By Marc Erich Wolf, Edited by Jim Luce
Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Chrisanne Gordon is building a new army to fight a new war – and that is the war on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) which hundreds of thousands of U.S. Veterans and hundreds of thousands of more global soldiers are grappling with.
She started by producing a documentary film – and continues through her new non-profit, Resurrecting Lives.Veteran's Administration hospital, Dr. Gordon saw firsthand the physical, emotional and mysterious impacts of having one’s brain literally shaken.
“We must do something – this is mandate for all of us who appreciate the service and sacrifice of our warriors.” Chrisanne, who starts every morning with a long run in her Ohio surroundings – when she is not traveling and speaking, shooting and editing – explains further, “This is a non-political effort. We are not anti-military, anti-government, or anti-war. The aim of our film is to ensure the resurrection of each individual citizen-soldier who has volunteered and sacrificed.”
Dr. Gordon and her team have not stopped at the documentary – they have established a new non-profit, awaiting 501(c)3 status, to raise $3 million for research, advocacy and treatment.
“TBI is the signature wound for these wars. However, all active military and U.S. veterans who have sustained a brain injury during service will be served by us,” Dr. Gordon said, “while we also help non-veterans including athletes, survivors of car and other accidents, and more recover from brain injuries.”
Since the Gulf War, 3.2 million service personnel have been deployed to the war zone – many with multiple deployments. This is a huge patient influx into the Veterans Administration (VA), and the hallmark injuries/illnesses from these wars are very difficult to both diagnose and treat.
“Sadly,” Dr. Gordon said, “only 30% of the veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars actually receive treatment through the Veterans Administration, although all are eligible. Of the remaining 70%, about 20% have some form of insurance – either Tricare or insurance from employment. The remaining 50% of OIF/OEF veterans are uninsured. This also is unacceptable and our movement will continue to illuminate this very un-American lack of care for our national heroes.”
"Operation Resurrection" is not an end to itself, but a vehicle for beginning real, coordinated, sustainable action of individuals, families, and communities. It will be an engine to help drive community and corporate efforts towards the ultimate goal: the "Resurrection" of our warrior; our military families; our communities; our nation.
On Veterans Day 11/11/11 we launched the movement and introduced The Resurrecting Lives Foundation, challenging every citizen, every community, every state to enact positive solutions for a successful homecoming of our greatest national resource, our service men and women. Operation Resurrection is not a movie—it is a movement!
Operation Resurrection is a documentary dedicated to defining and promoting coordinated solutions to the health, education, and employment issues our Iraq (OIF-Operation Iraqi Freedom) and Afghanistan (OEF-Operation Enduring Freedom) veterans face when they return home.
A scene from Operation Resurrection. Video courtesy Operation Resurrection.
From the film’s website:
“The goal of this unique and timely documentary is to assist struggling service men and women who have just returned from war. It is an inspirational show that highlights solutions to the daunting challenges awaiting our heroes upon their return.
This project is driven by individuals alone and in groups, philanthropic corporations, concerned communities, and engaged politicians who are defining America's response to the homecoming of our warriors. Most importantly, we need to listen to our returning heroes and decide what can and must be done to resurrect the lives of our warriors, our warriors' families, and the institutions and agencies that strive to care for them.
The solutions are not speculative. They are established and growing programs that have been formulated and created by some of the experts in our nation. From coast-to-coast, people are already on the move to assist those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.”
Marc Erich Wolf is a former U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and continues his service in the reserves. Marc is a development executive for the UJA-Federation of New York and a Veterans Outreach Coordinator for The Mission Continues. Marc will be publishing on "Connecting Goodness" as it relates to non-profit organizations and inspiring individuals who are addressing the needs of military veterans coming home, in the U.S. and abroad. Marc is currently working on his first book, "From Frontline to Frontlines," is a Luce Foundation Global Advisor, and the senior contributor to The Stewardship Report on issues of war, peace, veterans, post-conflict resolution, and leadership in the humanitarian and philanthropic worlds.
Marc Wolf’s Series From Frontline to Frontlines – Veterans Continue Their Service
Thanks to Daniel Santana for technical assistance.