Veterans Charity Ride – Well Vet program

Veterans Charity Ride (VCR) is a year round non-profit program, specifically designed to assist severely wounded and amputee combat veterans with their needs and issues they deal with on a daily basis. Helping our veterans through outreach, action, followup and activities is what drives our organization. All VCR programs are fiscally sponsored through the White Heart Foundation a 501 (C) (3) veteran charity. www.WhiteHeart.org. All donations and in-kind contributions are 100% tax deductible. The veterans pay nothing to participate in our programs.

It is well documented 20% or more of returning Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans suffer and/or experience many if not all of these issues: Post Traumatic Stress, which includes physical and mental stress. Anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. Traumatic Brain Injury, which includes balance issues, memory loss, headaches, migraines and light sensitivity. Severe pain from amputations, gunshot and wounds/injuries sustained from combat. Sleep deprivation, fatigue and oversleeping. Overweight, obesity and unhealthy eating. Multitude of side effects from medications, and over medication.

We set out to achieve a few simple but major objectives to address these issues and bring relief to veterans in need:

  1. Get the veterans into a safe and friendly environment and create trust.
  2. Get the veterans eating healthy.
  3. Get the veterans relaxed and reduce physical pain.
  4. Get the veterans more and deeper sleep.
  5. Get the veterans into a healthier physical and mental condition.
  6. Create a program for the veterans, which includes their spouses and family, that is easy to understand, simple to implement, follow and continue over a lifetime, achieve all objectives by economical means, and do this in a holistic non-medical-no drugs approach.

Well Vet program summary

Our Veteran Health and Wellness Program (WELL VET) is a healthy nutritious diet plan (tailored to the veterans individual needs), combined with physical therapy, exercise, yoga and twice daily holistic Kaqun oxygen water therapy treatments for the alleviation of stress, physical pain, and to get the body and mind back into a healthy condition. Certified health and wellness coaches work directly with our veterans on a daily basis for the first 5 weeks, continuing weekly and monthly for as long as needed.

The 5 week WELL VET program:

1) brief and educate the veterans, their spouses, and family, in diet and nutrition, how severe bodily injuries, trauma and Hypoxia (deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissue) creates stress and affects the whole body and mind. How with diet, exercise and detoxification of the body and improving the immune system with holistic Kaqun oxygen water therapy increases the overall healing process of the body, improves and deepens sleep, increases cognitive functions, improves memory and emotional state and elevates mood.

2) twice daily holistic Kaqun oxygen baths and oxygenated drinking water (1 liter per day). This is done for 14 continuous days (Round One), then the veterans take a 7 day break from the Kaqun baths, and then continue for another 14 continuous days (Round Two).

3) nutritional diet based on the Dr. Eric Berg’s healthy eating plan and direct access to a certified Dr. Berg health coach. For more details go to: www.drberg.com

4) fitness, yoga exercise and physical therapy plan tailored to the individual veteran.

5) veteran to veteran discussions to help each veteran work through personal issues, and plan and discuss their future and individual goals.

6) motorcycles and sidecars on site for therapy rides and excursions during the 5 week program.

The end result of our program is a healthier and happier, more capable individual, who is now living life in a much better physical and mental condition, and able to help and support other veterans to do the same.

Well Vet participants and self reported results.

Keith, Sergeant Major. US Army. Keith joined the Army in 1986 as an 11B (Infantryman). After years of training with the Rangers, Keith was assigned to 10th Special Forces Group. Keith lead the most elite soldiers on the battlefield as Team Sergeant and as a Sergeant Major. His combat experience includes Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Provide Comfort II, Bosnia, and Iraq. Keith was awarded the Bronze Star Medal during Operation Iron Fist. In 2012, with four tours in Iraq and after 26 years of service, Keith was medically retired after sustaining his last injury.

Keith’s report:  I came into this program with stress, anxiety, and physical pain from PTSD, TBI, and prior injuries sustained in Iraq. I was also depressed and overweight and averaging only 1-2 hours of sleep per night. Within the first two weeks of the program my stress and anxiety had decreased to the point where I can manage it with no meds. I lost 11 LBS of body fat and am averaging 4-6 hours of sleep per night.

Second half of the Well Vet program: I am continuing to lose body fat and decreasing weight. I have lost a total of 20 lbs and continuing towards my goal weight. My sleep has been better than ever, I am sleeping 5-6 hours a night with no interruptions. My pain level is continuing to decrease and I have not needed any pain medication. My stress and anxiety is so low I am able to go through the day with no medication. I plan on continuing this lifestyle as much as possible when I return home.

Richard, Sergeant, US Marine Corps. Richard enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and graduated in January of 2001 as an armorer. In February 2004 he deployed to Fallujah, Iraq where he was attached to a Marine Recon Unit. On August 17th, Richard and his unit were attacked by Mortars, Rocket Propelled Grenades and relentless enemy fire, leaving him critically wounded from shrapnel and the impact of the blasts. Richard was medically evacuated and returned stateside as the only survivor from his Unit.

