Once a Soldier on Giving Tuesday

Once a Soldier on Giving Tuesday

THIS GIVING TUESDAY, HELP SUPPORT THE FAMILIES AFTER A VETERAN SUICIDE

WHY GIVE TO US:

  • We are the only nonprofit of our kind.

  • When you give to us, you’re helping pay their unpaid funeral bills.

  • We are a young nonprofit, and one that is on the rise.

  • We have recently successfully advocated for a bill that puts federal dollars behind our mission.

  • With our Google Ad Grant, we spend almost $10,000/month on Advocacy, Support and Information for our Families.

Making a donation to Once a Soldier on Giving Tuesday is a great choice because we give directly to the surviving families of veteran suicide. They deserve our help in this dark time. Your gift of $20, $50 or $100 enables our monthly Silver Linings Project. The Silver Lining Project pays off the funeral bills that overrun veteran families with after the suicide. Wildly expensive air travel to transport the body, ruthless funeral home practices, unfair life insurance clauses and insignificant VA support take their toll. It’s our turn to pay it.

There are many organizations with missions to stop soldier suicide, offer PTSD therapies and help for the soldier, but when it all fails, the family is forgotten. We are the only charity focused on these veteran families. Read our family’s stories and see the hearts you’re healing and the people you’re saving.

Help Veteran Families Bury Their Soldiers

 

Veteran suicides are fueled by PTSD and other tragedies of war. Their families live with PTSD, drug addiction and worse for years, only to find the body at the end. Let’s lift them up and lift off their burden.

 

 

Giving Tuesdays is America at it’s Finest – Be a Part of It

With record giving amounts for the past 5 years, Giving Tuesday is more than just a day to give to others. It’s now a day when all of America, and the world, give to the heroic non-profit charities. With their missions as their driving force, non-profits fill in the holes that government and society miss. A national treasure that keeps on paying out, America’s nonprofits are more than just caregivers; they’re heroes.

About Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. We’ve created a directory to help you find organizations, charities, events and more in your own community.

In the dark times that a family finds themselves in after a veteran suicide, your gift, whether on Giving Tuesday or not, help add a silver lining that that dark cloud.

Lift the Burden of Veteran Suicide

 

Their families live with PTSD, drug addiction and worse for years, only to find the body at the end. Let’s lift them up and lift off their burden.

 

More about Once a Soldier and Why the Need is So Great

People may think that soldier suicide or veteran suicide is about younger soldiers coming home from Afganistan or Iraq and suffering from PTSD. While there are many vets who fit that description, the majority of veteran or soldier suicides are aged 50+ and have no ties to the Veterans Administration. That means that they don’t have access to the mental health services that can help them start to recover from PTSD or find support groups that can help, or get the medical treatment that may also aid in their return to civilian life.

Further, when they are disconnected to that source, any death benefits also are lost. Sadly, that’s not too much support. An active soldier who commits suicide typically has opted into a life insurance policy with a payout of $150,00 to $400,000. In the best of circumstance, most vets can expect a range of $400-$2,000 in death benefits. Most get something on the lower end of that scale.

So the need to help these vets on #givingtuesday or #givingasilverliningtuesday is intense. Not only are they depressed, unable to get medical or mental health benefits from the government they served to protect, but they are usually living at or above the poverty level. That means that when they commit suicide, financial distress is one of the reasons. And who’s left to deal with that? The families.

Once a Soldier accepts requests for help as well as seeking out those families that may need our support. Support that comes from your kind generations. So whether you give on November 28th, or right now. our cause is one of the best one if you care about how we treat not only soldier suicides but the families of the vets who have passed.

Our Three Pillars: Advocacy, Therapy and Sympathy

Advocacy is another way we fight to make our families’ lives better. With our finger on the pulse of what they need, where they’re getting pinched, and how to help heal the wounds, Once a Soldier gains greater awareness with each family.

Your gift is going to the only nonprofit who knows their needs. In addition to your financial support for them, we have found that the emotional giving we do is greatly appreciated. That’s why we offer drug-free therapies, Ketamine IV therapy insights and updates on all the PTSD therapies veteran families need to know about.

 

Help Bury a Veteran With Honor

Veteran suicides are fueled by PTSD and other tragedies of war. Their families live with PTSD, drug addiction and worse for years, only to find the body at the end. Let’s lift them up and lift off their burden.

 

Tapping How-To Guide – Mental Health Therapy In Your Hands

Tapping How-To Guide – Mental Health Therapy In Your Hands

Home Remedy To Lower Anxiety and Control PTSD

“It’s time for our families to take PTSD therapy out of government’s hand and into their own.” says Once a Soldier’s CEO David Barbush. “The VA, doctors and big pharma has failed them. Tapping can be done on their schedule, it’s cost-free, and it ultimately works to lower their clinical-based depression scores. Mental health and wellness can be achieve through many options. This needs to be one.”

