“Making a difference” was the theme of the 2015 NASBP Annual Meeting & Expo, which took place last month in San Diego. As part of this theme, the membership was encouraged to help veterans transitioning back to civilian life and private sector employment.
The Blue Angels Foundation, one of the Exhibitors at the Meeting, is dedicated to helping veterans overcome post-traumatic stress by raising money for a promising new treatment. It’s a drug-free, neurolinguistic protocol involving reconsolidation of traumatic memories (RTM). The Blue Angels Foundation is more than a third of the way to raising $300,000 for a clinical analysis of 30 people to undergo RTM, said retired Navy Rear Adm. Denny Wisely, a representative of the foundation.
All but four participants in a previous 30-person study completed the program, and 96% of those who finished were successful, meaning they no longer had chronic nightmares of the incidents that caused their post-traumatic stress, Wisely said. Doug Bauldwin of San Diego was one of those who went through the study, which he called a life-changing experience.
Bauldwin served in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he lived through 14 explosions and firefights lasting 24 hours, he told the audience during Monday's General Session of the NASBP Annual Meeting.
“You see friends, they're there one day and gone the next,” he said. “It's a lot to take on. It's definitely a lifestyle you take on, and it's an insurmountable task.”
Recently, he attended three sessions that lasted about one hour each and focused on how the brain stores an emotional attachment to the memories causing his nightmares, leaving him unable to sleep and causing him to struggle in school.
After the first session, he got six hours of sleep for the first time in years, and after the third session, he “was ecstatic” and “couldn't stop smiling,” he said.
Finding solutions to post-traumatic stress is an important endeavor, retired Navy Vice Admiral David Buss said during his keynote speech at the Annual Meeting.
The United States has done “a good, not a great, job” of helping veterans “with the transition back to the private sector, back to their hometowns, going home to marry their high school sweethearts,” he said. But while physical scars are visibly recognized, post-traumatic stress is a problem that is just gaining more public attention, he said.
The Blue Angels Foundation is effectively serving as a pass-through in raising money for the study and will track the funds it collects to ensure that every dollar is “well spent” on the study, Wisely said.
For more information on the Blue Angels Foundation and its fundraising effort visit, http://www.blueangelsfoundation.org/
. If you would like to make an online contribution toward the Foundation's PTS effort, be sure to select the second “Donate” button labeled “THE PTS DONATE BUTTON” on the Foundation's webpage.