TBI Awareness

Resurrecting Lives Foundation Salutes all our veterans – and extends greetings to family and friends of RLF family! As many of you know, March is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness month. In 2022 we are focusing on two devastating consequences of untreated/undertreated Traumatic Brain Injuries: homelessness and suicide. These issues are difficult to discuss – It is easier to ignore them, but we all pay the price in human lives every time we fail to address the needs of those who sustained brain injuries in the service to our nation.  Currently, there are over 750,000 veterans from the Global War on Terror (GWOT) who are struggling with TBI as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD.  Since only about 30% of veterans from GWOT utilize the VA for any reason, the numbers of untreated and undertreated TBI/PTSD are staggering.  It is estimated that fewer than 10% of our veterans complete a VA program designed to assist with this signature wound of Traumatic Brain Injury.   

The results of TBI are devastating and include substance abuse, unemployment, homelessness, and all too often, suicide. In fact the numbers of veterans who have taken their lives is 4 times greater than the number of military members who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.  4 X greater!  That should be a red flag for all of us – military members, veterans, legislators, employers, teachers, health care workers – We all need to be vigilant to know the signs of TBI and to offer assistance and collaboration to services for those who are unable to navigate the civilian world or the VA health care systems.  BOTH systems are complex for a person struggling with brain health issues. 

At Resurrecting Lives Foundation, we have been able to assist veterans from 29 states to collaborative health care services.  It is a tedious process, and awareness is KEY – Every community needs to be vigilant and partake in healing efforts for those who volunteered their lives for us.  Whether it be to provide transportation or assistance with medical paperwork, please remember that our veterans have never dealt with a health care system and are very thankful for any guidance we can give them. 

We are honored to have recently engaged with an extraordinary artist, US Navy Chief, Joe Pisano, residing in San Diego, Ca.  “Chief” Pisano has created many works, which he describes as “3 D Industrial Art” – utilizing dry wall screws as his primary medium for teaching us all about honor and sacrifice of our military members and veterans.  Pisano reminds us that for some of our transitioning veterans, the struggle at home is another hurdle on the way to healing.

We were blessed to have Chief Pisano join us aboard the USS Midway at our Brainstorms private screening November 14th.  There he displayed and explained two of his prized pieces: Invisibilia and Operation Zero, dealing with homelessness and suicide respectively.  These pieces were created to open dialogues about the many comorbidities associated with military service, and, specifically traumatic brain injuries.  As the Chief knows, ignoring the issues will not improve our veterans plight in the civilian world.  Pisano stated,  “These art pieces were created to encourage both dialogue and action. We must put an end to veterans homelessness and suicide – Now.”

Invisibilia, appropriately named in honor of the over 14,000 veterans who are homeless every night in California, represents this with over 14,000 dry wall screws portraying a veteran, draped in the US Flag, sleeping on a park bench.  Pisano created this in 2018, and has displayed it numerous places in California, including at the USS Midway Museum. He educates the admirers of his work by speaking directly to them and educating them on the social issues and stigma associated with being homeless.

Operation Zero, is a call to action to bring the number of veterans who die by their own hands down to ZERO/day, from the currently advertised 22 veterans/day.  His STOP SIGN with veteran’s silhouette is adopted from California Veterans Motorcycle groups, specifically, the San Diego Chapter who introduced him to this concept.  The piece features 2200 dry wall screws as well as being surrounded by 22 lights, reminding us of the significance of the number “22”.  When presenting this display to onlookers, Chief Pisano is vigilant to honor every veteran who has succumbed to this exit strategy to their suffering and invites the families to both grieve and heal as they struggle to understand the LOSS, while dealing with societal scrutiny and judgment.  It is a compelling piece and one that our Foundation has adopted for our suicide prevention initiative this year – Our goal, synchronized with Chief’s artistic message, is to bring down that rate of 22  losses/day in the year 2022. 

Please keep watching our website throughout the Month of March, and throughout 2022 to find ways you, too, can become involved in this noble cause of allowing those who have served us ; who have allowed us our future of freedom, to also enjoy and thrive in a future after military service. 

Chief Joe Pisano, Navy Reservist, is currently working on his new piece, an impressive 7 panel memorial to those who have served in all wars from WWI to the Global War on Terror.  It is appropriately named: The Art of Immortalizing Heroes, and is the latest creation of PISANO Artistry being created in the Chief’s new studio in Liberty Station, the former Naval Training Center.  We wish him all the best for his future endeavors and thank him for his continued service, especially for those who suffer from the consequences of TBI. 

Copyright ©2021 
error: Content is protected !!