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WWII fighter pilot, US Army colonel discuss benefits of Transcendental Meditation for veterans
by Global Good New staff writer
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13 December 2010
A US Army colonel and a WWII fighter pilot discuss how the Transcendental Meditation can benefit soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
They spoke along with filmmaker David Lynch at the David Lynch Foundation's Second Annual 'Change Begins Within' Benefit Gala in New York City on 13 December.
The benefit was part of the launch of ''Operation Warrior Wellness''—a national initiative to offer 10,000 veterans and their families a simple meditation practice for preventing and treating post-traumatic stress disorder.
Transcendental Meditation 'is a stress buster', Mr Lynch said. 'The whole idea is to get this to the soldiers who are suffering and turn their lives around.'
Inspiration for Operation Warrior Wellness came from Jerry Yellin, who enlisted to serve his country at age 18 in 1942. When he was recently notified about the suicide of a fellow veteran, he realized something had to be done to ease the traumatic stress of former soldiers.
For Yellin himself, the experience of that time remains vivid. 'The sights, the sounds, the smells—I still see as I stand here today.'
'In one phone call I asked, ''Could we have a veterans' division of the David Lynch Foundation?'' And instantaneously the answer came back: ''Yes.'' '
'The army now is recognizing that soldier resilience is something that we want to promote both among service personnel and their families,' said Colonel Brian Rees.*
Scientific research, the simplicity of the technique, and experience of the benefits of Transcendental Meditation for PTSD make this programme 'a very suitable intervention', he continued.
'Just about everything improves with TM,' he concluded, citing such research results as increased moral maturity, development of ego strength, self-actualization, anxiety reduction, and increased nervous system stability.
Watch the following video for more about the David lynch Foundation's programmes for military veterans: Healing the Wounds of PTSD Through Meditation.
* Colonel Brian M Rees, MD, MPH, is command surgeon, 63d Regional Support Command with 34 years of commissioned military service, who recently completed his fourth deployment in Afghanistan. Col Rees serves as co-chair of Operation Warrior Wellness.
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