Recent News

"How did 9/11 Make You Feel? Stride & Ride Relay Will Empower and Inspire Us Post 9/11"

September 11, 2001 our country was attacked and our way of living was changed forever. We lost many lives that day and continue to face losses of our Service Men and Women, Veterans, their Families, and our First Responders because they still either continue to suffer the aftereffects of that day or die by suicide because their pain runs two deep, even 16 years later. Please read this article about Stride & Ride Relay because participating in this epic event will not only all honor those I listed above, but it will help all who participate to take their power back; power that was taken away starting on that day. Here is a direct link http://www.strideandride.com/run.asp for stages you can join in unity as proud Americans. States in particular need of participants are CT, NY, PA and MD. Read more.

This article will appear in a condensed version in the August Newsletter published by the 243rd Training Regiment (for which it was orginially written) out of Camp Varnum in RI. Editor: SFC James Duncanson.

"Stride & Ride: Part 1 What It Is and Why We Are Doing It"

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On October 7th, 2001 just weeks after 9/11 our best and finest Military Men and Women were deployed to defend our country under Operation Enduring Freedom. The focus of this relay event is to honor and remember the October 7th, 2001 deployment of our Military Men & Women, those still serving, those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, our Veterans, and the Military Men and Women we loose everyday due to PTSD and the invisible wounds of war. The Stride and Ride supports Military Charities, which benefit Active Duty Military, Veterans and their Families, and Gold Star Families who lost a loved one in military service. Take the Challenge and be apart of this exciting journey by either registering, sponsoring, donating, or spreading the word. Whether you’re an avid runner, a generally active walker or rucker, a cyclist or motorcyclist; Stride & Ride Relay has a stage(s) for you.

"Stride & Ride: Part 2 Stages, Modes, Dates/Times, and Safety Information"

On October 7th, 2001 just weeks after 9/11 our best and finest Military Men and Women were deployed to defend our country under Operation Enduring Freedom. The focus of this relay event is to honor and remember the October 7th, 2001 deployment of our Military Men & Women, those still serving, those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, our Veterans, and the Military Men and Women we loose everyday due to PTSD and the invisible wounds of war. The Stride and Ride supports Military Charities, which benefit Active Duty Military, Veterans and their Families, and Gold Star Families who lost a loved one in military service. Take the Challenge and be apart of this exciting journey by either registering, sponsoring, donating, or spreading the word. Whether you’re an avid runner, a generally active walker or rucker, a cyclist or motorcyclist; Stride & Ride Relay has a stage(s) for you. For complete listing of stages. Dates/times, and mode all of which color coded for ease of choice (motorcycle-red, run-white, cycle-blue, ruck/walk-green) see http://www.strideandride.com/run.asp Read more.

"MPF's Monthly Nonprofit Spotlight - October 13, 2016"

In our ongoing effort to work alongside other likeminded nonprofits that strive to help Service members, Veterans, and their Families, the October 13, 2016 spotlight is Pennsylvania Outdoor Veterans, the mission of which is to enhance and promote the healing of the physical and emotional well being of our combat veterans while connecting with nature and the great outdoors. John and I had the pleasure of meeting this organization’s founder Ryan Bowman and the members of the board of directors. I can tell you all that this camp is peaceful, calming, and beautiful, but it is Ryan and the wonderful people we met who make this organization what it is; a place to go to be with friendly, accepting, and open-minded people, who allow you to tell your story in a nonjudgmental and healing manner. John and I enjoyed our day there, especially when we sat around the fire when I told our story and one-by-one everyone felt safe enough to tell their stories, all of which were very different. Thank you Ryan and everyone at Pennsylvania Outdoors Veterans camp for a great day. Hey Raelene!!!!!! Read more.

