Sometimes It's More Than Golf
The 22 Project Helps Vets with PTSD and TBI
When the folks from The 22 Project showed up at Jacaranda for a charity golf event, I was excited. Frankly, I was excited about having new material for fresh social media content.
Then I met Patrick Zeigler, an ambassador for The 22 Project. Patrick walks with a cane and a brace on his left leg. He has little use of his lower left arm. Then there is the telltale 4 in. long scar he carries on the right side of his head. His story is full of irony and tragedy but most of all inspiration.
Patrick did 2 tours of duty in Iraq - and survived. Then he came home to his army base - Ft. Hood in Killeen Texas. It was 2009 and if you are a student of mass shootings in this country, you know what’s next. Patrick was front and center when Army Major and psychiatrist Nidal Hasan opened fire. He killed 13 people and injured 30- including Patrick Zeigler. Patrick was shot four times, once in the head. The physical, emotional and psychological damage was devastating.
Then, he found The 22 Project.
A comprehensive, faith-based therapy program, The 22 Project supports our returning military veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury, (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the invisible injuries that can lead to rage, addiction, depression and all too often suicide. Along with traditional group therapy and fellowship, Patrick began extended sessions in a Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chamber. (You may have heard about HBOT related to its use with fire victims).
Using HBOT, along with a new state of the art brain SPECT scanner, you can actually see the improvement in a patient’s brain activity, including the ability to handle stress. It also helps medical teams develop more targeted treatments for individual patients like Patrick. It has changed his life, which is now dedicated to spreading the word.
Wondering about the name, The 22 Project? The Department of Defense and the VA say 22 veterans A DAY commit suicide. Most are the result of TBI or PTSD. So far, The 22 Project has treated 300 patients from all over the US and has not lost a single one to suicide. So, when The 22 Project members, their friends and supporters head out to the course, their mission is about something much greater than shooting par. They are raising awareness-- and saving lives.
It really puts everything in perspective, doesn’t it?