One Valley veteran is drawing from personal experience to link up wounded veterans with resources in their community.
Sgt. 1st Class Brian Mancini served two tours in Iraq. In 2007, Mancini was wounded during his second tour. He spend nearly four years getting his face rebuilt.
As Mancini recovered, he said government-prescribed solutions to his injuries weren’t working.
“I started realizing where a lot of the flaws were in the system,” he told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Bruce St. James Show on Monday.
After retiring in 2011, Mancini decided to found Honor House, a service that links wounded veterans to community resources, including alternative medicine.
“When I got hurt, I saw an upswell in non-profits in the community that stepped up to fill the gap,” Mancini said of the help he received after returning home.
Mancini said there is a correlation between Traumatic Brain Injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and pain management, a correlation that varies for each veteran. Each one has to find their own path to recovery.
“You have to open yourself up to things that aren’t in the main stream,” he said, adding that Honor House seeks to pair wounded veterans with massage and animal therapy, along with other types of treatment.
The Honor House uses an intensive 12-week outpatient program called the Advancing Heroes Project. While in the program, Mancini said the goal is to get veterans away from medication and strike a balance with varying types of treatment.
Mancini’s newest venture is to pair 15 veterans from the war in Iraq with 15 Vietnam veterans to mentor them and help them reach out to the community.
“They’ve been there and done that,” he said.
Mancini is also working to give wounded veterans a tablet computer they can use to keep track of their treatment, schedule and other things, including school work. The tablets cost about $550 each.