"MPF's Monthly Nonprofit Spotlight - September 13, 2016"

In our ongoing effort to work alongside other likeminded nonprofits that strive to help Service members, Veterans, and their Families, the September 13, 2016 spotlights are Operation Stand Down RI, whose mission is to help veterans secure stable housing and employment as well as other assistance according to individual needs, including case management, basic human needs, referrals, and education and training services; Support Our Soldiers, whose mission is simple: To assist Veterans of the United States Armed Forces in any way possible, and to raise awareness of the POW/MIA issue; and Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, whose mission is to honor Massachusetts Fallen Servicemen and Servicewomen, who were killed while deployed during Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, by providing educational assistance grants to their children. Please read further about these worthy organizations and how you can help. Read more.

"MPF's Monthly Nonprofit Spotlight - August 13, 2016"

In our continued mission to work alongside other likeminded nonprofits, here are the August 13th spotlights. Blue Star Families is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, created by military families. They are committed to supporting one another through the unique challenges of military service, asking the larger civilian population to help as well, connecting military families regardless of rank, branch of service or physical location, and empowering military family members to create the best personal and family life possible for themselves. Vet Tix provides tickets to all branches of currently-serving Military and Veterans, including immediate family of troops KIA to sporting events, concerts, performing arts and family activities across the nation. They support our troops by honoring their service and providing positive family and life experiences, during and after their years of service to our country. Hope for the Warriors was going to be our third spotlight; however, we could not use their website data without explicit permission. MPF emailed this nonprofit for permission and never received a response. Here is a description of Hope for the Warriors from another website that lists legitimate nonprofits: The mission of Hope For The Warriors® is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.  Hope For The Warriors® is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families. Please read more about these nonprofits and help them in through donations or volunteering. Read more.

"MPF's Monthly Nonprofit Spotlight - July 13, 2016"

This month MPF spotlights Rolling Thunder, Inc. RI, Chapter 1, who’s major mission is to publicize and educate the public about POW-MIA Service members and Veterans from all previous wars in order to prevent any Veteran from being left behind again. They also help American Veterans from all wars today. You do not have to have a motorcycle or be a Veteran to join. They are close to my heart for stopping the Bristol 4th of July parade to honor and remember my son, who committed suicide, and give me condolences. Thank you, and I will meet all of you some day! Second, we spotlight Medicinal Missions Project 22, which follows two combat Veterans on a motorcycle mission to raise awareness of the 22+ Veterans who die everyday by suicide and to discover solutions that include holistic healing, life-long personal growth, and empowering Veterans. We provide a synopsis of their journey and a link to their movie. Third, we spotlight Veterans' Families United Foundation, whose mission is to connect Service members, Veterans, and their Families with a multitude of resources from nonprofits for just about every need. A mother began this after living “up close and personal” with her son, an OIF Veteran. Please read about these organizations to learn more about their missions and see how you can help. Read more.

"A Soldier's Recommendation for MPF Mental Health Grant"

The Matthew Patton Foundation is preparing to submit a proposal for a $10,000 grant in the area of early intervention for mental health issues for at-risk populations. We needed three recommendations. One Soldier we helped wrote one for us and has given us permission to post it with all information about his identity including his telephone number in case you need to reach out to a Veteran. He recently did a live FB telecast about MPF and told everyone three stories on our website are his, although no one will ever figure out which are his because the website is anonymous. He gave out his number on the live FB telecast as well. Thank you, Kyle. The most important thing you said that may help us win this grant the most, is that the help we gave you and what you learned from us has helped you save two Veterans’ lives. I am so proud of you. So, what we are doing has started a ripple effect that is beginning to spread and continue to save lives. As President and CEO of MPF that piece of news made my day. We know for sure now that we have saved six lives around the country. Read Kyle’s story because it is riveting, heartbreaking, and heartwarming all at the same time. Read more.

