PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Veterans National Recovery Center (VNRC), an activist group of veterans has called upon all Iowans to memorialize Richard Miles on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.
Miles is the Iraq War combat veteran, froze to death this winter in Waterworks Park in Des Moines. He was born on March, 23, 1974 in Forest City, IA. He was laid to rest on March 23, 2015. While his death has been called a suicide, hypothermia can create false sensations of extreme heat that can cause people to disrobe as death approaches.
“Nothing has changed since Miles died,” said Bob Krause, president of the group. “Six years ago there were ninety long term and short term psychiatric beds that were dedicated to veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other war-induced mental conditions. Today there are only 10 beds in Iowa dedicated to veteran care, with no forward momentum to get more even though we estimate there are at least 5,000 PTSD sufferers in Iowa alone. Sadly, with the closures at Mt Pleasant and Clarinda, there are even fewer beds to compete for even without adequate specialized PTSD services.”
“For this reason, on behalf of the Veterans National Recovery Center, I am calling on Iowans of every faith, race and sex to perform the simple act of wearing a black army band on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. If asked, please explain that more care is needed for veterans that have served our country,” added Krause.
Krause then urged local veterans groups, communities and schools to hold classes and services to build awareness of the problems that returning veterans face.
In addition to memorial celebrations around the state, the VNRC will hold a service March 23 on the Iowa State Capitol grounds. Individuals will be encouraged to gather at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument south of the Capitol, and walk from there to the Vietnam Memorial Wall where a short service will be held. The walk from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument will begin at 12:30 and the service at the Vietnam Memorial will begin at 12:45.
The VNRC will send out more information as Black Arm Band for PTSD Day approaches.
For Immediate Release –Thursday, February 4th, 2016
For Particulars, Contact Bob Krause at 515-657-0069
PTSD VETS GROUP OPPOSES OPEN FIREWORKS BILL
The Veterans National Recovery Center (VNRC), an Iowa-based group for veterans with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and MST (Military Sexual Trauma) today called on the Iowa General Assembly to kill Senate File 508. This bill allows greatly expands the sale and use of fireworks so that availability is year-around and not just at the 4th of July, according to VNRC president Bob Krause.
“The health and safety of vets afflicted with PTSD is at stake. The bill just passed out of committee to the floor yesterday, so we are very concerned” said Krause.
“There are about 5000 veterans in Iowa with PTSD acquired during the 9-11 wars alone. The 4th of July is a time of joy for nearly all Iowans. But for many PTSD vets, wartime flashbacks are triggered by explosions and flares. It makes the 4th a time when they stay inside with the blinds closed. As an example, the popular M-80 Firecracker sounds very much like a Russian built 122 mm weapon heard at a distance. US soldiers faced this weapon extensively in Vietnam and it is the topic of flashbacks. If the door is opened to these and other fireworks year around, times for PTSD flashback concern will be greatly expanded,” stated Krause.
“Currently most firework activity is around the 4th of July, but now PTSD veterans will be in a heightened state of paranoia year around. This bill takes most local authority over shooting and display of fireworks and gives it to the state fire marshal. In addition, the vastly expanded sale and use of fireworks in Iowa creates more difficulties for veterans with PTSD. And, fireworks displays can only be cancelled for ‘public safety’ purposes such as drought conditions,” stated Krause.
“The VNRC is opposed to this legislation. It kicks the vet who fought for you. On behalf of VNRC, I ask that citizens contact their state legislator and ask for a NO vote on SF 508,” concluded Krause.
VNRC focuses on the health of returning veterans, especially mental health. It is currently promoting March 23rd as Veterans Black Arm Band Day for PTSD, TBI and MST. Informatrion on the VNRC is available at www.vnrc.us.vity is centered around the 4th they need to stay inside
Veterans National Recovery Center
2257 Walton Lake Drive
Fairfield, Iowa 52556
HELP US SAVE MILITARY BURN VICTIMS
VNRC has just received the first in what we see of many nods in a path to approval of a military burn casualty center at Hot Springs. We were recognized in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as a proposal that should be reviewed as part of the “Preferred Alternative” put forth in the 780 page study. This is the “Medical Miracle” proposal that was submitted to the US Department of Veterans Affairs last year.
Central to our proposal for military burn casualties is a new technology developed in Switzerland that uses a kind of stem cell called a “progenitor cell” to rapidly grow new skin on burn victims without grafting. The new skin is actually grown in vats for instant application.
We need this technology for the 6% of combat casualties that involve burns, but money is required to start this process. Please watch this video to find out more!!
VNRC CHIEF ASKS VETS TO WEAR BLACK ARMBAND TOMORROW TO PROTEST LACK OF IOWA PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES FOR VET
Black armbands are historic signs of silent protest in Iowa dating back to the Vietnam War. In fact, a 1968 landmark Supreme Court case originating in Iowa, concerning the wearing of black armbands in protest, has become a reference point in the fight for First Amendment freedoms.
Today, the Veterans National Recovery Center (VNRC), an Iowa-based 501 (c)(3) charity, asks that veterans and those that care about veterans carry on this historic tradition by wearing black arm bands on Thursday, May 21. This is in silent protest of Iowa’s refusal to restore 20 active psychiatric beds for PTSD and MST veterans in Iowa, and to prevent a future erosion of psychiatric resources for veterans and others.
On Thursday, May 21 at 11:00 AM Governor Branstad will sign a proclamation designating May as
Mental Health Month. The public event will be Iowa State Capitol Rotunda in Des Moines. Even if veterans are unable to attend this ceremony, the VNRC asks that they wear black armbands tomorrow, so that when people ask why, they can tell of the need for more and better psychiatric services for the 5,000 veterans from the Post 9/11 wars that have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Military Sexual Trauma, or Traumatic Brain Injury.
“The closure of 20 dedicated psychiatric beds at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown and the pending closures at Mount Pleasant and Clarinda will impact veterans and others, simply because there are only 10 dedicated psychiatric beds in Iowa for the over 5,000 9/11 veterans in Iowa that have
PTSD. We need policy makers to listen and we need to stop the pending closures and restore the beds at Marshalltown.” stated Krause.
“It is now time for us to speak with the quiet presence of our black armbands,” concluded Krause.
BLACK ARMBAND PROTEST AT CAPITOL: LACK OF VET PSYCH BEDS
Ken Briggs, VNRC Activist and Vice Chair of Iowa Mental Health Planning Commission, talks about misinformation by Gov Branstad on service cuts for PTSD vets at Veterans home: