A non-profit organization in Boca Raton, Florida is harnessing the power of exercise, community and science to aid veterans who are suffering from the traumas of war. The Grey Team seeks to assist those who are impacted by PTSD, neurological damage and other ailments that hinder
mental and physical health.
Rather than turning to prescription medications to remedy their problems, which often leads to addiction and other health predicaments, the staff provides physical training regiments, allowing the participants to develop relationships with fellow ex-service members who share similar struggles and hardships. Former soldiers who have experienced brain trauma incur a damaged grey matter, which envelopes the brain, hence their name: Grey Team.
The growing rate of veteran suicides continues to be a devastating crisis, which the team members strive to eliminate through personalized care routines and emotional support. Since the company’s inception in 2016, they have helped thousands of veterans, who were otherwise left hopeless by a corrupt Department of Veterans Affairs system.
Christian Moreno, a six-year military reservist, served in Kuwait for almost a year and was constantly exposed to the many horrors of war. Upon returning home, Moreno decided to begin his healing process by joining the Grey Team, where he finally found the comradery he was searching for. “It feels nice to be in a unit”, he said, while also commenting on the lack of assistance from the Veterans Administration.
While there are numerous therapeutic facilities across the country designated for American veterans, unfortunately, the majority of them are inaccessible and ultimately useless.
“They say they’ll help you when you get ready to leave. In reality, they just give you a piece of paper and say ‘have a nice day’”, Moreno said after his attempts to receive care from the VA.
For years, VA facilities have been accused of numerous mishaps, such as suspicious expenditures, wrongfully billing patients, administrative errors, and the withholding of benefits, which all inevitably harm and impair veterans in need. According to a report by the Legal Services Center which analyzed these dilemmas, 400,000 veterans seeking help are in danger of being denied the necessary help from the VA that they are qualified for and require.
Facilities are even preventing veterans from applying for care services, which Dwayne Smith, a former Marine Corps veteran who battles with PTSD and brain trauma, experienced after returning home from Afghanistan. Smith was released from duty after learning that someone in his family had cancer, and the VA refused to provide him with any services because his discharge was documented as “Other Than Honorable”. Denying a veteran of services under these premises is highly illegal, to which he filed a lawsuit against the facility and finally gained eligibility after five years of fighting for, what should have been, his unalienable right to care.
Stories such as Smith’s occur on a daily basis, intensifying the monumental crisis of veteran suicides, overdoses, homelessness and inability to thrive in society. The Grey Team is aware of the lack of representation and effort from lawmakers to support those who risked their lives by serving our country, which motivates them to continue their mission and raise awareness of these issues.
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