"MPF's Monthly Nonprofit Spotlight - June 13, 2016"

In our ongoing effort to help Service members, Veterans, and their Families find the resources they need to improve their quality of life and make the decision to live, here are the June 13th nonprofit spotlights: National Veterans Foundation is an organization that serves the crisis and information needs of all Veterans and their Families. Specially trained Veterans provide crisis information and referral services for Veterans in need of medical treatment, substance abuse or PTSD Counseling, VA benefits advocacy, food, shelter, employment training, legal aid, or suicide intervention; Dare to Dream Ranch, Inc. is a holistic and alternative military retreat for Service members, Veterans and their Families. It transforms their lives by providing a variety of mind-body programs such as equine therapy, yoga, nutrition and health cooking, horticulture therapy, exercise, and much more; and Wounded Heroes Program of Maine, which is a program started by a mother whose son returned home from war as a wounded Veteran. This program supports Veterans by helping them pay rent, utilities, phone bills, heating fuel payments and more while waiting for disability claims. They also advocate and provide benefits guidance, so that our Veterans do not have to navigate complex systems on their own. Please read more about these great organizations and how you can help. Read more.

"MPF's Monthly Nonprofit Spotlight - May 13, 2016"

Since November 2015, MPF has spotlighted nonprofits to ensure our Service members, Veterans, and their Family members know about the numerous resources available to help them. Today is the third year anniversary date of our son’s suicide, so this month, and every May, we will focus on nonprofits that help survivors, none of which discriminate according to manner of death. TAPS is a national organization that offers multiple services for all Family members through multiple venues like chat rooms, support groups, camps and seminars, telephone services 24/7, education and advocacy, and matching survivors who have suffered similar losses for individual peer support. Honor and Remember is a national organization with state chapters whose goal is to provide survivors with flags that honor the sacrifices Families face after their loved ones die in service to their country. This organization has several national goals as well. Hero Stars gives unique Hero Star stones to Families of Fallen Service members, Veterans, First Responders, etc. who have lost their lives in service to their country. Please read more about these wonderful nonprofits and how you can help. Read more.

"MPF's Monthly Nonprofit Spotlight - April 13, 2016"

In our ongoing effort to fulfill our mission to work alongside other like-minded nonprofits that better the lives of our Service men and women, Veterans, and their Families, here are the April 13th  nonprofits we chose to spotlight. USA Cares provides assistance to post 9/11 Service members, Veterans, and their Families without expectation of repayment. They offer assistance programs for jobs, emergencies, the combat-injured, and housing and financing (grants). There is a 48-hour turnaround for the required applications that are carefully screened for eligibility, all of which receive written responses. Patriot Riders of America, RI is a local nonprofit organization that is part of the multistate group Patriot Riders of America. Locally and nationally, these groups strive to support, advocate, and raise awareness for Veterans through multiple avenues including community service, fundraising, flag lines, motorcycle flag escorts, parades, and Veterans outreach. The Military Friends Foundation offers grant programs, community events, referral services, and more for the MA National Guard, Reserves, and Families of the Fallen. Having already provided nearly $1 million in grants and services to Massachusetts families in need, it is now expanding services to those Service members who live in neighboring states. Read more.

"2016 Annual Letter to the MPF Community"

Our chairman of the board's annual letter of thanks to supporters of the Matthew Patton Foundation. Read more.

"MPF's Monthly Nonprofit Spotlight - March 13, 2016"

An important part of MPF’s mission is to work alongside other like-minded nonprofits to provide resources for our Service members, Veterans, and their Families. It is our belief that nonprofits working together will provide a powerful force to battle military suicide and mental health issues like TBI and PTSD. This month we focus on an important issue that is oftentimes a result of untreated mental health issues—Veteran homelessness. We focus on three nonprofits: Veteran Homestead, an organization that provides housing and care to U.S. Armed Service Veterans throughout New England and Puerto Rico; Alaska Veterans Foundation, an organization whose primary mission is to end veteran homelessness in the State of Alaska; and Shelter Listings.org, whose mission is to help the needy find shelter and assistance. Although this listing is for anyone in need of housing, and other financial help, we spotlight it for its special section for Veterans— HUD VASH Vouchers - Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing as well as for its important sister website that offers many financial help resources. Read more.

