COUNTRY STAR MARK WILLS LAUNCHES
“CRAZY BEING HOME” AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
AS THE OFFICIAL VOICE OF USA CARES’ PTSD/TBI PROGRAM
Appears At Military.com Sixth Annual MilBlog Conference
Alongside Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 26, 2011)—Award-winning country music artist Mark Wills and USA Cares (a non-profit national military assistance charity founded to assist post 9/11 military families in emotional health and recovery, and bearing the burdens of service with financial and advocacy support), have joined hands to introduce and officiate a national awareness campaign surrounding the severity of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Wills, who has been working with USA Cares since 2009 and itsWarrior Treatment Today program, will lend his time, talents and music as the official spokesperson, and USA Cares “voice,” in the newly organized “Crazy Being Home” outreach to encourage and support America’s post 9/11 veterans and assist in raising funds for the PTSD and TBI programs to enable these individuals to return to a “normal life” as we know it here at home.
Wills has made more than seven trips to Iraq and Afghanistan entertaining our troops and has become personally acquainted with the faces of our brothers and sisters of the military; he is familiar with the places they’ve been. Having gained a special insight into the trials and stresses faced by our soldiers in combat, in reflection and consideration, he’s offered up his most recent recording of“Crazy Being Home” (written by Chris Lindsey, Robin Lindsey, Brett and Brad Warren) as the Warrior Treatment Today anthem.
Kicking off the Warrior Treatment Today “Crazy Being Home” campaign, Wills will perform at the6th Annual National MilBlog Conference, presented by Military.com, during the Opening Reception and Benefit for USA Cares at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Friday, April 29, 2011. (Supporting a variety of charities each year, the MilBlog selected USA Cares as its 2011 charity beneficiary.) According to Andi Hurley, founder of The Annual MilBlog Conference, “We’re honored that Mark would take time out of his busy schedule to perform. Mark’s tireless support of the military community makes him a perfect fit for the MilBlog Conference.” Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld will also appear as a special guest.
Introducing “Crazy Being Home” for the very first time before a live audience, the lyrics are poignant: “…It’s right to fight for what you love, but his young eyes have seen too much. Until you’ve been where he’s been, you wouldn’t understand…”
“I was moved to record this song and put it out there by a young man who is on active duty with the special forces,” Wills introduced. “His story and reaction inspired me in such a way that we hope it serves as a message to speak to all of our veterans to say ‘you are not alone.’ Suffering with PTSD is an injury of war and the Warrior Treatment Today ‘Crazy Being Home’ efforts are to open the door to make emotional and physical therapy available to anyone and everyone who suffers.” The song is featured on Wills’ forthcoming album entitled LOOKING FOR AMERICA due in June 2011.
In existence for the past two years, the publicly funded USA Cares Warrior Treatment Todayprogram has summoned over $800,000 enabling more than 500 OIF/OEF veterans residential treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
“In 39 states, we have lifted the fear of economic distress for over 500 veteran families who had a loved one who needed in-patient rehabilitation,” Bill Nelson, USA Cares Executive Director, remarked. “We’ve given them peace of mind and allowed them to concentrate on getting better.”
Mark Wills, son of a Vietnam veteran, has personal experience with the effects of war. “When my dad returned, he was inexplicably a ‘changed’ man,” Mark said. “The problem was, we didn’t know what it was or what to do for him. Now, we know he was suffering from PTSD. It’s sad that even still today, too many men and women, who sacrificed their lives, go without diagnosis, help or treatment. We’re hoping to change that.”
The Veterans Administration has reported that over 24% of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans suffer from PTSD at some level from their combat experiences. Treatment facilities and caregiver caseloads are at maximum capacity across the nation. USA Cares Warrior Treatment Todayprogram provides financial support to pay the household bills while the affected veteran take the unlimited time needed to enter into a residential rehabilitation program directed by his/her doctors. Lacking this support, many veterans would simply go untreated—leaving them and their families with the sad and unfortunate consequences.
“’Crazy Being Home’ and the USA Cares Warrior Treatment Today program is a natural fit. I’ve seen the good and bad side of what the experiences of war do to these men and women and I want to do more than just sing about it. I want to tell the rest of America that there are programs likeWarrior Treatment Today out there that can make a difference and perhaps save lives. That’s the challenge of the ‘Crazy Being Home’ campaign-- serving those who have answered the call to stand up for our country,” Wills concluded.
The April 29 MilBlog event is the initial introduction of things to come under the umbrella of the USA Cares Warrior Treatment Today “Crazy Being Home” campaign; plans are being formulated to elevate social and community participation and activies and will be announced in the coming weeks.
For more information on Mark Wills and the “Crazy Being Home” Campaign, visit: www.markwills.com.
For more information on the USA Cares Warrior Treatment Today program visit:http://www.usacares.org.
For information on the Milblog conference visit:
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About Mark Wills
Mark Wills is a multi-platinum selling country music star with eight top 10 hits to his name including“19 Something,” “Wish You Were Here” and “Don’t Laugh At Me;” all of which received nominations for Single, Song and Video of the Year by the Country Music Association. Wills won the Academy of Country Music's award for Top New Male Vocalist in 1998. In 2002, his single, “19 Something” spent six consecutive weeks at No. 1, was Billboard’s top country hit of the year and was the second most played song of the decade in 2009. His new CD, entitled LOOKING FOR AMERICA(featuring both the title cut that is currently receiving applause by radio and its listeners and the USA Cares Warrior Treatment Today campaign song, “Crazy Being Home”),will be available June 21, 2011. Wills is also the host of the hit television series “3 Gun Nation” on the Versus Network. Proceeds from Mark’s last record, SECOND TIME AROUND, were donated in part to USA Cares.
About USA Cares
USA Cares is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that helps post 9/11 military families bear the burdens of service with financial and advocacy support. Its mission: To help with basic needs during financial crisis, to assist combat injured Veterans and their families and to prevent private military home foreclosures and evictions. In almost eight years, USA Cares has received more than 27,500 requests and distributed more than $7.7 million in grants. Military families anywhere in America can apply for assistance through the USA Cares web site, http://www.usacares.org / or/ by calling 1-800-773-0387. For more information on USA Cares contact John Revell, firstname.lastname@example.org or (270) 352-5451.
More On PTSD
PTSD wasn't recognized as an illness until the 1980s, but it has been around for as long as men have been killing one another. Its symptoms include the abuse of alcohol and other drugs, an overall emotional numbness punctuated by outbursts of rage, severe depression and recurring nightmares. In extreme cases, it can lead to suicide or murder.
The incidence of PTSD is on the rise as two wars drag on. In April, a Rand Corp. study concluded that 1 out of almost every 5 military service members on combat tours — about 300,000 so far — returns home with symptoms of PTSD or major depression. But nearly half of these cases, according to the Rand study, go untreated because of the stigma that the military and civil society attach to mental disorders.
Repeat deployments deepen the crisis. One in every 10 soldiers who has completed a single combat deployment has a mental ailment; that rate jumps to 1 in 5 with a second deployment and nearly 1 in 3 with a third. That means that more than 500,000 troops have returned home to the U.S. in the last decade with a mental illness.
Suicide prevention has been a persistent challenge for the VA. In 2008 the department estimated that 6,500 veterans kill themselves each year — 18 a day — including 1,800 under VA care.
(Army figures show that 76% of soldiers who committed suicide this year had served at least one tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.)
Information obtained by Time.com/CNN