The David Lynch Foundation’s Operation Warrior Wellness program

Randy Mackenzie is spotted wearing Get Shot By Ella’s “Listen on Lime” t-shirt at several networking events on Florida’s Treasure and Space Coasts.  Striking up a conversation, Get Shot By Ella learns that Randy is working with the David Lynch Foundation on a new program called Operation Warrior Wellness aimed at helping United States military veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through transcendental meditation.

Randy, a TM Teacher for 36 years, has taught the technique to more than 800 people around the globe, from the Philippines to India to several US States. With a Master of Business Administration from Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, Randy served as the Director of Advanced Programs for TM for all of Upstate New York from 1977 to 1979. He has also worked as the director of an Ayurvedic health clinic in Upstate New York. As a result of his TM teaching work, Randy has lived all over, but the places he feels the most at home are Colorado and Wyoming, where he taught full time from 1996 through 2001. Currently, Randy teaches TM in Florida and gives complimentary informational power points about the practice to service clubs, veterans groups, libraries and others. Randy’s students include veterans striving to deal with the ramifications of PTSD. He is ardent about getting the word out to them about the benefits of TM and the scholarships available through the David Lynch Foundation for vets interested in learning the technique. Randy has written the following guest blog for Get Shot By Ella about Operation Warrior Wellness and the benefits of TM for PTSD:

Randy is pictured wearing Get Shot By Ella's "Listen on Lime" shirt.

By Randy Mackenzie, M.B.A., Certified TM Teacher

Operation Warrior Wellness is a new program established as a branch of the David Lynch Foundation, www.davidlynchfoundation.org, to help and rehabilitate veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Operation Warrior Wellness offers financial scholarships to provide veterans access to the Transcendental Meditation program (TM), facilitating their relief from the negative symptoms of PTSD. 

TM is natural and easy to learn and practice. The technique enables the practitioner to access a very deep level of rest for the mind and body, resulting in the dissolution of surface and deeper rooted traumas in the whole physiology.  Hyper vigilance, depression, sleep disorders, flashbacks, bad dreams, general anxiety, social insecurity and other disorders are decreased significantly within months of commencing TM. Over longer time periods, these problems are eventually alleviated.  Initial research shows a 50% decrease in symptoms after 2 months. 

Norman Budd of Vero Beach, Florida served as an E3 Fireman in the Navy from 1964 to 1966 and as an Army Sergeant from 1972 to 1974. Norman’s personal testimonial illustrates the positive impact TM has made in his life and on improving his PTSD symptoms. Norman states, “Since I started Transcendental Meditation two months ago my feelings are better. I can think better. I can take longer walks with my grandson. I can breathe better. I get along better with people and feel more comfortable around people. My relationship with my wife and daughters is better. I sleep better at night and feel more rested when I wake up. I have more energy during the day and feel better so that I can work around the yard instead of sitting around the house. I used to have many flashbacks and bad dreams and now I have much fewer than I did six months ago. I am not as depressed as before. On a scale of one to 10, ten feeling great and one feeling horrible, I used to be a two or three, now I am about an eight. I wish everyone could feel as good as I do. Two weeks after starting TM, I stopped smoking. I have Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema, and my breathing is 80% better. I breathe easier and I used to use an inhaler three to four times a day and now I don’t use it at all. I used to take a stomach medicine two times a day and now I no longer take it. I feel 20 to 30 years younger, and I am 66 years old, and I look forward to being able to play football again.”

The number of veterans suffering from PTSD is alarming and disheartening. Consider some statistics I have obtained from the following sources: the US Department of Defense, the US Veterans Administration, and the Veterans for Common Sense organization. US war casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan have exceeded 500,000. As of June 2010, over 537,000 patients were treated by the Veterans Administration, and 489,000 veterans filed for disability. Framing this in perspective, there are 9000 new patients per month or one new patient every five minutes. In the area of mental health, as of Sept. 2009, 143,530 veterans were diagnosed with PTSD. As of March 2010, the VA Suicide Prevention Hotline had received a monthly average of 10,000 hotline calls. Nearly 40 % of those deployed to war in December 2008 had been previously deployed at least once. Veterans deployed twice or more have a 50% increased risk of PTSD. Today, 20 to 30% of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan will have symptoms of PTSD. Additionally, many veterans from previous wars still suffer from lingering PTSD. Despite these distressing facts, half of veterans at risk for PTSD will not seek care because of the stigma.

TM is proving to be a viable solution for helping out our military heroes and combating the huge psychological, physical, and financial toll that war has on our nation’s service personnel and their families.

Who do you know that may benefit from this program? Help me reach out to them and begin turning the tide on the havoc created by PTSD. Contact me, Randy Mackenzie, at e-mail randym49@gmail.com or phone (772) 539-7557.

Additionally, find many informative videos about the Operation Warrior Wellness program and the use of the ancient practice of TM as a new approach to one of the ravages of combat on veterans at the David Lynch Foundation’s general website www.davidlynchfoundation.org.

Information on an initial webinar about Operation Warrior Wellness held September 1, 2011 can be found by clicking on http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/emailing/2011_08_17.html. Future webinars will be featured.

Additional sites to find ongoing information about TM include www.tm.org  and  www.tm-florida.org.

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