"MPF's Monthly Nonprofit Spotlight - February 13, 2016"

In our ongoing effort to fulfill our mission to work alongside other like-minded nonprofits that better the lives of our Service men and women, Veterans, and their Families, this month we have chosen to spotlight Camp Valhalla Veterans Retreat, where Veterans can successfully transition into civilian life by engaging in recreational activities with the sense of camaraderie they experienced while active duty; Operation Once in a Lifetime the mission of which is to fulfill the needs and wishes of Service Members, Veterans and their Families through provision of morale/financial support and multiple giving programs; and last, The Adaptive Training Foundation, founded by ex NFL player David Vobora who offers unique and 100% free physical training programs to help Veterans reach beyond basic functional rehabilitation to achieve elite levels of physical performance. Read more.

"MPF's Monthly Nonprofit Spotlight - January 13, 2016"

An important part of MPF’s mission is to work in concert with other like-minded nonprofits to provide as many resources for our Service members as possible. It is our belief that nonprofits working together will provide a powerful force to battle military suicide and mental health issues like TBI and PTSD. This month we spotlight Honor Courage Commitment, Inc, started by a Marine who believed the same concepts learned during service could be applied to teach Veterans to become successful entrepreneurs. Out of this nonprofit grew #22KILL which focuses on preventing Veteran suicide by empowering Veterans. Last is White Star Families, which as a program under #22KILL honors the 22 Veterans lost per day and their Families. Currently, leadership is advocating for gaining national recognition for White Star Families. Read more.

"MPF’s Monthly Nonprofit Spotlight - December 13, 2015"

In our ongoing effort to fulfill our mission to work alongside other like-minded nonprofits that better the lives of our Veterans, Service men and women and their Families, this month we have chosen to highlight—DAV, Home Base, and Boston’s Wounded Veteran’s Ride. All three organizations work and provide their services with tax-deductible donations. Please read more about these incredible organizations—how they help Veterans, Service members, and their Families—and how you can help them fulfill their mission. Read more.

"Three Articles about Male Sexual Assault in the Military"

In this section, MPF has posted three articles that shed light on the growing problem of male sexual assault in the military. The first looks at a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that provides some vague statistics about male sexual assault and describes what some sexual assaults may look like, including hazing. This is followed by a Department of Defense publication that provides more alarming statistics about how prevalent male sexual assault is and how only 13% of men report the attack. It talks about how men feel after an assault and how the military needs to address this problem. The third article points to more troubling statistics. Last year (2014) more men (10,400) were sexually assaulted than women (8,500), which Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said is a “particular challenge and particular disgrace” to the U.S. military. Here is another problem, in the next article posted, male sexual assault in the military is linked to increased mental health problems, and most notably, increased suicides. If MPF can get any message across, please you need to take care of yourselves and stop the ridicule and ostracism if/when you find a person you are supposed to be supporting as a fellow brother has been sexually assaulted. If anything put yourself in his shoes and think of what it would feel like. For those men who have been sexually assaulted, do not feel ashamed, instead point out loud and clear who the perpetrator is and then prosecute. This is what makes you strong, not weak. Links to all articles are provided. Read more.

"Gender Differences in the Association of Military Sexual Trauma with Suicide Risk"

A recent study finds that there is a significant association between military sexual assault in males and increased risk of psychiatric problems, such as depression, PTSD, impulsivity, and substance use. More alarming is the increased incidence of suicidal ideation, planning, and attempts by these men. Many men do not report sexual assault because of the military culture that instills dangerous levels of machismo and fosters fear of looking weak. Many sexually-assaulted males feel shame and self-hatred and fear being ridiculed and ostracized by the very people who are supposed to support them in both combat and noncombat situations. It is important that males who are sexually assaulted show that they are not victims by reporting and prosecuting their perpetrators. This will send the message that this apparently insidious crime will not be tolerated and will help the assaulted male limit mental health problems and potentially prevent their suicide. Portions of this study are available here. The full version with references can be found at: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/08/military-sexual-trauma.pdf Read more.

