Operation Wounded Minds (OWM) is a nonprofit organization that advocates for PTS (also known as PTSD) awareness and assistance.
PTS (PTSD) is all too common. Of the general US population, about 60% of men and 50% of women experience at least one trauma in their lives and that will cause PTS. Now, consider the likelihood of PTS amongst our veterans. So many of our veterans have seen combat, been on missions that exposed them to horrible, life-threatening experiences, including shot at, seeing a buddy get shot, or even death. Here’s a look at PTS by the numbers of diagnoses, according to the National Center for PTSD, Department of Veterans’ Affairs:
- Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF): As many as 20% who served in OIF or OEF have been diagnosed with PTS (PTSD).
- Gulf War (Desert Storm): About 12% of Gulf War Veterans have been diagnosed with PTS (PTSD).
- Vietnam War: About 30% Vietnam Veterans had been diagnosed with PTS (PTSD).
Many veterans are never diagnosed with PTS, and don’t get help, leading to a worrying amount of self-medication and suicide. We can help cure this epidemic with awareness,community support, more resources, and financial assistance.
Crossing Paths with the Crosses
OWM was founded in February 17, 2014 by Dwayne Jones and Mark Carter to help after both having their own experiences with PTS.
As Dwayne recounts, it was ‘Crossing Paths with the Crosses’ at just the right moment in his own personal journey, that lead him to create OWM and ask his friend Mark Carter to join him.
“It was Christmas Day, 2011, and I was riding a BART train from Oakland to Walnut Creek, California, to meet my family. I was in the process of ending my own personal journey with PTS and the woe-is-me feeling that can sometimes happen was creeping in, just as the train stopped in Lafayette. I looked out the window to my left and saw a hillside studded with thousands of plain white, military-style crosses. Over the loudspeaker, the operator announced he was going to give us all a little extra time to sit in front of the crosses that day. He asked us to offer a prayer to the souls symbolized by the hill and to their families, and to give thanks for their willingness to give their lives on our behalf. That day, something inside me changed for good.”
Jones hopes that the Lafayette Hillside will inspire others as it did him to start Operation Wounded Minds
The last few years have been a fact finding exploration as the founders of Operation Wounded Minds knew there was a lot being done around the issues of trauma,
Jones hopes that the Lafayette Hillside will inspire others as it did him to when he created Operation Wounded Minds along with his friend Mark Carter, the father of Medal of Honor Recipient Ty M Carter.
The last few years have been a fact finding exploration as the co-Founders of Operation Wounded Minds knew there was a lot being done around the issues of trauma and wanted to find a way to do something different that is not already being done. It has been it was Jones was intent to study the issues and find a way to not repeat already existing programs but use his skill and experience in Financial Services and technology to find a new path for healing from within our local communities.to attempt to not duplicate
The two co-founders traveled through CA during PTS Awareness Month in 2014 and hosted other events, lunches and coffees to better understand the issues since founding OWM.
Mark Carter is the father of a veteran and was able to help Jones better understand what a family is up against as the warriors coming home with PTS transition from military to civilian life.
His son Ty M Carter is a Medal of Honor recipient who has made PTS his personal mission, Having recently left the military Ty M Carter is a motivational speaker.
Mark Carter is fully retired now from his professional career and is no longer working together with Jones as a co-founder but the two remain friends and mutually support efforts around their interest concerning our returning warriors, victims of PTS and the war on terror.
For more information about Dwayne’s background and other members of the OWM team of Advisors see Leadership.