While reflecting upon the upcoming the Memorial Day holiday, I was thinking of the blessings we all have in the United States. This is due in large part to the service of our military. I find it hard to fathom the courage and fortitude these men and women possess.
Eight years ago, I began to hear many stories about the terrible injuries that our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan had sustained. Many have come home horribly hurt and have not received the care they needed. I knew that Congress had passed legislation ordering the Department of Defense to provide chiropractic care for our soldiers, and they were not getting it. The veterans I met had never heard that chiropractic care was supposed to be available to them. I learned that chiropractic care was given very reluctantly and that there were many hoops to jump through. I decided that situation was unacceptable and the best solution was for me to provide chiropractic care to as many soldiers as I could, directly. They would not need a referral, we would bypass the red tape and get them the help they needed. We started putting the word out through every available means. We give up to ONE YEAR of FREE care to any veteran who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. I believe this is literally the very least I can do in light of the sacrifices our veterans have made. I do not have the personal courage to do what they do, but I sure can help them heal from their traumas. The stories I have heard are really hard to hear. Many of these young men have told me that I don’t even want to know what they have seen. Some were very traumatized, with both PTSD and physical problems. These are the ones that look ok from the outside, but they are not ok. One young officer had been riding in Humvee when it hit an IED. When it blew up, his head struck the ceiling of the Humvee, knocking him out, and compressing his spine. After he returned home, he went to the military doctors in Ft. Hood 14 times and was told that they could find nothing wrong. He had blinding migraines every day, severe nerve pain radiating down both arms and legs, he couldn’t sleep, and he was unable to read a single page and comprehend it. He was told to keep taking Ibuprofen (the guys call it “Ranger Candy”). We did a careful exam, x-rays and started adjusting his spine. Within a handful of adjustments, the headaches were gone, he could sleep, and the arm and leg pain had improved dramatically. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing these men and women get their lives back, after all they have been through.
Many Doctors of chiropractic (through the International Chiropractic Association) from around the United States have answered this call to participate in supporting America’s newest returning veterans with immediate access to chiropractic services, in addition to the limited programs officially available through the US Department of Defense. This program has spread, and there are now 8 Doctors of Chiropractic here in the Austin area providing this care at no charge. We are making a difference in many of the lives of these brave young men and women. We will continue to offer this service until our veterans can easily receive the chiropractic they are entitled to. It’s the least I can do.
If you know a veteran who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and who might benefit from chiropractic care, please pass this on and have them call our office for an appointment at (512)346-3536. If they are not convenient to us, send them to the International Chiropractic Association website: http://www.chiropractic.org/ica-cares