For more Tapping info, click here.

Here’s how a basic Tapping sequence works:

Identify the problem on which you want to focus. It can be general anxiety, or it can be a specific situation or issue which causes you to feel anxious.

Consider the problem or situation. How do you feel about it right now? Rate the intensity level of your anxiety on a scale of 0 to 10, with zero being the lowest level of anxiety and ten being the highest.

Compose a setup statement. Your setup statement should acknowledge the problem you want to deal with, then follow it with an unconditional affirmation of yourself as a person.

Setup statement examples:
“Even though I feel this PTSD anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m anxious about ________, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m feeling this anxiety about _____, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I panic when I think about ______, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m worried about how to ______, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m having trouble breathing, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I made an unhealthy choice, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I feel_____, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

Get ready to begin Tapping
With four fingers on one hand, begin tapping the Karate Chop point on your other hand. The Karate Chop point is on the outer edge of the hand, on the opposite side from the thumb.
Repeat the setup statement three times aloud, while simultaneously tapping the Karate Chop point. Now take a deep breath.

Now, tap about 5 to 7 times each on the remaining eight points in the sequence described below. As you tap on each point, repeat a simple reminder phrase, such as “my anxiety” or “my sabotage” or “my unhealthy behavior” to help you mentally focus on your issue. While tapping under your arm ask “I wonder if I can let this go?’ While tapping the top of your head say “Letting it all go” Then close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Eyebrow Point (EB)
Where the eyebrows begin, closest to the bridge of the nose.

Side of Eye (SE)
On the bone directly along the outside of either eye.

Under Eye (UE)
On the bone directly under either eye.

Under Nose (UN)
The area directly beneath the nose and above the upper lip.

Chin Point (CP)
This is the area just below your bottom lip and above the chin, right in the crease.

Collarbone Point (CB)
Starting from where your collar bones meet in the center, go down an inch and out an inch on either side.

Under Arm (UA)
On your side, about four inches beneath the armpit.

Top of Head (TH)
Directly on the crown of your head.

And take another deep breath!
Now that you’ve completed the sequence, focus on your problem again. How intense is the anxiety now, in comparison to a few minutes ago? Give it a rating on the same 0 to 10 scale. Did you notice a shift?

If your anxiety level is still higher than 2 or 3, you can do another round of tapping. Keep tapping through the sequence until the anxiety is gone. You can change your setup statement slightly to take into account your efforts to fix the problem or your desire for continued progress.

Examples:
“Even though I have some remaining PTSD anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m still a little worried about _____, I deeply and completely accept myself.” And so on.
Now that you’ve focused on dispelling your immediate anxiety, you can work on instilling some positive feelings in its place. This approach is different from traditional “positive thinking.” You’re not being dishonest with yourself. You’re not trying to obscure the stress and anxiety inside yourself with a veneer of insincere affirmations. Rather, you’ve confronted and dealt with the anxiety and its corresponding negative emotions, offering deep and complete acceptance to both your feelings and yourself.

After you’ve cleared the emotional dirt away, you can then turn your thoughts and vibrations to the powerful and positive. That’s what makes Tapping so much more effective than the “positive thinking” techniques that many of you have already tried. It’s not just a mental trick. You’re actually changing your body’s biochemistry and energy into a more positive direction.

Here are some example phrases to guide you:
“I have faith in my ability to change.”
“I am joyful about these positive changes.”
“I am accomplishing so much.”
“I enjoy the calm and peace that I have.”
“I love the person that I am.”
“I am becoming a more relaxed and joyful person.”

You can use these positive phrases with the same sequence of Tapping points described above.

Technique Tips

You should use a firm but gentle pressure, the same as if you were drumming on the top of your desk or testing a melon for ripeness.

You can use all four fingers, or just the first two (the index and middle fingers). Four fingers are generally used on wider areas, while just two can be used on sensitive areas, such as around the eyes.

Tap with your fingertips, not your fingernails.

You can tap one side of the body or both at the same time. The meridian points are symmetrical on either side of the body.

Our thanks to Tami Albritton, Wellness Coach Supreme, for her assistance with this post.

ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.

Promising Pharma-Free Therapy for Veteran PTSD Families

Promising Pharma-Free Therapy for Veteran PTSD Families

Emotional Freedom Techniques Tap Into Your Own Healing Power

For a How-To-Tap guide, click here.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), also known as Tapping, is a powerful holistic healing technique. Clinically proven to effectively resolve a range of issues, including PTSD in veteran. Here’s one study where PTSD symptoms were reduced by 50% in a group of veterans.

