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We are proud to support Operation Orion in helping vets with PTSD. I myself was stunned to hear the statistics of veteran suicides and homelessness.
DENVER, CO, July 05, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- 1st Class Medical recently became the exclusive supplier of LifeChoice Activox Portable Oxygen Concentrators to the Veterans Administration. The VA, along with other health care providers have been increasingly moving from oxygen tanks to portable oxygen concentrators. Although tanks are less expensive to provide at the outset, oxygen concentrators quickly pay for themselves with very little maintenance required and the high cost of refilling tanks. In addition to the economic benefits, healthcare in general is heading to a more holistic approach. It has been proven that living active lifestyles and maintaining social contacts is beneficial to mental outlook which in turn greatly benefits physical health. With concentrators, oxygen patients are able to be away from their houses longer than with tanks allowing for more freedom and independence. Concentrators are also allowed on commercial airlines and are less dangerous and easier to travel with in cars and RVs allowing for easier vacations and visits with long distance family and friends, maintaining important social contacts.
1st Class Medical committed to partnering with the VA to provide concentrators to those with oxygen needs to assist them in living more full and independent lives and are now partnering with another veterans organization to help victims of PTSD do the same. 1st Class Medical has become the latest sponsor of Operation Orion. Operation Orion and its sponsors fund programs through K9s for Warriors that finds suitable rescue dogs and trains them to assist those with PTSD. Caleb Umstead, one of the owners of 1st Class Medical and himself an Air Force veteran says, "We are proud to support Operation Orion in helping vets with PTSD. I myself was stunned to hear the statistics of veteran suicides and homelessness. As a company our first priority is helping oxygen patients of course but we are committed to help veterans in whatever capacity is needed. Operation Orion is a great organization that not only provides homes for rescue dogs that might otherwise be destroyed, but provides lifelong, affordable therapy for vets struggling with combat related emotional distress."
Veterans who are paired with pooches will attend the Warrior Program/K9 Academy. They will spend three weeks in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida bonding with and training their new dogs. K9s for Warriors feels that involving the soldier in the final training of the dogs offers them a valuable opportunity to participate in their own recovery. The service canine, seminars, training, certification, veterinary care, and lodging are all provided free of charge to the veteran. The motto of the organization is, "We rescue the dogs, they rescue the warriors."
The statistics for veterans that are homeless or that commit suicide are staggering. It is estimated that every 65 minutes a veteran takes their own life. According to Veterans Inc., 300,000 vets are sleeping on the streets on any given night. 33% of all homeless people are veterans and vets are twice as likely as any other citizen to become chronically homeless. Combat related, mental health issues are listed as a leading cause of these tragic statistics. PTSD is reaching epidemic proportions with 184 new cases diagnosed every single day. For a long time PTSD went undiagnosed or was misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder, depression, or other mental conditions and sometimes PTSD was treated with a similar drug regimen which was largely ineffective. Researchers have found that service dogs have been extremely useful in helping vets overcome PTSD.
Like those dependent on oxygen tanks, people with PTSD tend to become isolated and increasingly withdrawn which only worsens their conditions. Sufferers often have trouble showing affection or relating even with those closest to them. Crowds can be panic inducing and holding down a job becomes increasingly difficult putting these vets at risk for homelessness or the economic problems mentioned above.
It's no secret that looking into the sweet eyes and a furry face of a dog can instantly soften a heart and change a mood but dogs have greater benefits as well. A dog can draw out even the most withdrawn of people. They can sit and provide comfort and company without the pressure of pushing someone to interact. Dogs are always friendly and nonjudgmental of someone's mood or ability to engage. Researches have stated that dogs have a natural and quick acting ability to help those with PTSD overcome the numbness that seems to pervade their emotional state and help them to be more present and less withdrawn. A dog's naturally vigilant and watchful nature also helps PTSD sufferers relax and become less paranoid. The trained dogs will walk slightly ahead of owners in situations such as a supermarket or on a city street when a stranger might appear suddenly in a doorway or around a blind corner without warning. The dog will warn the person so they are not startled which might trigger a PTSD attack. This helps the dog's owner to feel more at ease knowing that a second set of eyes is helping them to avoid surprises. Many vets report finally being able to sleep soundly with a service dog at their side which also enhances their mental state. Providing emotional support and decreasing anxiety helps vets afflicted with PTSD or other combat related anxiety disorders live more full and independent lives. With the help of sponsors like 1st Class Medical K9 for Warriors, they can supply up to 5 warriors a month with a service canine and training program.
1st Class Medical is the largest distributor in the world of portable oxygen concentrators. They are also the exclusive supplier of LifeChoice products to the VA and a major contributor to Operation Orion and numerous other charitable causes.
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