History and Training Equipment
Most nonprofits start with a grant. Veterans Pardners started with observation of the many unmet needs of Veterans and their families. Mrs. Pickett worked with the HOT Veterans One Stop in Waco for about 3 years. She saw rural Veterans and their families with tremendous unmet needs. She found almost no services for spouses and none for the children of these Veterans. Along with other committed Volunteers, she and her husband, Gorden Pickett, founded Veterans Pardners.
Our motto is: “If a Veteran has a need, a goal, or a dream, we research the resources, help them develop an achievable plan and support them through the process.” It is always their choice and their plan. If we cannot find any resources to meet a need, we begin to develop a resource of our own. An example of an unmet need that was met is our Veterans’ wives group. When the wives asked for their own meeting, we delivered.
National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics estimates Veteran population for Hill and adjoining counties for 2015: Hill – 3,062, Johnson – 14,380, Ellis – 13,060, McLennan – 16,389, Limestone – 1,589, Bosque – 1,925, Navarro – 3,426. This includes Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Saudi, Afghanistan and other war veterans. Many of these war Veterans have untreated disorders. These hidden wounds affect the Veterans moods, their family, their ability to work and their contribution to the community.
Veterans Pardners (VP) was chartered in December of 2016 and became operational in January of 2017. Community support is all ready high. Our office space is a donation of one of our “Veterans Community Pardners.” Another “Community Pardner” is donating and installing new carpet. White Bluff has generously offered to sponsor a Golf Benefit and we are planning to have the Benefit this summer. The Whitney Fire Department is planning a Bass Fishing Tournament to benefit Veterans Pardners later this spring.
As of this time, we have logged over 2500 Volunteer hours. Our VP Volunteer board is comprised of 3 Veterans and 2 community members who are dedicated to our cause. We have taken most of our 30+ Volunteers through the Texas Veterans Commission program: MVPN Peer-to-Peer training. We have two full-time Volunteers: Mrs. Pickett, our ED, and Donna Richardson, our Business Manager & Public Liaison. We used the lower value of $23.07 published by the NonProfit Times to approximate the value of our Volunteer time. The article is included in our packet.
What often happens to a Veteran in treatment is that the family is shut out. The family does not understand what is happening to their Veteran. Treatment may actually exacerbate symptoms before improvement is seen. This process often pushes the very family support the Veteran so desperately needs further away.
One of the greatest needs is for efficacious treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)& MST (Military Sexual Trauma). We have Professional experts from our “Veterans Community Pardner,” Brazos Professional Counseling, housed next door. We are currently offering CAPS5 and PAI assessments for our Vets that are donated by our Professional Counselors. Once a Vet is diagnosed, we offer state of the art tools, such as the HeartMath training Program to help our Veterans and their families to reduce stress, anxiety, anger and other problematic symptoms.. We believe this training will help improve their disorders and make their lives more manageable.
The emWave system is an innovative approach to stress relief that shows what stress looks like in the body to help the Vet learn internal awareness, self-regulation and to create physiological coherence. This technology can be used to develop emotional management skills.
A person can learn to prevent stress by becoming aware of when the stress response starts and stopping it in the moment. Reduced stress has also been known to improve relationships. Our goal is that all of these benefits will help our Veteran and wrap his family around him in mutual healing, support and improvement.
The emWave2 provides input via lights and sound, with a graphical interface, which displays on your computer. It can be used on the go, or at home or work. Then it can be plugged into the computer to download and review previous sessions. The emWave Pro is for the clinician in the office. It is a unique training system that objectively monitors the heart rhythms and displays the physiological level of coherence – an optimal state in which the heart, mind and emotions are operating in sync and in balance, and the immune, hormonal and nervous systems function in a state of harmonious coordination.
We will also be able to use the information provided through the HeartMath training systems in our Outcome measures and determine actual improvement rates in coherence.
We have several HeartMath programs to accomplish our goals. We have computer stations to attach to the emWave Pro and emWave2 machines. We will be able to set up 4 stations in the office and have 2 emWave2 units and 2 Inner Balance Bluetooth units (to use with Apple IOS Tablets or with Android tablet technology) to loan out once the Veteran has mastered the process.
When we loan out the mobile units and the Vet brings the machines back, we can download their heart rates and compare improvement over time.
We have one large monitor for the group room to be used with the laptop for combined training for our Professionals, their assistants, Volunteers and then our Veterans and their families.
More HeartMath information can be found at https://www.heartmath.org. They have offered us a 30% discount in honor of our Veterans. They also offer free programs for Veterans and their families under resources/veterans.