WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Damon Friedman is a retired lieutenant colonel who spent 20 years in special operations including numerous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, but his service took a toll on him physically, mentally, and spiritually.
"I spent a year inpatient and on medical leave recovering from my own injuries mild traumatic brain injury, PTSD, pain, insomnia, so I was in a really really dark place," said Friedman.
But because of his rank, Friedman says he received special treatment, healing alongside professional athletes and other high-profile patients.
A holistic kind of treatment that he says helped save his life.
"People know that over 20 veterans take their lives every single day. And I could’ve been a victim. I could've been part of the 22. But God had a plan for me and I found hope at the end of the tunnel," said Friedman
Now Friedman is on a mission to share that same hope with other vets. He started SOF Missions, a non-profit offering every veteran the same kind of special holistic treatment he received focusing on the mind, body, and spirit.
"Traditional medicine is not solving things and we really believe that in order to put a stop to the suicide epidemic, you must treat the concept of suicide holistically. Psychologically, physically, socially, and spiritually and that’s what we do here," said Friedman.
SOF Missions’ Be Resilient clinics are free - five-day - intensive wellness clinics. They use some of the best doctors in the country for physical therapy, acupuncture, adaptive golf therapy, social reintegration guidance, and much more. These methods are used to treat PTSD, pain, sleep issues, stress, mental and spiritual health, and include re-evaluations and follow-up care for one year.
"Because at the end of the day regardless of what’s going on, 1000 percent, there is hope," said Friedman.
For more information about SOF Missions or if you're interested in signing up for a free clinic visit: sofmissions.org