For ten plus years Richard’s injuries kept him from sleeping through the night, he normally got about three total hours of sleep. Richard took medication to fall asleep and medication for anxiety. Richard gained a lot of weight, shut himself off from his wife and family and developed a serious skin condition. Richard has nerve damage to one of his elbows and two fingers. Richard has a knee implant, artificial tendon and two rods in his right leg, and lots of scar tissue. Because of these injuries he has very limited motion in fluctuation and extension not to mention severe pain.

Richard’s report: I started the Veterans Wellness Program weighing in at 262 pounds. I was talking a total of 26 medications a day to help deal with issues like high blood pressure, stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and pain. I also developed a serious skin condition on the back of my neck. On average I would get about three hours of sleep for the entire night and that was with taking medication for sleep. My injuries include no feeling in two on my fingers on my left hand, right shoulder has nine pins and a complete right knee replacement with a cadaver tendon.

After week one I noticed a tingling sensation in my left hand, right shoulder and right knee. My sleep was about the same and the change in eating seem to be not what I was expecting. Dr. Eric Berg’s diet tastes great.  Felt tired mostly after both Kaqun Baths.

The second week I still had tingling in my hand, shoulder and knee. The biggest thing I started to notice was my pants were starting to be loose. My sleep started to increase, getting hours more at a time. Felt more energetic after both Kaqun baths.

The third week I started to sleep four hours total and noticed my weight loss. The Acanthosis Nigricans started to fade on the back of my neck. I still had the tingling sensation in my hand, shoulder and knee. I also noticed my vertigo started to go away and fewer issues at night.

The fourth week I started to sleep six to eight hours and at times six hours straight a night.  After each bath I continued to feel very energetic and ready for the day.  I also notice I’d fall asleep faster and stay asleep without the aid of sleeping pills.  The skin condition on my neck is gone completely and I feel less stressed.

By the end of the program I dropped 34 pounds, final weight was 228. Per my doctor’s recommendation I have dropped 16 pills to only taking 10 total. My blood pressure went from 164 to 114. My waist from a pant size 42 to a 38 pants. I gained 12 degrees of extension on my right knee and lost eight inches of fluid and swelling around my knee. I am walking taller and straighter and my spouse (Carmen) noticed that I gained more confidence and seem to be smiling more than before. I want to thank Veterans Charity Ride, Well Vet Program, Dr. Robert Lyons, and all those involved who made this possible for me. This program has changed my life for the better.

Damon, Sergeant, US Army. Damon entered military service October 2001 following the national tragedy of 9/11 and served two tours of duty overseas. Following basic training he was assigned to the 125th Infantry, Michigan Army National Guard. His first tour was with the Multi National Force and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula in 2003 as an 11B Infantryman. He was severely wounded in action January 13, 2007 in an ambush in Mosul Iraq and subsequently evacuated to the Military Medical Hospital in Landstuhl Germany with a traumatic brain injury. Following stabilizing treatment at Landstuhl he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. Following a long period of treatment Damon was medically retired from the U.S. Army due to wounds incurred in action. He has been awarded a Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge and other decorations. Damon has suffered from daily headaches and migraines for the past 10 years and weighed 302 pounds at the start of the program.

Damon’s report: Week one of the Well Vet program- so far I have dropped 8 pounds, feel more energized and less stressed out. The food is great and the atmosphere is laid back. In addition to the Kaqun Oxygen treatments we are getting to ride motorcycles and see the great state of Nevada. I have been 4 days without any headaches. I feel relaxed and happy. I am looking forward to the next 4 weeks. Also to a healthier happier me.

By the end of the fourth week, I have lost 23 pounds, 0 headaches for the past 27 days, more energy and happy to be here. The Kaqun oxygen baths have been great and I have enjoyed this program. I have made the commitment to continue with this diet when I get home. My goal is to weigh 250 in the next three months which is totally obtainable.. The amount of stress that has been relieved is remarkable! I still feel very relaxed and calm most of the time. I have also found that my ability to deal with stressful events has had a marked increase. I look forward to getting home and meeting my goal weight.

Update March 27, 2017 (4 weeks after program completion).

Keith, Richard and Damon have all greatly reduced the medications they were taking, sleep through the night, and continued with the healthy eating and lifestyle plan. Richard is now down to 218 lbs and a 36 inch waist, and stated he and his wife have had to go buy all new clothes because all of his clothes no longer fit. Keith is doing great, and has taken on a very large home refurbishing and construction project at his family home, something he stated he thought he would never be able to attempt or take on in the condition he was in before the program. Damon continues to lose weight, getting closer to his 1st target goal weight of 250 lbs and has become so inspired, he has enrolled in culinary school with plans to be a professional cook, and use what he has learned in the Well Vet program to cook and teach other veterans how to live a healthier happier life. Sue and Dave stay in close contact with each veteran to assist and help them continue their new healthy life.