My next guest is Dana Thomas, a military widow. Her late husband experienced a traumatic brain injury and PTSD following his service in Afghanistan. He struggled to obtain the necessary support and tragically took his own life. Dana joins me to discuss a program called Operation Resiliency, which aims to prevent similar tragedies by focusing on mental health. Operation Resiliency was initiated after the loss of my late husband and the burial of another army comrade a few years later.
CEO of the Independence Fund, Sarah Verado, overheard a comment about attending the next funeral, which inspired her to create this innovative program. Operation Resiliency brings together combat units, companies, and teams that have experienced significant challenges during their service.
Over the course of four days, they engage in workshops and activities that promote connectivity, brotherhood, and addressing the issues they faced overseas. I apologize for interrupting, but the concept of reuniting these individuals who have shared emotional and stressful experiences seems very intriguing. This goes beyond just advocating for increased mental health resources or funding.
Please continue. Thank you for understanding. The main objective is for participants to actively work through their experiences. While we do have clinicians available on-site, the emphasis is on encouraging open dialogue about what they witnessed and the challenges they faced both abroad and at home.
The outcomes have been extraordinary, with participants forming lasting connections and support networks. After completing Operation Resiliency, they leave equipped with contact information, continued connectivity, and the means to support one another beyond the program.
This Veterans Day, we are fortunate to reunite nearly 100 paratroopers and will be hosting a welcome dinner tonight. This work is incredibly rewarding and meaningful. Thank you for joining us and sharing your insights, Dana. We greatly appreciate your efforts..