SoldierStrong is honored to announce it has received a grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) for $25,000, which will provide operational support for two of the organization’s programs to provide revolutionary medical technology and therapy to Veterans Affairs hospitals and other medical centers across the country. These programs include the groundbreaking virtual reality system, BraveMind, that aids in the treatment of veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress (PTS), and the SoldierSuit, state-of-the-art rehabilitation and powered prosthetic technologies that help injured and paralyzed veterans stand and walk again.
The Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) provides support to disabled and at-risk veterans who return home with physical and psychological wounds. The organization carries out its mission by providing grants to veteran organizations, curated veteran-specific, post-traumatic stress (PTS) and suicide prevention resources and providing supplemental assistance to homeless and low-income veterans.
Chris Meek, co-founder and chairman of SoldierStrong said, “Generous support from organizations like DVNF play an integral role in SoldierStrong’s ability to provide veterans with life-changing technology and therapy freeing them from the visible and invisible wounds of war. Our organizations’ shared commitment to change the lives of veterans is reflected in this generous grant. Thank you to DVNF for supporting urgently needed innovation and in particular, our work to reach veterans where they are and to provide alternative treatment options. We are incredibly grateful.”
Joseph VanFonda (USMC Sgt. Maj. Ret.), CEO of Disabled Veterans National Foundation said, “I believe in the BraveMind virtual reality system. SoldierStrong continues to strive for alternate treatments that provide a lasting effective way in treating our military veterans who still face and hold on to the traumatic effects of combat”.
The BraveMind system, developed by the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies, delivers prolonged exposure therapy, the practice of recalling a troubling memory while talking through its nuances with a licensed therapist. This evidence-based method for treating PTS allows therapists to recreate the scene of the veteran’s troubling memory in a virtual reality headset. It safely enables the veteran to relive and deconstruct that memory to better cope with the trauma that it created. BraveMind’s technology allows therapists to select a scenario based on a veteran’s traumatic experience and customize it to their unique needs in real time.
SoldierSuit exoskeletons are used in the rehabilitation of paralyzed individuals who experience mobility setbacks from strokes, spinal cord, and traumatic brain injuries to help them regain the ability to stand and walk again.
SoldierStrong has donated more than $5.2 million of medical devices to help injured veterans, including 24 BraveMind systems and 29 SoldierSuits to VA hospitals, other medical facilities and individual veterans since late 2019.