People often ask me, "Where can I go to learn more about ways to help our troops or where can I send returning soldiers for help?"
I think I've found one answer. Called ONE Freedom Inc., the nonprofit is already delivering services in cities and towns around the country. Its aim is to "train the trainers" in local communities to assist veterans with their reintegration, in combination with training the soldier before they go to war so that they can be prepared to cope with their experience right out of the gate:
ONE Freedom is a Colorado-based 501(c) 3 research and education organization delivering services and programs to returning OIF and OEF veterans and their families on issues regarding reintegration while supporting research on ground-breaking techniques for trauma recovery. ONE Freedom’s community-based programs focus on de-stigmatizing stress and post-trauma by educating audiences on the brain and body’s natural response to stress and what can be done to mitigate the impacts. The programs promote skill-building and self-management for the rebalancing of the central nervous system, regulating emotions and thought, and discharging stress from the body.
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Please visit ONE Freedom for more information, email them directly to get personalized attention, and if you have a mind to, please consider donating to this important organization.
ONE Freedom—Research and Education for the Advancement of Human Potential
PO Box 7418 Boulder, CO 80306
303-444-1221 / 1-888-334-VETS
Today’s call is to find an intelligent solution to veteran reintegration, for warriors and families, that will set the stage for future national reintegration efforts. To date, the V.A. is overwhelmed by the demand of returning OIF and OEF veterans and does not have the capacity to serve the numbers seeking care. As well, substantial numbers of veterans needing assistance from the V.A. will not seek it due to a myriad of complicated conditions including stigma, institutional distrust, and the probability of pharmaceutical solutions.
Due to the recent conflicts, US service members and their families have paid dearly. With over 600,000 already returned, communities will also pay a price. For some, it will be the direct costs of care for the service member. For others, it will be the opportunity costs of non-participating citizens. For others still, family structures will disintegrate, relationships will be lost and children dislocated. Some of these impacts are inevitable, many are not. Now is the time for a continuum of care that starts where the rubber meets the road—in the communities where America’s veterans are coming home.
ONE Freedom’s long-term vision is to serve a nation in the midst of a stress epidemic. Every part of society, from healthcare to education, the private sector to the military, is experiencing this profound stress. Through educational campaigns, direct trainings, lectures, skill-building, interactive media and more, ONE Freedom intends to be a national resource for the understanding and transformation of stress and trauma thereby becoming a national response for healing.
ONE Freedom is presently 100% committed to serving OEF and OIF service members and their families by providing a wide range of services, resources and solutions. Most of the skills are self-applicable and self-manageable putting the healing and recovery process more directly in the hands of the person thereby empowering meaningful change. ONE Freedom’s message focuses on the naturalization of the stress-response as opposed to the “mental-behavioral health” response which helps rid stigma as a complicating obstacle to seeking assistance.
ONE Freedom is currently offering community-based programs along the Colorado Front Range including 2-hour introductory classes that are a precursor to weekend intensives and outline the core curriculum. Once the prototypes of these programs are established and evaluations have been reviewed, ONE Freedom will launch the trainings nationally traveling to key installations and states with high veteran populations offering the weekend intensive and day-long models. ONE Freedom programs are facilitated by former military personal, stress experts, traumatologists, and human performance specialists and are free to veterans and families.
Call to Action
ONE Freedom needs assistance in addressing the critical issues of reintegration after combat, of peace after war, of wholeness after shattering, of growth from suffering. America’s veterans and families deserve to have meaningful solutions for their service and sacrifices. Call today to find out how you can be part of the solution.
Helplessness is the hallmark of trauma; empowerment is its anecdote.
I spoke with Ms. Hawkins, executive director of ONE Freedom, today and am very excited about the work that this organization is doing. They have been laying the groundwork quietly, slowly putting their programs and resources together in preparation for their big debut.
She tells me their website is on tap for an update in the next month and will have a lot more to offer including online training and self-help resources. Please take a peek at the information available right now, bookmark it, and but be sure to check back in a month or two to see what new offerings they have for us this spring.
Their community-based approach is exactly the kind of program I think our returning veterans and our larger society as a whole will benefit greatly from.