 

"MPF Receives $15,000 Donation"

This evening (August 27, 2015), Deacons Paul and Bette Steger informed us that as part of its mission to fund local nonprofits, the North Congregational Church in Fall River MA has donated $15,000 to MPF. This money will help us fulfill our mission to educate active-duty and Veteran Service members about suicide prevention and other mental health issues. We thank them very much for their generosity as they have provided us some much needed resources to help the men and women who fight for and protect the freedoms we enjoy everyday.  Read more.

"Study: Wider variety of therapies could help vets, troops with PTSD"

An article titled “Study: Wider variety of therapies could help vets, troops with PTSD” by Steven Beardsley published in Stars and Stripes August 4, 2015 (http://www.stripes.com/news/study-wider-variety-of-therapies-could-help-vets-troops-with-ptsd-1.361323) examines alternative therapies available for Service members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The therapies described include: Cognitive–Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET),  Present-Centered Therapy (PCT), and Mindfulness Therapy (MT). In short the article states that coping skill-based therapies achieve results similar to therapies that involve confronting traumatic memories. Although, CPT achieved slightly better short-term results, all therapies showed similar long-term improvements. This suggests that Service members with PTSD find and use a therapy that bests works for them, so they continue treatment long-term in order to achieve their best state of mental health wellness. Read more.

"Treating Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mood Disorders"

An article titled, “Treating Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mood Disorders” by Dr. Stephen M. Strakowski (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/849178?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=192771AZ#vp_1) describes the treatment patients should receive with co-occurring mood disorders, (e.g., major depressive disorder {MDD}) and substance use. It emphasizes the need to assess for the presence of one disorder when a patient presents with the other. For example, if a patient presents with MDD, medical personnel are compelled to assess for the presence of substance use, and vice versa. It describes the absolute necessity that both conditions be treated at the same time and with as few medications as possible, ideally less than three. Additionally, changes to the treatment plan when needed should be as few as possible and occur in one treatment arm at a time, which emphasizes the need for consistent and continual monitoring of the patients conditions, treatment plan, and response to treatment. It advocates for the use of standard-based components of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that work for each disorder to be used as a combination treatment. MPF posted this article to help active-duty and Veteran Service members understand how they should be diagnosed, treated, and monitored long-term for mood disorders and substance use, so they can get better. And you can! Read more.

"Verbal "Updating" Therapy Reduces PTSD"

Verbal “updating” therapy is used for chronic PTSD suffers. It works by stopping a person with PTSD from combining memories that if left unchecked would in effect worsen his or her PTSD, and thus, is protective. However, researchers are showing that this therapy is useful for prevention of PTSD if it is used within a six hour window after a traumatic event called the “consolidation window.”  Read more.

"Male depression: Understanding the issues"

Mayo Clinic is a worldwide nonprofit leader in medical care, research, and education for people from all walks of life. As such, you can consider Mayo Clinic a credible and reliable resource for learning about and understanding your medical conditions. Mayo Clinic published an article called, "Male depression: Understandng the issues" that describes how the signs and symptoms of male depression can differ from female depression.  Since the military population is disproportionately male (per the DoD, the total military force is 84% male), MPF believes this information is important to pass along. Read more.

"Effectiveness of Prazosin for PTSD Patients"

The drug prazosin* (Minipress and Minipress XL) has been around for years. It is a drug used for lowering blood pressure. However, ongoing studies for over a decade have shown that it effectively relieves PTSD-related nightmares. Although, this news is not considered “latest news,” enough Service members and their Families have not heard about prazosin, so providing information about this drug is necessary. Prazosin is an alpha-blocker that blocks alpha receptors in the brain and smooth muscle, which relaxes blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. Read more.

"Mental Health First Aid Program Available for Vets"

Written by Deborah Brauser, this article explores the newest mental health first aid program available for Veterans. Read more.

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