Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "vets"

Illumination! – Along the Green Road Project: Measuring the healing effect of nature on Wounded Warriors

02/06/14 | View Comments

The team at the Green Road Project recently joined together to raise a cup of cheer in an expression of thanks to all who have made the project possible.  Anxiously anticipating the spring groundbreaking for the new healing garden space, winter weather did not curtail the celebration as supporters arrived amidst sparkling lights to the woodland setting which is at the heart of Naval Support Activity Bethesda, home of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.


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Veterans Day: Helping Military Service Members Heal Through Nature

11/11/13 | View Comments

The invisible wounds of war that take their toll on our veterans’ mental health are difficult for individuals to work through alone. That’s why James McCormick, owner of Raising Cane Farms in Mason County, WV and a retired veteran who happens to be the chairman of the West Virginia Veterans Coalition, is working to start The West Virginia Warriors and Veterans to Agriculture Project.

“This project is not a hand out to veterans — it’s a hands up,” said Bob Tabb, senior manager for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. “This is an opportunity for veterans to work together, enjoy the camaraderie with fellow veterans and learn about agricultural practices that will help veterans harvest crops and grow food.”

The project seeks to empower wounded veterans and military personnel through supporting the local agriculture in West Virginia. McCormick connects this to the therapeutic value of working with agriculture and nature.

“Watching life blossom, seeing Mother Nature’s work and getting hands in the soil are great for these veterans,” McCormick said. “It gets them out of their homes and agriculture-based therapy is really helping to heal these people.”

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Recommended Reading: Partnerships Along The Green Road Project

10/21/13 | View Comments

A garden has the potential to add more than natural appeal to a space, especially around facilities like Naval Support Activity Bethesda, where the Green Road Project is hoping to provide space for relaxation, meditation and overall healing for those using the facilities.

Dr. Fred Foote, adjunct assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University’s Department of Preventative Medicine and Biometrics, and his many colleagues working on The Green Road envisioned a space that includes “walking paths, arbors and benches, places for meditation, reflection and commemoration, and a communal structure for group activities.”

Read more about the partnership between the Consortium for Health and Military Performance and The Institute for Integrative Health that is helping to make the project a reality in USU’s newsletter.

The Pulse-Volume 8, Issue 15-Revised

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A Holistic Path to Health: An Interview with Dr. Brian Berman

10/10/13 | View Comments

Open Voices is taking the opportunity to get to know some of the different team members from our National Awards grantee projects. You can find previous interviews with other team members here.

For the brave men and women returning home from serving their country, mental and physical health are top priorities. The Green Road grantee project at Naval Support Activity Bethesda, home of Walter Reed national Military Medical Center, is seeking to provide these military service members with a more holistic approach to their healing from wartime.

Addressing health and well-being in conjunction with exposure to nature for these military service members is hoped to help improve the healing process. Dr. Brian Berman, president of the Institute for Integrative Health, studies and practices integrative medicine including mind/body approaches to healing that will be critical in the research conducted as a part of the Green Road Project.

We had the opportunity to ask Dr. Berman a few questions about his work with the Green Road Project.

Open Voices: How did you become involved with the Green Road Project?

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    We are a private nonprofit that supports, informs, and inspires the creation of publicly accessible urban green spaces. We believe that every city resident needs nearby green space to provide opportunities for mindfulness, respite, and renewal. The Foundation has issued its final grants to build five Open Spaces Sacred Places and research the impacts on a variety of users with the hope that the powerful connection between nature, spirit and human wellbeing will be scientifically proven.

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