Once a Soldier supports including EFT as a non-pharma treatmension for veterans and veteran families suffering from PTSD. It is the fast-acting, multi-symptom killer we need right now.

Tapping is a simple technique that uses your own two hands to give you the same benefits experienced by using acupuncture. This blog post will show you how to self-administer EFT.

Tapping therapy is based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. Tapping with the fingertips on specific meridian endpoints of the body, while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations, helps to calm the nervous system, rewire the brain to respond in healthier ways, and restore the body’s balance of energy.

Tapping makes full use of the mind-body connection, acknowledging and integrating the concepts that physical pain, disease, and mental well-being are intricately connected to our emotional states.

The body is equipped with an energy system that travels along pathways known as meridians. Tapping on these meridian endpoints helps to stimulate this system, and when verbally or mentally addressing the root causes of distress, the areas of blocked energy are able to release and flow naturally.

The basic Tapping technique requires you to focus on the negative emotion at hand – a fear, a worry, a bad memory, an unresolved problem, or anything that’s bothering you. While maintaining your mental focus on this issue, you use your fingertips to tap 5-7 times on each of the 9 specific meridian points of the body.

Tapping on these meridian points in sequence while concentrating on the negative emotions engages both the brain’s limbic system and the body’s energy system, encouraging a sense of safety and resolution. And as the scientific field of epigenetics is proving, when you change your internal environment – your emotions and beliefs – external changes in your mental & physical health will follow.

In some ways, Tapping is similar to acupuncture. Like Tapping, acupuncture achieves healing through stimulating the body’s meridians and energy flow. However, unlike Tapping, acupuncture involves needles! “No needles” is definitely one of the advantages of Tapping!

Tapping is simple and painless. It can be learned by anyone, and you can apply it to yourself whenever you want, wherever you are. It can be used with a specific emotional intent towards your own unique life challenges and experiences. Most importantly, Tapping gives you the power to heal yourself, putting control over your destiny back into your own hands.

ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

Veteran families serve just like the soldier, even more so after they’re gone. Our mission is to help them bury their loved ones with honor through our advocacy, financial aid and mental health support.

Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will. Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

Our Mission: Connect veteran families in need with those who want to help care them.

Once a Soldier Advocates to Rep. Rutherford’s Office

Once a Soldier Advocates to Rep. Rutherford’s Office

Open-Minded & Ready to Help

Once a Soldier advocates on behalf of veteran families touched by veteran suicide. We believe that PTSD is the reason most of our families are faced with the ongoing pain and suffering of vetearn suicide. We see it as a part of our mission to do all we can to make their voices heard.

We recently met with Chris Miller, the District Director for U.S. House of Representative John Rutherford. Mr. Rutherford recently re-introduced the PAWS bill to the House.

For more on the PAWS bill, check this blog post.

Our Agenda 

Chris Miller is ex-military and his tall, slender frame and greying on the sides hair make him the perfect Aide right out of Central Casting. We met at their modest offices in Jacksonville’s mid-town – definitely more functional than flashy. Part of the reason that Once a Soldier was able to get in front of Congressman Rutherford was that his receptionist’s family had suffered from veteran suicide.

We talked about the pain points that families of veteran suicide face:

  • Loss of Insurance Policy
  • Funeral Home Policy
  • PTSD Therapies that Show Promise

Mr. Miller was most interested in the first point that we made. With so many insurance company lobbyists in Washington, D.C., he was courageous indeed to bring the matter up with his Legislative Directors. Our goal was to move the needle on this point: allow a veteran diagnosed with PTSD who has killed himself an exemption from being the insurance being disallowed from the suicide clause. Perhaps not the full amount, but a minimum of $20,000 to cover the funeral expenses.

With the PAWS Act being freshly re-introduced by his office not too long ago, we felt that asking him to take on another Veteran-centric bill would be too much too fast. We have since revisited that idea with an request to consider a bill that fast-tracks pharma and non-parma PTSD therapies.

Next, the realities of the funeral home practices, where payment is traditionally secured by life insurance of the departed, were a surprise to the office. We were happy to get agreement that something could be done to make this a win-win-win for the insurance companies, the funeral business and our families. We are working on that solution as we speak.

Finally, our in-depth and front line access to a local PTSD therapy clinic helped us plead the case for continuing on to push through after the Spravato breakthough. This newly FDA-approved PTSD therapy is a nasal spray that failed to prove itself in the testing phase, but is now being pushed out to VA medical centers. Expensive and cumbersome, this therapy was a good start, but not the future of PTSD therapy. 

We were invited to continue the conversation and we are. Thank you to Chris Miller for his attention and sincerity during and after our visit.

 

As Sheriff Rutherford Of Jacksonville, He Focused on Mental Health Issues

Sheriff Rutherford

 

Rutherford, who was director of the jail before being elected sheriff in 2003, is credited with improvements in its ability to address mental health issues. Since he became sheriff, a re-entry program to assist released state prisoners back into society has been established.

