Service Members with PTSD Thrive in Recovery through Team Semper Fi and Other Programs
Camp Pendleton, CA -(AmmoLand.com)- As the country acknowledges June as PTSD Awareness Month, the Semper Fi Fund is proud to be helping service members cope with post-traumatic stress through a variety of innovative programs and upcoming events.
Among the most notable efforts is Team Semper Fi (Mountain bike Adventure here): https://vimeo.com/wtb/
“PTSD is often called the invisible injury, but it can be as debilitating as the worst physical injury you can imagine,” says Semper Fi Fund Medical Director Dr. Robert Koffman. “Many of the programs for our post-9/11 service members and their families directly address the issues raised by PTSD. Some of these, in addition to Team Semper Fi, include our Unit Reunion Program, our Semper Fi Fund Apprenticeship Program, our Therapeutic Arts Program and the Jinx McCain Horsemanship Program.”
Made up of more than 1,500 service members who qualify for assistance and who have overcome significant challenges in service to our country, Team Semper Fi is the heart and inspiration of the Semper Fi Fund’s Peter Murphy Semper Fi Fund Sports Program.
“We provide our team members with coaches, specialized sporting equipment, entry fees and travel expenses to athletic events such as the upcoming Warrior Games in June,” says Karen Guenther, President, Executive Director and Founder of the Semper Fi Fund. “Team members are also given the opportunity to receive high-level training from former and current Olympic and Paralympic athletes through a partnership with the U.S. Paralympics.”
“The Semper Fi Fund and Team Semper Fi developed a great strength inside of me,” says Navy hospital corpsman Derek McGinnis, who lost a leg in an encounter with a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004. “In effect they said to me, ‘I got your 6, I believe in you, and here’s the opportunity to showcase it.’ They gave me the opportunity to build my own narrative. Team Semper Fi planted that seed for me to move forward.”
“When I got back up on a horse, I never felt more normal,” says Gunnery Sergeant Tomas McRae, who lost both legs and one arm as the result of stepping on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2012. “When I’m on a horse the anxiety just goes away, which is so satisfying. When you talk about PTSD, it’s nice to have something that ‘fixes’ it.”
The “fix” for Gunnery Sergeant McRae is participating in the Semper Fi Fund’s Jinx McCain Horsemanship Program.
“We owe such a debt to those who serve on behalf of us all,” Guenther says. “I hope all Americans take some time this month to learn a little more about PTSD and how it affects our service members.”
Additional information about PTSD – and ways to support Semper fi Fund programs that address PTSD – can be found on the Semper Fi Fund website by visiting https://semperfifund.org/how-
About Semper Fi Fund:
The Semper Fi Fund provides urgently needed resources and lifetime support for wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Case managers from the Semper Fi Fund work one-on-one with service members and veterans in order to understand and support their individual needs right now and throughout their lifetime. We keep our overhead low so our impact on the lives of service members and veterans is greater. The Semper Fi Fund is one of only three veteran charities to receive an “A+” rating from The American Institute of Philanthropy and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.
For more information, visit: www.semperfifund.org.