The Gary Sinise Foundation has announced commitments totaling $40 million from the Arthur M. Blank and Marcus foundations in support of cognitive and mental health care for veterans and first-responders.
Commitments of $20 million each from Home Depot co-founders Arthur M. Blank and Bernie Marcus will support the launch of the Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network, an integrative treatment and training network focused on providing care for veterans and first-responders impacted by post-traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and substance abuse. Building on the work of the Marcus Institute for Brain Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Campus School of Medicine and the Boulder Crest Foundation's Warrior PATHH (Progressive and Alternative Training for Healing Heroes) program, the network will establish twenty treatment sites across the United States.
According to the foundation, TBI and PTS have impacted nearly one-third of military personnel deployed to war zones since 2001, while an estimated 30 percent of first-responders experience symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress.
"This cognitive health and mental wellness network will further expand our services to veterans and first-responders...to help heal the invisible wounds afflicting too many of our veterans and first-responders, transforming struggle into strength and lifelong post-traumatic growth," said Sinise, an actor whose portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor, an American soldier who loses his legs, in the film Forrest Gump earned him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.
"We've lost more veterans to suicide than we have on the battlefields of the global war on terror," said Marcus. "Our veterans and their families put their lives on the line for us and they deserve the highest level of care available. The Gary Sinise Foundation Avalon Network is ready to serve our veterans suffering from the invisible wounds of war."
(Photo credit: Gary Sinise Foundation)