One veteran says he's finally found a way of dealing with his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving in Afghanistan. And, he wants to share his story to help other warriors heal the hidden wounds of war.
Every day used to be a struggle for Luke Jensen. He says, "I was having a lot of anxiety, depression. I was ashamed."
Jensen served in Afghanistan in 2009. He says he fell apart after a few months of service and sent home. He says, "At the beginning of deployment, I was the guy keeping everybody cheered up and joking around. I thought I was kind of a tough guy people could lean on, and I really just started deteriorating and lost control."
Jensen says he wasn't himself when he came home to his wife and two girls. Last July, the Des Moines Register shared his story. World War II Fighter Pilot Jerry Yellin read the article and says, "It's a devastating story: At war with PTSD. The next battle for families. “
Yellin saw the article, and as a veteran, recognized his stress. He says, "What I thought was, here's a guy who needs me. Who needs what I know."
Yellin says he called Jensen the next day. He invited him to Fairfield to learn a practice called Transcendental Meditation. He says, "A lot of people think TM is a religion, you have to follow the guidelines, but it isn't. It's a technique, it's a mental technique.”
Jensen says the technique was simple for him to learn. He finds a comfortable chair in a quiet place and closes his eye. For twenty minutes two times a day, he repeats his personal mantra. He says, "It's just a word that takes you in a deep state of rest and while you're doing that, you're getting rid of stress and giving yourself peace and relaxation."
Jensen says his wife also learned TM. He says it's given him his life back. He says, "It helped me relax right away. It helped me start getting better sleep, helped me with my anxiety to the point where I got off my anxiety medication completely."
Jensen will share his story Saturday afternoon. All Iowa veterans are invited to attend with their families. Veterans will learn more about a program called Operation Warrior Wellness that offers scholarships for veterans to learn Transcendental Meditation.
The seminar is Saturday, July 28 at 2 p.m. at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center.
You can find information at http://www.operationwarriorwellness.org/iowa