My wife Danielle and I founded Mission Zero to combat the PTSD and veteran suicide epidemic plaguing U.S. veterans.
We know from our own experiences that a PTSD diagnosis isn’t a death sentence or the end of the line. But we also know that it changes everything.
We’ve known how it feels to have the horrors of the battlefield follow us home. We understand what it’s like to be endlessly hounded by nightmares, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and the thought that there might never be an escape. We’ve witnessed firsthand how the current medical and veterans-support systems often can’t handle the problem, relying on oversimplified approaches, punitive mindsets, and dangerous pharmaceuticals that risk making the situation worse. And we know what it’s like for the war within your mind to claim collateral damage: your job, your family, your very existence.
But from our own experiences, we know there is a path to recovery. We know there are people and resources that can help our country’s heroes recover from their wounds. We know there are endless opportunities for veterans to prove that they’re not used goods, but instead incredible assets whose service to society is only just beginning. We know that a PTSD diagnosis can’t be wiped away – but it can be overcome, and the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.
We know none of these efforts are quick, easy fixes – but that’s why we’re building a movement to help us accomplish our mission.
–United States Army Combat Veteran Jose Belen
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