Operation Warrior Wellness (OWW), a division of the David Lynch Foundation dedicated to delivering the Transcendental Meditation technique to our nation’s veterans and military personnel, held a summer gala on Saturday, August 4, at Brooklyn’s historic Fort Hamilton. Speakers included U.S. Congressman Michael Grimm, OWW national co-chair and WWII fighter pilot Jerry Yellin, FDNY Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano, and OWW national co-chair and retired Chief Master Sergeant Ed Schloeman.
In addition to the life changing effects that the TM program is having on veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the gala also shed light on the severe and under-recognized issue of PTSD among police officers.
Click on the video link below to see the highlights of this inspiring event.
Deborah Ortiz, event co-organizer and co-producer of the upcoming documentary Code Nine: Officer Needs Assistance, described her family’s struggle with PTSD: “After retiring from a 22-year law-enforcement career, my husband began to suffer from the horrors of PTSD. I watched the man that I once knew sink into a world of darkness and despair.” According to Ms. Ortiz, the number-one killer of police officers is suicide.
Fortunately, Deborah could share a happy ending to her family’s story: “TM has literally changed our lives. After four psychiatrists, two therapists, and thousands of dollars, my husband has actually, finally started to feel better.”
At the gala, public officials called for greater support of Operation Warrior Wellness. FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said,
“After 9/11, we were wounded—both physically and psychologically. But, the psychological wounds were much harder to detect–and they’re still going on today. If you support the David Lynch Foundation, you can support the veterans and first responders in getting the help on the problems that you can’t see.”
U.S. Congressman Michael Grimm reinforced the fire commisioner’s words:
“I want to thank you for supporting this incredible endeavor. It’s not even that it’s so cost-effective. It’s that it’s so effective: That this could change the lives and save the lives of so many of our heroes. If we really want to honor them and give back just a little, then we need your support.”
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