Veteran Lifestyle

Coping With the Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury as a Veteran

One of the worst parts of serving in the military is the risk of serious physical or emotional injury. Unfortunately, for veterans, Traumatic Brain Injuries (or TBIs) are all too common with hundreds of thousands of troops suffering from TBIs over the past decade. Thankfully, there are things that veterans can do to deal with the aftermath of a TBI and to live a good, healthy life.

Seek Treatment

The Department of Veteran Affairs and the private sector are well aware of the massive impact that TBIs can have on the lives of veterans. Thankfully, there are ample treatment options for these individuals. Options include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychological counseling, and more. There is also CognitiveFX’s new program, which boasts a 75 percent improvement of post-concussion symptoms.

Be Patient With Yourself

A TBI can have a devastating impact on someone’s life, leaving a variety of long-term physical and emotional trauma. Often, TBI victims are frustrated, questioning their fates and feeling “weak” for having suffered from such a devastating injury. That’s why so many doctors and recovered service members always tell TBI victims to be patient with themselves. It can be a difficult and long road to recovery. Self-acceptance, understanding your new limitations, and learning to rely on your loved ones are all keys to long-term recovery.

Why TBIs Are a Big Deal

TBIs affect hundreds of thousands of veterans and millions of civilians every year. As a society, it’s time to acknowledge that people who have had TBIs deserve nothing but the very best in terms of emergency care and the chance to recover for the long term. This means working to ensure proper diagnosis too. After all, knowing the type of brain injury that you suffered can help in identifying your condition, as well as enabling doctors to give you the help that you need to heal and feel like yourself again. Without proper treatment, TBI victims may live a life without full functionality and will likely be forced to permanently rely on overburdened family and friends.


TBIs can have a long-term impact on those who are unlucky enough to receive one, and unfortunately, veterans are far more likely than the rest of the population to get one. However, they do not guarantee a life of pain and misery. With proper identification, diagnosis, and treatment, a veteran can live a healthy, productive life where recovery is possible.

Veteran Lifestyle

Discrimination Against Veterans and What You Can Do to Combat It

Most people in the United States at least have some appreciation for the sacrifices that veterans have made for their country. However, many are unaware of how much discrimination these courageous men and women face in the workforce, in healthcare, and housing. The good news is that there are things that all of us can do to help them fight against this prejudice in all forms.

It Can Be Harder to Get a Job

Veterans don’t just have to think about encountering discrimination while they work, they also have to think about it when getting a job. Someone who has served in the military has experiences and skill sets that make them good candidates for many positions. However, many of these men and women face discrimination that begins even before the interview process at the hands of employers who won’t interview them.


If you think an employer has discriminated against you because of your veteran status, document everything that has happened and get in touch with the Department of Labor about your concerns. Consider finding out about different employers with a veteran-friendly attitude.

It Can Be Harder to Get Help

Sometimes, your worst adversaries in civilian life can be insurance companies and doctors. Insurance can be the worst. Insurance companies may value injury claims for less because you are former military, assuming that you could not have been in good shape, to begin with, given your past military involvement, therefore your injuries are “worth less.” Many doctors also have a similar attitude.


It’s essential to fight claims denials, even as frustrating as the process can be overall. Consider applying for healthcare benefits from the VA, which are often available even without a service-related disability.

It Can Be Harder to Get Housing

Many veterans living with a disability face housing discrimination. Some examples include veterans with emotional support dogs being denied housing or a lack of units accessible for veterans in wheelchairs. Veterans can face real hardships finding the right place.


Even though veteran status is not a protected class under federal housing laws, disabled veterans who encounter discrimination do have recourse. If a landlord or homeowners’ association has refused to accommodate a disability, contacting HUD may be your best solution.


Even though discrimination against former service members is far from isolated, there are remedies for those who have faced it available. Understanding what constitutes discrimination and knowing how to fight it goes a long way.

The health, well-being, and success of veterans is the goal of the Iron Therapy Project. We have lots of resources to assist veterans. Apply for our 90-day wellness program or show your support by donating today!

Veteran Lifestyle

Tips for Transitioning to Regular Life After Military Retirement

Tips for Transitioning to Regular Life After Military Retirement

As a military veteran, you did your time and you were proud to do it. You rose through the ranks, and you taught everyone around you the value and honor of serving our great country. You probably mentored a number of individuals along the way. Now that you are facing retirement, you are probably wondering, what now? How do I transition? The good thing is there have been many who have gone before you who were able to navigate their military retirement well. Consider some of these tips:

Seek Counseling, if Necessary

There are a lot of veterans who struggle with depression and other issues after their retirement. Because some have difficulty transitioning to civilian life, there are plenty of counseling options available. Of course, there are many other reasons why a veteran might benefit from counseling. Simply put, the lasting scars of war for many veterans often remain for years, and they often don’t even fully manifest themselves until after you have retired and have more time to think about it. The beauty of counseling is that veterans have many options to choose from, including group therapy, if that is your preference.

