In 2022, Boot Campaign was able to serve more veterans than ever before through our unique and comprehensive Health & Wellness Program. Unlike previous years where our program participants had straight-forward diagnoses or symptomatic expressions, the veterans we served were seeking help for complex issues and confounded health concerns.
Research shows the average amount of time between the initial onset of an issue and the seeking of treatment is 11 years. During those 11 years, challenges continue to be more compounded, making them more complex to treat. And that is exactly what we saw with the veterans served in 2022 by Boot Campaign — more complex cases, various comorbidities in the mental health arena and other diagnoses and on average 11 years from time the veteran separated or retired from service until the time they reached out to our team.
Veterans like Annamaria, who heard Boot Campaign’s YOU MATTER message and was encouraged to finally reach out for help with the traumatic brain injury and chronic pain she sustained during her near-decade of service in the U.S. Navy Reserves. While putting in the work to heal from these invisible wounds, Annamaria received a life-changing diagnosis that would require testing and treatment beyond what the VA would provide.
“I can’t say enough about the God-send Boot Campaign has been in my life. You’ve given me both better medical care and more genuine support and kindness than I have ever experienced.”
We continue to hear from veterans who have been turned away or delayed from receiving the care or treatment they so desperately need. Veterans like James*, a former U.S. Army Ranger with a history of mental health concerns who was stopped from taking his life by his dog. Following the suicide attempt, he reached out to his local VA and was told it would be at least two weeks before any discussions or appointments could be made.
“I hope one day that the government leaders who sent us to war will begin to utilize treatment outside of a pill bottle and talk therapy, but until then I’ll just be grateful for nonprofits like Boot Campaign so I can get better.”
We are grateful for both Annamaria and James for their service to our country, but even more grateful that they stood up for their own mental and physical health in a time they needed it most. Their stories join those of two hundred and twenty two veterans and spouses of service members we were honored to serve in 2022 through our Health & Wellness Program.
Representing every era of service and every branch, these men and women overcame the stigma associated with seeking help, and committed to putting in the work needed towards a better quality of life. These veterans collectively received over 18,550 hours of high-touch, individualized care over the last year to help overcome and heal from their hidden wounds of war, such as traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, self-medication and insomnia.
It is because of patriots and grateful Americans like you that we continue to make these life-improving treatments, therapies and resources cost-free for those we serve.
*Name has been changed for confidentiality