Help us end veteran suicides related to PTSD & MST

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A nonprofit fundraiser supporting

Silent Warrior Project
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Silent Warrior Project's mission is to reduce veteran suicides related to PTSD & MST.


raised by 2 people

$10,000 goal

The Silent Warrior Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to its mission to reduce veteran suicide rates related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Miltary Sexual Trauma (MST).  The story of the Silent Warrior Project began when its founder, Ryan L. Haugen, was driven to his knees in pain and despair by his PTSD on November 1, 2015 and he asked for help.  Ryan worked at the VA serving Veterans from 2008 to December 2014 and he left the VA for an opportunity in the private sector.  He failed miserably and was fired from three consecutive jobs because of the time he had to spend at the VA and other doctors taking care of his PTSD and service connected disabiilties.  The last job he was fired from was on October 30, 2015.  Ryan had been active in a 12 step program for 20 years and committed to doing an 11th step in November and decided to get on his knees and pray and ask for help on November 1, 2015.

In less than a week, Ryan met a man on November 3, 2015 at his "homegroup" who became his spiritual advisor and introduced him to a practice developed by father Thomas Keating called Contemplative Prayer on Saturday Novemberr 7, 2015.  On Monday, November 9, 2015, the VA prescribed Ryan a 12 week long program called Mindffulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as developed by Jon Kabat Zinn.  So, within roughly a week of getting on his knees and asking for help, Ryan was given forms of prayer and meditation.  He started doing them together, at the same time and over the course of a number of months the symptoms of his PTSD vanished.

Ryan's spiritual advisor suggested that he take some of the men that he sponsor on a retreat and do this practice.  Since we are not religious and do not do religious practices, we renamed contemplative prayer contemplative silent reflection.  After a handful of these retreats, the men going on them reported similar relief to their "moral injury".  What we discovered was that we had stumbled across a spiritual solution to "moral injury".  Moral injury happens to some in their childhood as the result of sexual trauma and then they drink to forget that and the moral injury gets compounded by the things we do while intoxicated in the ways we hurt ourselves and others.

Ryan invited some Combat Veterans on a retreat to practice Contemplative Silent Reflection (CSR) and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as a spiritual solution to "Moral Injury" and the veterans experienced similar reduction in their PTSD symptoms.  The retreats started to grow in frequency and numbers as veterans who'd attended previous retreats recruited other combat veterans and veterans with MST to attend and volunteer at upcoming retreats.  The Silent Warrior Project was born.  7 years, dozens of retreats and hundreds of veterans served later and we continue to grow with your help.  We cannot do this work without your help and we are grateful for your contributions.  We are all volunteers, none of us are paid and almost all of the contributions we receive go directly to our mission to reduce veteran suicide rates related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

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