Go Back to School

According to research, education has a positive impact on mental health by developing individuals socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Since mental health is a big issue for many veterans, this can be a hugely beneficial course of action to help them overcome it. Enrolling in education courses is also great for those veterans who are looking for something that can replace the purpose they used to have when they were in the military. Of course, more education is also a great way to find way for veterans to find a vocation that capitalizes on their prior experience in the service.

Stay Active

It is definitely important for retired veterans to stay active. By engaging in their share of physical activity, retired veterans might feel more flexible, have improved strength and balance, lowered blood pressure and less risks of injuring yourself in a fall. Of course, one added benefit of staying active would be that you simply feel better about yourself as well. Staying active can also be social if you choose to join a gym or veterans’ fitness club.

It might seem like a daunting task for you to adjust to a civilian career, but many individuals have gone before you and done it just fine. You are a member of America’s finest. You can do this!

Veteran Lifestyle

Veteran Wellness Advice For Beginners

Veteran Wellness Advice For Beginners

Veterans are people that have served their country in one way or another. They need to be able to take care of themselves after they return home from their tours of duty. If you are a veteran, these tips will help you to take the best care of yourself possible.

One thing you have to take care of is your mind. You can’t avoid the fact that when you’re a veteran, you may have seen and/or experienced traumatic things. One way to get help with your mental health would be to go to a therapist that specializes in helping out veterans. Make sure when you’re looking for help with your mental health that you find someone that you get along well with. Go to a few appointments and get to know your therapist. If it doesn’t work out you can find another one easily so just shop around until you find who is going to work well with you.

Exercising is important to do on a regular basis. You also want to make sure that you eat good foods and stay on a diet that keeps you healthy. You probably learned how to get into good shape since you’re a veteran so you can use a little of what you learned to stay healthy at home too. One good thing to do is to get a personal trainer that can help you learn how to use machines at the gym and how to build a diet that keeps you in good shape.

You now know how to work on a veteran wellness plan for yourself. You have to keep your body and mind in good shape if you want to live a good life. It can be hard to turn to good habits sometimes, but once you get into the right groove with everything it will be easier to work on your own well being.

Veteran Lifestyle

Mindfulness- It’s not just meditation

What is Mindfulness?
“Kind attention to the present moment, without interpretation or judgment.”

Mindfulness involves an undivided attention that is given to what you are experiencing without criticism. Being mindful requires you to engage your mind in the present moment and acknowledge your bodily senses, thoughts, feelings, and emotions without any particular judgments to that awareness (Pande, 2016).
The act of controlling your emotions plays a crucial role in mindfulness by reducing repetitive negative thoughts and worry, and, therefore, has been shown to lower rates of depression and anxiety (Desrosiers, 2013). By bringing kind attention to one’s thought patterns, we can shift our emotions by reducing negative thoughts, worry, depression, and anxiety, while increasing focus. Mindfulness practices have been shown to produce positive psychological benefits. For example, research has suggested that mindfulness improves resilience, which enables mindful individuals to respond better to difficult situations (Pande, 2016). Research has shown that mindful individuals are more open-minded, creative, and able to cope with difficulties(Pande, 2016). Study results have demonstrated that resilience is associated with mindfulness and life satisfaction, which highly suggests that improved resilience can positively impact your well-being(Pande, 2016). Improved resilience can also enhance social relationships, which is another factor that influences well-being (Davis, 2012).
Additionally, research has suggested that different styles of mindfulness practices produce different brain activity patterns (Desrosiers, 2013). Mindfulness meditation, for example, has been shown to stimulate the middle prefrontal brain associated with being aware of your own thought process (Desrosiers, 2013). In order to gain all the benefits of mindfulness, it is encouraged to explore different types of practices to achieve enhanced mindfulness (Desrosiers, 2013).
For full references, articles, and guided mindfulness practices, get started with the free  Stanford Well for Life’s Mindfulness Challenge and find out how they can optimize your well-being!
Key Terms:
Mindful– Conscious or aware of something, focusing one’s awareness on the
present moment
Emotion– A natural state of mind–such as fear, love, disgust– derived from one’s
circumstances, mood, or relationship with others
Bodily Senses– Feelings or sensory experiences that are most intimately
associated with one’s body, such as aches, tickles; feelings of pain and pleasure, of
warmth, or fatigue
Bodily Awareness– The consciousness of the presence of our body and the
sensation of bodily posture and state, such as the position and movements of our
limbs, the contact of our clothes to our skin, muscle pain in our legs, or the
feeling of thirst