Thank you for your support of my campaign for travel funds to partcipate in the Paradox Sports veterans 9/11 event in Yosemite National Park! I like climbing mountains because I enjoy being in the mountains. It challenges me and it encourages me to depend upon others, a necessary quality for me to engage in recovery and living. Anything I raise over my goal will directly go to Paradox Sports programs and a travel fund to help other veterans attend these life-changing events. Thank you!
"After Lt. Rickey Bennett came back from Iraq in 2005, friends and colleagues told him he had symptoms of post-traumatic stress, but he denied it. As a military chaplain, he was trained to detect it in others, but he just didn't see it in himself.
But in 2010, he was bombarded with flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks and paranoia. Once responsible for boosting the morale of 3,000 military members in Iraq, Bennett was afraid to leave his bedroom.
'I was going five to seven days without sleep,' said the 52-year-old, who lives with his wife in Aurora, his home base since 1990. 'In the daytime I had flashbacks, and nights were horrible nightmares. I got to the point it was commit suicide or get help.'
The diagnosis was PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Since then, he's been hospitalized many times, tried a cornucopia of medications and treatments. He couldn't work, so he retired from his career as a Navy chaplain, which he'd continued after Iraq at places like the Naval Chaplains School in Rhode Island. ...
For veterans such as Bennett, struggling through the system has been a long process, including hospitalizations and experimenting with at least 40 PTSD treatments.
'There is no miracle cure," he said. "For me, it took a combination of things.'
He discovered two things helped most — sports and academics.
He's become passionate about adaptive sports and participates on many athletic teams formed of people with physical disabilities and emotional challenges. ..."