Posts Tagged ‘WWII Veterans’

Veterans speak out on post-traumatic stress, offer a proven way to heal PTSD

July 18, 2012

Jerry Yellin, WWII Veteran and author of four books, speaks with fellow vet Luke Jensen on how they survived PTSD.  KTVO’S Kate Allt

FAIRFIELD, IOWA — Across the country, more and more veterans are returning home from war with symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Veterans who have been home for decades still struggle with traumatic experiences and memories.

Two Iowa veterans are inviting all soldiers from all wars and their families to the Sondheim Center in Fairfield, Iowa on July 28 to hear how a unique lesson went miles to improve the quality of their lives.

Jerry Yellin is not only a veteran of World War II and the author of four books, he has dedicated his life to helping veterans of all wars and their families. Yellin met Vietnam vet Ed Schloeman in 2010 and after both of them learned Transcendental Meditation, and saw the immediate benefits to their health and well-being, Operation Warrior Wellness was born.

Yellin knows first-hand what combat can do to a person’s mental and physical health.

“On August 14, the war was over and I came home and I was an empty shell at the age of 21,” he said. “Combat took everything out of me. I had a pure purpose for life, pure purpose for living, pure purpose for serving my government, serving my country, and then no purpose of life for 30 years. Stressed out, many jobs, and then I learned Transcendental Meditation, and I got my life back. There are hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of families – not only soldiers – but families, suffering from post traumatic stress and stress is relieved by Transcendental Meditation.”

Yellin firmly believes that Transcendental Meditation, or TM, saved his life. His, and many others. He has saved countless testimonials from veterans across the country who have seen the effects of TM work wonders on them and their families.

Luke Jensen of Des Moines is just one example. He returned from Afghanistan three years ago a broken man.

“I tried many, many things that did not work for me,” Jensen said. “And my family continued to push me to try new things, to get help when I first got back from Afghanistan. I wasn’t having any luck with anything or getting relief from anything until I learned TM with Jerry. It can change your life, and it did for myself and for Jerry and for many other veterans who went through – I know veterans who went through much worse, more experiences than I did and it helped them.”

Even scientists say TM has a relieving effect on the brain, and helps get rid of traumatic and stressful experiences stored into memory. Dr. Fred Travis, at the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University, said the brain is not constant and unchanging. Rather, experience changes the brain, and oftentimes, traumatic or stressful experiences leave a permanent effect on the brain, and the amygdala – the fear center – is permanently turned on.

The way to reverse that change in the brain is to offer a direct opposite experience, one of calmness and deep thought.

“What Transcendental Meditation seems to do is turns off the amygdala and suddenly the person – remember, the brain is the interface between inner and outer – so now suddenly the person can see the situation in a different way,” said Dr. Travis. “This is what we see in the research of veterans of the Vietnam era, of Iraq, of Afghanistan, is the process of transcending from TM helps them very quickly reduce flashbacks, eliminate the anger and anxiety inside allowing them to sleep, allowing their heart and feelings to flow towards other people.”

“It helped me become a person, helped me become a better person, better husband, better father, a better person with a purpose in life,” Yellin said. “And I would like every veteran to expose themselves to this modality of Transcendental Meditation.”

This news report aired Wednesday, July 18, 2012 on ABC 3 and CBS 3.2.

To learn more about the July 28, 2 pm event – Healing the Hidden Wounds of War – at the Sondheim in Fairfield, or to register, visit

Find out more here: Healing the Hidden Wounds of War: open forum for Iowa veterans and their families affected by PTSD, sponsored by Operation Warrior Wellness

Here is a wonderful  interview with Jerry Yellin and Lisa Cypers Kamen of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio July 18th. You can listen online to Jerry Yellin, Operation Warrior Wellness and Debbie Gregory, Military Connection or download the the podcast.

Other news coverage:  WHO-TV 13 News: WARRIOR WELLNESS: Healing Hidden Wounds with Meditation for Veterans  |  Des Moines Register: Fairfield and Ames war veterans team up to bring meditation (TM) to fellow Iowa vets with PTSD  |  Fairfield Ledger cover article by Diane Vance: Combat stress subject of public forum Saturday Story County Veteran Once Suicidal Finds Relief from PTSD with Transcendental Meditation: AmesPatch article by Jessica Miller

Medication or Meditation for Veterans with PTSD?

September 9, 2011

 National Office • 654 Madison Avenue • Suite 806 • New York, NY 10065 Tel: 212-644-9880 •


Filmmaker David Lynch Announces $500,000 Matching Grant
to Teach Transcendental Meditation to 10,000 Veterans

Iconic filmmaker David Lynch will announce this September 11 a $500,000 matching grant to be used to teach the Transcendental Meditation technique to 10,000 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and their families.

