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My experience deployed to Kandahar Province in Afghanistan during 2012 opened my eyes to what past and present Veterans have sacrificed in many different ways in many different conflicts. I had a small mountain on my base, where I would spend long hours trail running a spaghetti network of trails which overlooked the Afghan farmland. This gave me an abundance of time to contemplate what service meant and partially understand what our Veterans went through in prior conflicts. I wanted to find a way to use my running to help give back to the Veteran community.

I found a great means to do this with the Iowa Veterans Home. With running RAGBRAI in support of the Iowa Veterans Home, I hope to raise awareness of what this beautiful facility located in Marshalltown, Iowa provides. The IVH is an outstanding home which provides professional medical care for Iowa Veterans and/or their spouses who may not have any other outlet to turn to.

Specifically, I am raising money for added mental health treatment options for our Iowa Veterans. In partnership with the IVH’s Mental Health Doctor, Dr. Doug Steenblock, I am hoping to raise money for a treatment option called Biofeedback. I am really excited about the potential possibilities for it. The doctors and therapists at IVH have been wanting to implement Biofeedback to assist veterans with PTSD and chronic pain. Biofeedback is a way to use your own mind to control body functions that are typically subconscious, such as skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate, or blood pressure. During a session, a patient is monitored with a biofeedback machine which gives instant feedback. The biofeedback psychologists then teach the patient different techniques to control a particular body function. The patient visually sees how the technique is achieving the desired effect. Over a number of sessions, this control can become natural reactions instead of conscious thoughts with no need for medication. Just like in my running, you can use your mind, the most powerful tool you have, to overcome your own obstacles! The machines used to monitor the body’s physiological reactions are expensive. The cost of the initial set of machines plus training is roughly $7,500. We hope to raise this and more. Your donations can help purchase the equipment for this project!

Any donation, small or big, that could help them continue their outstanding support would be greatly appreciated.

Note: clicking the button below will take you to the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines’ website. The Foundation will securely process your online donation and provide you with a receipt noting that your donation is tax deductible. The Foundation will deposit your donation into the Running Farther Fund. Once all donations have been received, the Foundation will donate the funds to the Iowa Veterans Home. All donations are tax deductible! If you have any questions, please contact us.

Thank you! You make each mile that much easier!