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Click here to see the article online at the Delta County Independent News site.

We appreciate the time and energy spent by local journalist, Kathy Browning, in the piecing together of this great article. Many locals are responding with much excitement to this article and the implications that the Wounded Warriors Restoration Center will have for the local economy. Many see and understand the far-reaching effects of the healing that will be sown into generations of families that have been wounded by the terrible effects of war.

Here’s the article:

Over 600,000 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 have been diagnosed with PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.

“There’s been over 2 million who have served in both fronts,” Debbie England, executive director and co-founder of Wounded Warriors SAD, said. “That’s a huge number to be coming back with those types of symptoms.”

Her husband, Rod England who passed away in 2010 from cancer, and Debbie founded Wounded Warriors Americas Sons and Daughters in 2004. Their oldest son, Robert, was hit by an IED in 2004. So, in October 2004 they established their organization.

“Because I spent a lot of time at Walter Reed with my son, we had amazing blessings as far as healings,” England said. “He was able to stay in the military, but from my experience at Walter Reed and talking with other families, I realized there was a great need for what was going to happen to the veterans once they were discharged. Back then they discharged everybody.”

The result was a backlog in cases. So vets went from receiving disability within six months of being discharged to almost three years. Today it’s almost four to five years.

Devorah's passionate and spirit-filled leadership style has been a huge catalyst as we work towards the goal of serving wounded combat veterans and their families at the Wounded Warrior Restoration Center.

Wounded Warriors SAD focused earlier on helping vets financially. “We started doing fundraisers to help them pay mortgages, car payments, food. We even in the past sent money for people to go to job interviews. We purchased special equipment like shoes that the VA didn’t cover,” England said.

England had several military friends with PTSD. She explained, “It’s not an injury, so to speak, but the symptoms of it can cause different illnesses. This is stress related. Plus the drugs they were being put on when they were coming back caused more problems. It’s like a band-aid situation. You put on a band-aid over a wound. It covers it, but doesn’t really heal it. That’s what the drugs were doing. It was more like a time bomb.”

Her son is currently stationed at Fort Carson, which has the highest rate of volatile incidents. “The military is coming back very angry. There isn’t any help for what they are going through. Fort Carson has had over 20 incidents this year in murder or acts of violence,” she said. “That just elevates our mission.”

She has studied and researched PTSD treatments. In Israel, where both the military and civilian population live with the threat of attacks all the time, their rate of PTSD for the entire population is just five percent. For just the military population in the U.S., it’s 90 percent.

“I realized the big issue was the way [Israel] treats their PTSD contrary to how we treat PTSD in the United States. They have trauma centers. They also have healing rooms which soothe and de-sensitize their emotions back to a normal state,” England said.

One of the treatments that will be available at the Restoration Center in Crawford will be Dr. Chris Kaufmann’s Synchronicity wave system. It runs on frequencies of light and colors, and is good with traumatic head injuries.

The diet at the center will consist of 85 percent fresh and raw, including juices, and the other is 15 percent protein. That is the diet that is recommended for PTSD. A raw chef will be on staff to prepare meals. A health professional and a certified counselor will also be on staff.

Kalvin Evans, an Air Force veteran, is the program director. He has a background in Outdoor Adventure. The outdoor programs will give participants opportunities for hiking, camping, kayaking and team building initiatives. “It gets them outside. That’s the goal,” Evans said. “It has a healing effect working with them and minimizing the amount of stimulus you would get in the city.”

The vets will see deer, wild turkeys and farm animals like goats and chickens on the property. There will be horses for equine therapy.

“We’re looking at making this a self-sustainable ranch where we will grow our own food and work with animals. We want to give them an opportunity to get outdoors in a different area where there is peace and quiet, and a chance for them to relax,” Evans said.

Pictured left to right: Devorah England, WW - SAD Executive Director, Kalvin Evans, Wounded Warriors Restoration Center Program Director, Carolyn Ramey-Kennedy, Nursing/Medical Support Staff are excited about the many opportunities that will be available to help change lives for the better.

“A lot of times when they come back they’re thrust into a situation where their de-briefing is maybe a few days. Maybe, if they are lucky! Then they are told to go on and live their lives without the proper tools . . . We want to help them in their healing journey. Not just for the soldiers but for their families as well,” Evans said. His father had PTSD from the Vietnam War.

Carolyn Ramey-Kennedy is also on staff and is Kalvin’s mother. She has been nursing since 1971. She was going to be an RN, but her husband wanted her to be a nursing home administrator. She did that for 10 years. Her last nursing home had 100 beds with 100 employees and contractors. She has worked in emergency rooms and hospitals.

Because of her wide experience, she can wear many hats at the Restoration Center. She does have her license in nursing.

Sgt. Daniel Carpenter was a combat medic, non-commissioned officer. He permanently came out of the military in 2009. He has severe PTSD from being a ground medic. He had a head injury and degeneration in his lower back. At the Restoration Center he will be a peer mentor. “I can tell the guys all the things the lodge is going to offer for them, the treatments, the different therapies. I’m saying that from the perspective of one of them, a veteran. Because I have been there and done the same things they’ve done,” Sgt. Carpenter said.

The closing date for the Crawford property is July 16. With the lodge are two staff houses which are solar powered. The lodge is surrounded by 94 acres of beautiful land under the watchful eye of Needle Rock. England said from local historians she has learned Needle Rock was a gathering place for Ute Indians who called it a place of healing.

They hope to be ready by late August and September to begin helping veterans start their healing journey.

For more information, visit www.americaswounded.org.

You can help by being a fundraiser event sponsor, by volunteering at the Restoration Center or at fundraising events or by monetary donations.