How a Platoon Sergeant Got Her Life Back Through Meditation

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How a Platoon Sergeant Got Her Life Back Through Meditation How a Platoon Sergeant Got Her Life Back Through Meditation

How a Platoon Sergeant Got Her Life Back Through Meditation

by David Lynch Foundation

July 30, 2013

LeShonda "Shy" Gill was born into a military family.

Shy was deployed to Iraq as a Chemical Operations Specialist in 2003, where her job was to find and decontaminate chemical weapons of mass destruction. In Iraq, Shy's squad was ambushed on their way home from a mission.

"As soon as the truck in front of me blew up, I knew all hell was about to break loose," Shy says. "I sustained multiple injuries to my stomach, torso and legs." Shy was the only one from her squad to make it home.

Shy quickly returned to Iraq as a private contractor, compelled by a mysterious desire to “get back.” When she finally came home for good in late 2009, her life fell apart. "I cut off everybody. I lost everything I had in less than two years,” she says. "I used to think PTSD was something people claimed to get out of going to Iraq." She now realizes that she was “dead wrong."  

Based on the positive results of TM among veterans with PTSD, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense have chosen to fund larger, longer-term trials on the technique.

TM courses are currently available for veterans, military personnel, and their families through Operation Warrior Wellness (OWW), the veterans and Armed Services division of our David Lynch Foundation, which was founded by film director and avid meditator David Lynch. DLF provides TM to those in at-risk populations struggling to cope with post-traumatic stress.

The Foundation’s veteran’s initiative began its work in 2010. Since then, we have reached more than 1,000 veterans and military personnel in collaboration with military institutions, VA medical centers, and veterans service organizations across the country. Our initiative's work has attracted funding support from both the Wounded Warrior Project and the Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) Initiative. OWW also works with law enforcement officers and first responders who suffer from high rates of post-traumatic stress.

"My heart is with my soldiers, my friends, my comrades in arms," Shy says. "I know how TM can benefit others—especially my wounded warrior community. Just because you can't see a wound, doesn't mean its not there. In actuality, it's those wounds that are the hardest to heal. I've never felt this good in… life I don't think. It's given me back."

On October 17, the Foundation will host its fifth-annual Change Begins Within gala, "Celebrating First Responders and Veterans," where everyone from Hugh Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness, Jerry Seinfeld, and FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, will help raise funds to make TM available to veterans and first responders in the Greater New York Area.       

Want to enjoy the benefits of meditation? Begin by setting aside 10-20 minutes twice a day, everyday for quiet time. Click here to add this to your To-Do list.

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