How We Are Helping
We are average Americans who share a deep respect and appreciation for the devotion and personal sacrifice of our SOF warriors and their families. The incredibly difficult and dangerous work that these warriors have been asked by our nation to perform–usually over multiple combat deployments–calls for a response, we believe, more tangible than just thanking them for their service.
MeRT Treatment for Brain Injuries
MeRT technology uses a suite of medical innovations to uniquely image the brain, identify areas that may not be functioning properly, and, most importantly, treat problematic regions.
MeRT technology uses a suite of medical innovations to uniquely image the brain, identify areas that may not be functioning properly, and, most importantly, treat problematic regions of the brain with the goal of restoring optimal neurological function using non-invasive neuromodulation. MeRT has been used to treat over 500 veterans suffering from PTS and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Over the last couple of years veterans within the Special Operations Community have gone out of their way to request this treatment and the results have been promising. MeRT technology is an individualized, non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive neuromodulation procedure that provides restoration of the brain’s optimal function, resulting in patients reporting a combination of the following: improved quality of sleep, increased ability to manage stress, better concentration and focus, improvement in mood, increased motivation, and improved clarity of thought. The treatment is provided a one of the Brain Treatment Center (https://www.braintreatmentcenter.com/
) locations, and takes approximately 30 days to complete. In addition to the cost of the treatment, which is about $30,000, there is usually another $10,000 in travel and lodging expenses.
Medical/Hyberbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and Other Cutting-Edge Medical Treatments
Traumatic brain injury ("TBI"), post-traumatic stress ("PTS"), and other combat injuries are experienced by our SOF warriors all too often.
HBOT is recognized treatment for decompression sickness (the "bends") and certain wound management; however, we have seen this treatment also improve the quality of life for SOF warriors suffering the often devastating effects of TBI, PTS, chronic pain, depression, nerve damage, and other ailments. Treatment protocol is typically forty, one-hour sessions ("dives") with 100% oxygen at up to 2.5 atmospheres. The cost for this regimen is $6,000-$8,000 for the series of forty dives with associated follow-up assessments, which is generally not covered by Department of Defense benefits or commercial insurance. SOC-F works with providers in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Virginia Beach, Virginia, who are recognized for their expertise in providing HBOT treatment for these conditions. SOC-F also funds other effective, cutting-edge medical treatments of TBI and PTS, such as Magnetic eResonance Therapy.
Gold Star Kids Camp
Gold Star Kids are children of U.S. armed forces members who lost their lives in military activities.
These ten-day, wilderness-based camps are held at The Station Foundation's facility outside of Bozeman and are, we believe, virtually unique in the non-profit world. Each Gold Star Kid (typically 9-14 years old) is paired with a service member who actually served with the child's fallen parent, and has volunteered as a mentor to give the child rare insight into their parent's life and values. In years following acceptance into the program, the child has the option to attend leadership training workshops, summer internships, and to receive ongoing counseling, which are all designed to help the child get into college and be successful in their studies and beyond. Due to the intensive and long-term nature of this unique program, the cost is $50,000 for 10 kids and 10 adults--but SOC-F believes that the lifelong benefits to a Gold Star Kid are well worth it.
Intensive Marriage Counseling
The intensity of service in our country's special operations forces, usually involving multiple combat deployments, can take a high toll on a SOF member's marriage.
In partnership with Winshape Retreat and LifeGate Counseling, SOC-F funds private, intensive marriage counseling workshops (3-4 days) followed by 5 months of remote (Skype) counseling and wrapped up at Winshape in a 2-3 day retreat. The cost for this program is $8,000 per couple. We originally looked at group counseling for these couples, but in this instance, the husband isn’t allowed to talk about what he does for a living.
The prolonged absence from home usually required by SOF service can strain a warrior's relationship with his children. Here is a proven program that can help them reconnect.
The Station Foundation's RESTORE program provides a hands-on opportunity for SOF children to learn about the physical, mental and emotional strengths of their warrior-parent, who is either recently retired from active duty or expects to be shortly. Through a shared "survival training" experience in the Montana wilderness, the parent and child can reconnect, restore their relationship, and strengthen the bond between them in a private and safe environment. Following the wilderness experience, the child is eligible for the same extensive follow-up programs and activities as Gold Star Kids, described elsewhere on this site. Cost is $50,000 per parent/child; again, SOC-F feels that this cost is more than supported by the strong and tangible benefits to a SOF warrior's relationship with his child, and the life-long learning that the child can achieve, through full participation in this program.
Members of the SOF community sometimes need immediate financial assistance for contingencies that are not covered by the Department of Defense or other sources.
It is SOC-F's long-established practice to distribute to worthy individuals and organizations virtually all of the funds we raise as soon as reasonably possible. However, through the generosity of its supporters, SOC-F maintains a fund to help SOF members and their families cope with financial hardships caused by a variety of unforeseen needs. From this fund we have paid for medical transportation flights, prosthetic limbs, treatments for eye injury, funeral expenses, tornado damage to a SOF member's home, and other unexpected, and expensive, contingencies that were not covered by any other source.
Family Foundation Workshops
When SOF warriors transition from their military duties to the civilian world, it's a very challenging time for the entire family. Here is how we help them.
In this week long camp, held at The Station Foundation's beautiful facility outside of Bozeman, Montana, trained counselors help SOF families to recognize and understand the emotional dynamics at work when a warrior returns home for good. All family members are taught age-appropriate strategies and skills for encountering these homecoming dynamics with strength and resiliency. This program costs $15,000 for the entire SOF family and includes follow-up counseling and mentoring.
Treatment of Addiction and Related Conditions
SOC-F feels that our SOF warriors deserve the best treatment for any alcohol or drug use disorders.
Many people are surprised to learn that Department of Defense benefits sometimes don't cover addiction recovery programs that are proven to have records of good success. SOC-F has had first-hand experience with members of the SOF community getting the help they need through in-residence treatment of addiction and related conditions.