In partnership with the city and in the community, programs to ward off criminal activity with prevention and intervention were expanded.

Using tactics such as old-fashioned “knock and talks,” officers stepped onto tens of thousands of doorsteps to meet residents in high-crime neighborhoods.

ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.

The Curious Case of Service Canines for Wounded Warriors

The Curious Case of Service Canines for Wounded Warriors

OAS Agrees with the VA: Service Dogs Are Heartwarming But Clinical Proof Not As Cuddly

Just as the volume is getting turned up on the Vets mental health issues, a piece PTSD service dog legislation is landing on deaf ears at the VA. And for good reason. The Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act, first introduced in 2016 by a nonprofit whose mission was canine service or PTSD therapy dogs, would establish a grant program pairing veterans with psychiatric service dogs. Service dogs are rigorously trained to help their owners cope with stress, anxiety or fear. Read more about PAWS here.

The PAWS Act never went to a vote. It faced stiff resistance from VA officials who said the bill could “result in unintended and negative consequences” for veterans entrusting their well-being to “this unsubstantiated treatment regime. To date, the VA has officially funded 19 canine service dogs.

Unfortunately for our Veterans and their families who endure these service-related issues, that VA’s stance is correct. While more long-term research is being conducted at this time – both reports are expected within 18 months – the verdict appears to be in already. Canine therapy helps in the moment and may even prevent veteran suicide, but the lasting effect fall off quickly. PTSD keeps striking and the dogs keep working, but it doesn’t treat PTSD or the depression. Dogs only interrupt the condition.

The central question the VA is asking of service canines is this: Do service dogs and emotional-support dogs measurably reduce the symptoms of PTSD and improve quality of life. “I would say there are a lot of heartwarming stories that service dogs help, but scientific basis for that claim is lacking,” Dr. Michael Fallon, the V.A.’s chief veterinarian, said during an interview with National Public Radio in 2017. “The V.A. is based on evidence-based medicine. We want people to use therapy that has proven value.”

The Clinical Difference Between the Magic of Dogs and the Effectiveness of Science

As reported in this blog post, the effectiveness of any depression medication is measured by the V.A.’s standardized PTSD symptom checklist known as the DSM-5 (PCL-5) scale. A 2018 Purdue University study of 73 veterans reported that the Vets tested out with an average of a 12-point drop in their PTSD score. Kerri Rodriguez, one of the co-authors on the study, said, “While not a cure for PTSD, we found service dogs are an effective complementary treatment that have significant effects on multiple areas of life.”

The average PTSD score after 2 hours of a Ketamine IV microdosing treatment is a drop of 33. After the 2-weeks, it only needs regular “top offs” to stay there.

A 2016 review of available literature about the treatment found that most studies “endorsed canine assistance for PTSD in veterans as a promising modality” but called for more research. Meanwhile, ketamine-based treatments show fast-acting and lasting results. See the full resources of the testing here.

Meanwhile, the PAWS Act has been reintroduced by Florida Republican John Rutherford in 2019. Rutherford, in whose district resides K9s for Warriors, the nation’s leading service dog provider. The headwinds from the VA are again proving too much for PAWS to gain traction, so the future of this grant-establishing legislation remains uncertain. If passed, it provides the canine service-based nonprofits, with K9s for Warrior probably first in line, $25,000 to train the dog and the Vet to work and live together.

“I’ve had multiple veterans come up to me and tell me that they would have probably committed suicide but for being paired with a service dog,” said Ron DeSantis, formerly a congressional representative from Florida and now the state’s governor.

Lower Costs and Lower PTSD Scores Are Out There

Using the same test, veterans diagnosed with drug-resistant depression and PTSD have been tested using the out of patent drug ketamine. Since 1998, ketamine has been off-patent and available for commercial exploitation for better or for worse. Besides being what puts you out for surgery in every hospital in America and beyond, ketamine in micro-dose has the clinical scores to make it a real contender for the PTSD-killer drug we need. The problem is that because it is out of patent, there’s no money to be made by big pharma to take the risk to develop something that will automatically become available as a low-cost generic.

Clinical trials and their findings, many of which can be found here, report a far greater reduction in suicidal thoughts within hours of the first treatment. And treatments last two weeks with occasional “top offs” to keep the depression at bay. As for the costs, that same $25,000 per service dog and veteran team could treat 3-4 veterans with what the science shows is our best “cure” to date.

As more and more money finds its way into the treatment of PTSD, the rise of promising treatments will rise, too. Once a Soldier would urge that while dogs and vets seems to go together very well, in the long run, it’s a second best therapy at best.

ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.

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Jamie Brunette

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