Chris Doleman and Hall of Fame greats Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin, Bruce Smith and Michael Haynes to participate in Thanksgiving Day pre-game segment on CBS about the challenges faced by US veterans returning from deployment
Atlanta, GA—On Thursday, November 26th Pro Football Hall of Fame members Chris Doleman, Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin, Bruce Smith and Michael Haynes will be featured in a story about the 22 suicides that take place each day by US military personnel. The segment includes interviews with civilian members of the military, as well as unique solutions now available to help these people successfully transition to home life. Doleman will also be sharing details from his time spent with the beneficiaries of the Warriors for Freedom organization. Sportscaster James (JB) Brown will be the host and narrator in the piece created by award-winning television producer, Charlie Bloom.
Each year, thousands of veterans return from service and find themselves struggling with PTSD, the after effects of TBI, night terrors, and untreated clinical depression related to traumatic, life-changing injuries. The statistic of 22 lives being lost each day is staggering, and largely unknown by most Americans. These service members are so challenged by their return to civilian life that many resort to ending their lives–leaving behind broken hearts, and forever-changed families left with tremendous grief and ensuing financial hardship.
But there is hope delivered by a rather unique form of therapy. Research supports the fact that one of the most effective methods of counseling takes place between peers. Taking a group out to play together replicates the camaraderie of military service—and helps vets open up with one another about the difficulties they may be experiencing. Reacting to that information, Warriors for Freedom began their program featuring group activities for vets. Last year, when contacted by Oklahoma-based organization, Chris Doleman was asked to travel to Ireland to play golf with disabled veterans as a form of treatment. In the Thanksgiving segment airing before the Panthers-Cowboys game at 4:00EST, Chris will discuss his time spent with military heroes as a form of rehabilitative recreation, and the lasting impact of each of their personal stories.
“I was shocked to learn about the number of suicides that take place daily by our veterans, and how they struggle when they come home. After being included on the golf trip, I was able to see firsthand that recreational therapy works,” said Hall of Famer Chris Doleman.