor, sponsor, or help in any way, please visit our website and plug in.

V/R and RLTW


Articles of interest this week:


·         Half the Afghanistan and Iraq veterans treated by VA receive mental health care: (NEXTGOV) --- Slightly more than half of all Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans treated by the Veterans Affairs Department received care for mental health problems, roughly four times the rate of the general population, according to statistics compiled by the advocacy group Veterans for Common Sense based on data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

·         Aftershock: The Blast That Shook Psycho Platoon (ALL THINGS CONSIDERED-NPR,) --- At 8:20 p.m. on Sept. 21, 2010, Iraq veteran Brock Savelkoul decided it was time to die. He lurched from his black Tacoma pickup truck, gripping a 9-mm pistol. In front of him, a half dozen law enforcement officers crouched behind patrol cars with their weapons drawn. They had surrounded him on a muddy red road after an hour-long chase that reached speeds of 105 miles per hour.


·         Transplant stirs up veteran’s wounds: (BOSTON HERALD) --- Col. Barry Martin, Chief of Plastic Surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, stopped short of calling Dallas Wiens’ new face a miracle, opting instead for the clinical description of “an encouraging next step” in the restorative process.  “It may be decades before we fully understand all the immune suppression issues at play in such a procedure,” Martin said. “I like to think of what happened up there at the Brigham as part of a slow evolution rather than a revolution.”
·         The National Intrepid Center for Excellence: (DOD LIVE) --- [Video Only]  n this video, we take a look at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. Located  in Bethesda, Md., the center was developed in order to provide comprehensive care for patients that suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury. Programs like this help the Navy accomplish its mission of taking care of service members as well as give researchers better information on how to care for, prevent, and properly diagnose these types of injuries.


·         Injured Army 2nd Lieutenant becomes paralympic swimmer: (AMERICAN MORNING – CNN) --- [Video Only]  April, 2004, Army 2nd Lieutenant Melissa Stockwell's convoy in Baghdad was hit by a roadside bomb. Stockwell's leg, which was struck, had to be amputated. It was during rehabilitation at Walter Reed Medical Center that Stockwell discovered her new passion for swimming. Four years later, Stockwell was competing in the 2008 paralympics in Beijing. Stockwell talks to American Morning about swimming and her participation in The Hartford's "Achieve without Limits" campaign.
·         Soldier Inspires Others With Brain-injury Recovery: (DOD NEWS) --- “One of the biggest things that I struggled with when I was going through [traumatic brain injury] is the impression that my career and life as I knew it was over, that there was no way I could stay on active duty, much less an armor officer,” he said.  But with hard work and perseverance, he was able not only to remain on active duty, but also to take on his current job as the rear detachment commander for the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, at Fort Carson, Colo.


·         Help To Be Offered Homeless Vets This Week: (KVVU-TV, LAS VEGAS) --- Years after serving their country, many homeless veterans in the Las Vegas valley will receive help from a veteran-focused intervention program.


·         Shinseki: VA Demand Grows: (SUN-HERALD, GULFORT, MS) --- Patients, budget, backlog all still climbing, but headway is being made on veteran homelessness, secretary tells Legionnaires. The number of veterans receiving VA health care and benefits has grown by nearly 800,000 since Eric Shinseki took office as secretary in 2009. The number now stands at a record 8.4 million and is projected to hit 8.6 million by 2012.
·         Survey: Female vets frustrated with VA health care: (STARS & STRIPES) --- Female veterans still face significant frustration getting medical care, even in Veterans Affairs facilities with female-specific services, according to a new survey released by the American Legion on Tuesday.  One in four female veterans said the availability of gender-specific health care was poor within the VA system, and more than half felt the sexual trauma services at those facilities were inadequate, according to the report.


·         One homeless veteran is one too many: (TIMES-GAZETTE, HILLSBORO, OR) --- Ohio veterans have also earned the right to return to civilian life with their basic human dignity intact.  We cannot afford to pass a budget that fails to protect the veterans who have protected America.

·         Rallying behind veterans starts with a simple thank-you: (REGISTER-GUARD, EUGENE, OR)  --- Because March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, I wish for civilians to find a way to honor our veterans and service members — not just this month, but all year. For instance, simply being aware that your neighbor or the person in the checkout line at the grocery store may be a veteran struggling with disorganized thoughts and constant fear goes a long way toward building a community of understanding and compassion.

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