Lynch is inviting philanthropists and foundations to match the offer by Veterans Day, November 11, 2011.

Hollywood directors Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, and George Lucas, as well as Dr. Mehmet Oz, Paul McCartney, Jerry Seinfeld, and Russell Brand have joined Lynch in support of the outreach.

Lynch’s veteran’s initiative comes from Operation Warrior Wellness (OWW), a division of the David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 2005 to bring Transcendental Meditation to at-risk populations.

Jerry Yellin, a distinguished World War II fighter pilot and national co-chair of Operation Warrior Wellness, said the need is urgent for Lynch’s initiative. “We are in a crisis of epidemic proportions. More soldiers died from suicide last year than died in combat. This is unconscionable. We must give our active duty personnel and our veterans something more than a handful of pills to help them overcome the nightmare of PTSD. Research shows Transcendental Meditation is the best way to go.”

Ed Schloeman, a Marine Vietnam service disabled veteran and national co-chair of Operation Warrior Wellness, says Americans need to help their military, now:  “I call on civilian America to support the men and women who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan—alive but wounded. Let’s come together for our military, as they have come together for us.”

Evidence-Based Meditation

According to Norman Rosenthal, M.D., psychiatrist, clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, and author of the New York Times bestseller, Transcendence, research on the Transcendental Meditation technique on OEF-OIF veterans as well as Vietnam veterans demonstrates its effectiveness for reducing symptoms of PTSD—and treating a number of the disorders associated with the illness. Findings include:

Reduced PTSD: 40 to 50 percent reduction in PTSD symptoms, including depression, anxiety, flashbacks, and insomnia (see PTSD)

Greater resiliency: Reduced stress levels and quicker recovery from stress (see Resiliency to stress)

Reduced cardiovascular disease: Decreased blood pressure, harmful cholesterol, and atherosclerosis; and a 47 percent reduction in cardiovascular-related mortality (see Cardiovascular disease)

Decreased substance abuse: Decreased smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse (see Substance abuse)

Decreased medical expenditures: 14 percent reduction in annual medical expenditures, as compared to the norm (see Decreased healthcare utilization)

“Operation Warrior Wellness is giving our dedicated service men and women a meditation technique that is a traumatic stress buster—it’s not hocus-pocus,” said David Lynch. “When they get this simple, effortless technique they will get their lives back.”

Operation Warrior Wellness is working with veterans’ service organizations, army bases, and military colleges to bring Transcendental Meditation to active duty personnel and veterans and their families.

• For more information on how to contribute to the matching grant campaign of Operation Warrior Wellness, please contact Heather Hartnett at 212-644-9880, or email

• Veterans of four wars, from WWII to the present, launched the OWW initiative in December 2010. Researchers and celebrities joined founding veterans Jerry Yellin, Ed Schloeman, and Col. Brian Rees, MD, at a press conference and inaugural gala event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

• In June this year, CNN anchor, Candy Crowley, hosted an event honoring the initiative at American University in Washington, DC. Crowley concluded: “The initial research offers so much hope: reduced anxiety, depression, hypervigilance, and insomnia, as well as reductions in substance abuse, violent behavior, and suicidal tendencies—better than many things being tried and at far less a cost.”

• For recent press coverage of Operation Warrior Wellness visit the OWW News and Archives.

• More news coverage, including  interviews, and the NYC OWW launch at Urban Zen, is also available on this blog’s archive.

• To arrange press interviews with leaders of Operation Warrior Wellness, please contact Steve Yellin at 641-455-9999, or email

News Reports: , Paul McCartney Examiner: Paul McCartney lends support to 9/11 TM veterans outreach | The PR Newswire press release, Medication or Meditation for Veterans With PTS?, was also posted by: The Sacramento Bee | | Hola Arkansas | | SYS-CON MediaRedOrbitMedIndia | Virtual Press Office: Filmmaker David Lynch Announces $500,000 Matching Grant to Teach Transcendental Meditation to 10,000 Veterans | SourceMedia Group: Kathleen Serino for Eastern Iowa News Now: Fairfield Resident Helps Veterans Recover (more articles listed there) | Odewire: Diving deep with David Lynch | Wall Street Journal: A Transcendental Cure for Post-Traumatic Stress by David Lynch and Norman E. Rosenthal | Huffington Post: What Meditation Did for Me: A War Vet’s Story.

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