SAN ANTONIO – For veterans and first responders, opening up about any problems they may be experiencing is sometimes a conversation easier to have with someone who can relate to their story.
“I understand completely the need to talk to somebody who’s been there, done that. We in the warrior community are really bad about that. We want to talk to somebody who really understands, and it’s hard to find them sometimes, but they’re definitely out there,” said Robert Greer, admission advocate for Warriors Heart.
Robert Greer spent sixteen and a half years as a law enforcement professional. He said his career took him in several different directions, and he saw many challenges he wasn’t anticipating.
Greer was assigned to a Crime Against Children Task Force and the FBI Cyber Crime Task Force. He said what he saw while on the force was damaging to his mental health.
“I worked on a lot of cases that sometimes I just could not make an arrest on the suspect, and then the child would still remain in that abusive situation. And without going into great detail, there were some cases that just impacted me personally that I just could not bring to a successful conclusion, that it just weighed on my heart,” said Greer.
Coupled with a few injuries and medical conditions, Greer said it sent him on a downward spiral. He said he lost his career, belongings, and eventually his family.
“And when that happened, then I was finally ready to do whatever it took to get the help that I really needed,” said Greer.
Greer said the signs and symptoms of a person who may be suicidal can sometimes be visible, but often it can come without warning.
“People that will withdraw from society start making final plans, preparations, start giving things away that they normally would hang onto, things of sentimental value. Kind of making those exit plans, if you will.
“Other times, it can be completely without warning. Even in my own life, when I was having those thoughts myself, I wasn’t giving things away. It would have been completely out of the blue if I had completed. Sometimes there’s a variety of signs, and sometimes there are no signs at all,” said Greer.
He said the help that made a difference in his life came when the Frontline Healing Foundation stepped in. It’s a nonprofit organization that serves our nation’s warrior class.
“Whether that be veterans, first responders, active duty, military, police, fire, EMS, that are seeking treatment for substance abuse due to their PTSD in their line of duty,” said Jordyn Jureczki, U.S. Navy veteran and CEO of Frontline Healing Foundation.
The former law enforcement professional said she also struggled with her mental health.
“Unfortunately, it’s just the nature of our job. You know, we experience a lot of things in our service, things that just don’t make sense, whether that be deaths, car accidents, things that go against our morality,” said Jureczki.
She said the Frontline Healing Foundation offers what she calls full-circle warfighting.
“We take care of our warfighters when they go in. We need to be taking care of them on the way out,” said Jureczki.
The foundation funds individuals to attend treatment programs whose insurance may not cover treatment or if they can’t afford it.
“When my career ended, I was not offered any type of insurance whatsoever. I really had no resources available. I was not a veteran, so I didn’t have the VA to fall back on. So I was really out there on my own, and I was looking at funding from medical loans and stuff like that,” said Greer.
Greer said after looking into Warriors Heart -- a private healing center for veterans, active-duty military, and first responders -- he was advised to apply for funding through the Frontline Healing Foundation.
“I poured my heart and soul out to them and told them everything that I was going through, and I was willing to invest in myself because others were willing to invest in me. They can point you towards the people that you really need to speak with, but above all else, open up. That is the thing that will set you free. Just open up,” said Greer.
Jureczki says the Frontline Healing Foundation is always accepting volunteers and donations.
Frontline Healing Foundation is currently funding the following programs:
- Subsidizes funding for Chemical Dependency and PTSD treatment – this includes detox, inpatient residential treatment services, intensive outpatient, one-on-one therapy, and sober living. Funding is predominately given to vetted facilities; however, we will review others on a case-by-case basis.
- Providing Funding for ESA or Service Dogs to Warriors – Trained emotional support animals and service dogs that provide a specific service to a warrior.
- Promote Behavioral Health Education and veteran, Law Enforcement & Firefighter Resources – predominately to law enforcement agencies, fire departments, veteran groups, etc. Currently Warriors Heart and Frontline Healing Foundation provide chemical dependency and PTSD education to San Antonio Police Department and Fire Department on these topics for their teams to know what to look for in self, their peers and veterans they come across on the street.
- Funding for Sober Living Housing – Warriors that need continued support can stay at a vetted sober living housing where there is still structure as they work, go to school, volunteer somewhere or continue to receive outpatient treatment. This structured environment allows them to integrate back into the community while having a safe place to stay without the temptation of past behaviors.
- Provide funding for Brain Treatment Therapy – This is a targeted treatment called MeRT, which is tailored to the patient’s unique frequency pattern in the brain. This treatment uses an FDA-cleared technology called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS); a safe, drug-free, non-invasive treatment that improves the synchrony of your brain waves, and therefore your cognitive health. It can create a highly personalized TMS treatment protocol tailored to your unique frequency pattern and has shown to be very effective with our Warriors who do it.
“Last year we served 112 warriors with an average of $10,000 per warrior for going directly to treatment. So 93% of our profits are going directly to treatment, and if they also wanted to apply for a hardship, they can do that through our website as well,” said Jureczki.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing a crisis, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 988 then press 1. You don’t have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to connect.
To learn more about the Frontline Healing Foundation, visit www.frontlinehealingfoundation.org.