11 August 2015

Veterans: That’s NOT As Good As It Gets

During my exit physical from the Army, the doctor at Fort Hood acknowledged my HUMMV rollover and spinal cord injuries.  But when I asked, what do we do to fix it? What do we do to treat it? The doctor just responded, “We’ll that’s as good as it gets.”
It’s funny to me, because we all joined the military with the same idea that “this is as good as it gets.” But we learned that through hard work, teamwork, and advanced technology, we were capable of so much more.  The military puts us through hell to show us what we’re truly able to do.
That’s the irony any time someone tells a veteran “that’s as good as it gets.”  I’ve heard this story repeat time and again for active military and veterans.  The problem with this is that it doesn’t keep up with the veterans who are beating the odds and new medical technologies that challenge those earlier assumptions.
Now, you may not be an injured veteran, but that’s why YOU need to know this.  You realize that veterans are less likely to seek help for themselves, but veterans are more likely to help another veteran.  That’s why you need to share medical advances and examples of veterans re-defining “how it has to be.”
A great example of this is a low-cost arm device that allows veterans to gain mobility and use from their weakened or paralyzed arm.  The MyoPro (hotlink: www.veteran.myomo.com) uses the signals the brain still sends to muscle groups to activate the device and restore upper limb mobility.  The device is being distributed by VA hospitals, medical providers, and even some veteran non-profits.
It’s estimated that 500,000 veterans could use a MyoPro to regain function of their arm and improve their quality of life.  However, at some point after a spinal cord injury, neck injury, or stroke they were told, “that’s as good as it gets.”
So if you know a veteran that has limited use of a weakened arm, have them check out www.Myomo.com/veteran.  And if you know of a veteran who was told “that’s as good as it gets” on anything from their health to employment, help them to see the veterans who are challenging those odds… After all, military veterans love a good challenge.
About the author: Tom was disabled from a spinal cord injury he received while serving as an Army captain. After graduating from West Point, he served in the 1st Cavalry Division with deployments to Kuwait, Panama, and Korea. Tom’s civilian career includes Kellogg Business School, Leo Burnett advertising, Monster.com, and Sears Holdings. He’s focused on less talk and competing veteran help efforts and more results. Tom has helped employers hire over 50,000 vets and raised $118 million for community programs, helping more than 110,000 military and veteran families.

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