Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Future Friedman: A holistic center for healing war wounds?

In ancient times, we nurtured our warriors with special care when they returned from epic battles. We led them to spas at city outskirts and helped them cool down with compassionate care for long spells, until we determined it was safe for them to return into communities, unlike modern times where we often dump soldiers back onto harsh streets with little or no benefits. Nowadays, many of our country’s valiant veterans are homeless or incarcerated at record levels, while perpetually mired in post-traumatic crises.

As Dennis Kucinich said, “Homelessness and poverty are weapons of mass destruction.”

Men develop with different levels of mettle, but sanity has limitation points for even the bravest of soldiers. In earlier wars, ‘Soldiers Heart’ or ‘Battle Fatigue’ affected many Veterans (and their families). Now Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the commonly used expression.

A historically safe place soldiers used to convalesce, both physically and psychologically was the Sun Valley Lodge. Many WW II soldiers, who effectively rehabilitated there in the crisp mountain air, became permanently attached to Idaho and some remained, as helpful contributors for many years within our community.

The good earth where Friedman Airport currently stands makes a perfect spot for another state-of-the-art rehabilitation center, especially when you consider that if the Friedman family recognizes a significantly suitable cause, that they will then consider donating this prime Hailey Real Estate for that concern, when the airport relocates.

We could transform this airport acreage into something for truly banking on. Besides generous monetary donations from valley benefactors to establish a healing foundation, this is an opportunity to show how rich we are in spirit, by welcoming our recuperating warriors back into the community. To contribute to their continued recovery, we could thank some of our dedicated veterans for their Herculean efforts by offering them desirable jobs; related with support services for the healing center itself.

Moreover, we could construct hundreds of affordable-housing units on the land, along with worker-retraining facilities for displaced soldiers to reattach to our community. Some will likely rejuvenate with a broader sense of understanding, and develop desires to become healing practitioners themselves. A holistic focused center could create bountiful meaningful jobs here, not only for our respected veterans, but also for many others suffering in this economic slump. Already established mentoring organizations such as Sun Valley Adaptive Sports and The Advocates could tie in with such a permanent wellness festival.

Perhaps an appreciative owner of one of the locally underutilized hot springs could pipe healing waters into such a splendiferous spa, with government stepping in to fund construction logistics of the supportive donation.

The relocated airport itself could even benefit, by becoming a bustling transport center for steady streams of patients, visitors, hospital personnel and supplies.

The hospital could feature Posttraumatic stress disorder therapies like recently advanced Somatic Experiencing, MDMA and Propranolol treatments, as well as other proven curative methods, both ancient and new. A holistic equine center could help severely traumatized reconnect with the community through nature.

With the sunny climate, fresh air and clean water inherent to this valley, enhanced by the numerous enlightened compassionate people who flourish here, our community could set a new standard for positive rehabilitation and improve on some of the shortcomings plaguing Walter Reed Veteran’s hospital.

The new Airport Advisory board should consider this idea or similar ones, such as Tom Iselin’s grand idea for a Paralympics Center to see if they hold enough water to transform soldier’s widow tears into flowing fountains fronting a first class ‘Friedman Memorial Trauma-Stren Conversion Center.’

After all, what should be more important than proper treatment and compassionate care for our wounded warriors who have patriotically served, even if we fought some of these battles for misguided reasons?

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