First and foremost, not everyone gets to come to Tier One. You have to apply. There is a preferred reading list you need to read BEFORE you get here. The application process includes a phone interview and a written application including essay on WHY you want to come to the program. Plan on at least an hour-long conversation, maybe more. You will be asked about the educational data and be expected to talk in depth about the information during the phone call.
As a reminder, we are not here to give you a magic pill and "fix your problems" for you! You have to do the work. And this interview process is intended to sort out those who are really serious about changing their lives, learning about PTSD and how to mitigate the triggers, and those who are on the gerbil wheel and will never truly change. We don't have magic pills. But we do have tools you can use to heal.
Every Veteran accepted to the program will receive a packet in the mail which includes a work book and a program guide. This is a serious venture. The steps to healing take effort. If you don't take the time and make the effort to prepare BEFORE you come to Tier One, you'll not be truly dedicated to the tools this program teaches.
Mission Statement: The primary mission of Tier One Tranquility Base is to mitigate PTSD symptoms and influence the incredible number of Veteran Suicides due to both PTSD and the “Moral Wounds of War”. We attack this situation with the same degree of fervor, dedication and professionalism that YOU were accustomed to providing through your own military service, no matter which units you were assigned to. This we call, Tier One level influence. When combined with the educational aspects of Tier One Tranquility Base programs and our intent to show Veterans how to meditate, concentrate, breathe effectively to reduce PTSD symptoms and to live consciously to mitigate triggers, it's truly life changing!
We effect that mission statement with our efforts to bring a new level of consciousness to Veterans who’ve deployed to foreign soil in defense of the United States or were instrumental in the prosecution of U.S. foreign policy. We TEACH returning Veterans what PTSD really is and educate the Veteran and their family members, significant others and personal health care providers with the intention of limiting the number of PTSD episodes they experience and help identify individual triggers related to that Veteran’s combat experiences and life time of trauma.
We train our soldiers to go to War, we don't train them to come home!
Our programs help train soldiers to come home. We give them tools to mitigate the "Battle of Ft. Livingroom", educate them on the human primal systems that are "hard wired" into their bodies for survival and we educate Veterans on the physiological changes that happen to the human body in a nano-second when triggered. PTSD is real. The science and the medical evidence is overwhelming when you FINALLY understand it and know what to look for. We go in-depth and educate Veterans on the brain, the subcomponents and what each part of the brain does in the normal state, bounced up against the "Trauma State" and the "Fight or Flight" state. With cutting edge assistance from those who are studying these factors at the National Level, we provide current, cutting edge science with proven techniques to mitigate the fallout from over reactive, under-reactive parts of the brain. TBI brains do not act the same way as a normal brain that's never undergone trauma from a focused IED or RPG burst. We teach Veterans what OPIATE pain meds do to the entire Central Nervous System and why they are depressed and suicidal. We give them alternatives to doing the same thing they've been doing, but getting substandard and unacceptable results.
THEN: We teach each Veteran the complexities of pharmaceuticals and the impact of alcohol and illicit drugs on the human system that's triggered into crisis. Ever read that label on your pill bottle that says "Warning: Alcohol may enhance the effects of this medication?" Well, imagine what happens when you're taking the VA Protocol, the side effects are "Suicidal Ideation" then drink a twelve pack and smoke marijuana on top?
Beware: This part of the program requires BRUTAL HONESTY and a mirror. We all must look into that mirror and be truthful about what's happening! Not everything we do is related to combat, nor is every PTSD episode really a PTSD episode. Sometimes it's just "Conduct Unbecoming" due to all the other stressors in our lives. Alcohol, drugs, sleeplessness, mental acuity, and mental attitude ALL have a lot to do with how we act and react. So, be prepared to figure out what is really PTSD, based on triggers and what's just bad conduct.
We assist returning Veterans with all the administrative functions to get back on their feet, to get a job, to finish qualifying for a career field and we network with Corporate America to find them good jobs for a sustainable future. For those who need it, apply for it and are willing to do the long term work that it takes, we work with Law Enforcement and the Court systems to "unscrew" the lives of those who have run up against the Law and truly have PTSD to thank for it. This is not a "get out of jail free" pass. DO NOT ASSUME that we can, or WILL make it all go away so you have an "expunged record". We don't do that. But we at Tier One firmly believes in holding individuals accountable for their actions when they are accountable. But where there are cases of PTSD that led to problems with the Law, we also firmly believe those circumstances should be taken into consideration. DD214 accuracy and "clearing the files" is not part of learning here at Tier One. But we do assist when we can.
We follow up for TWO YEARS with each Veteran and their families after they leave the program to determine other life experiences that degrade the Veteran’s return to civilian life. Combined with some of the organizations we network with, the returning Veteran will experience a whole new level of "personal care" and "follow through" as we help track their progress thru the VA system and assist them in transition to civilian training and eventually to a second career path culminating in jobs. Not temporary work, but full time essential career work that provides for a stable income and a secure future.
Do you really know who you are? I am NOT talking about who you think you are!
I'm asking you, do you know who you are thru the eyes of everyone else who knows you? WHO are you. You have to know WHO you are, before you try to fix what’s wrong. Are you a good person? Are you happy? The only way to know is to look deep inside and settle things.
We have taken off the uniform, the patches and the badges, the rank, the beret, the body armor and the boots. We've stepped back into civilian society and are expected to know who we're talking to, expected to know all the rules we've never engaged with. In the military, when you walk up to a person, you have a good snap-shot of who that person is just by his or her uniform. You know what rank they are which tells you if you need to salute that person, where you relate in the food chain, above or below that person's pay grade, you know pretty much how much that person makes a month in pay and benefits, you can tell by the patches and badges where they've been in the world, if they've seen to combat, which unit they were in, are they SCUBA qualified, Ranger or Sniper qualified, Expert Infantry, Airborne or Air Assault. But all those indicators are stripped away when we return to the civilian world. All of the symbology we depend on to get and keep our bearings are torn away and we're left to "sort it out" on our own. We miss the symbology and indicators that other civilians take for granted and don't assign weight to them. Some are just ridiculous...
The program at TIER ONE is intended to teach you some new tools to mitigate your symptoms, but also to show you WHO YOU ARE and why you have problems re-integrating into the very same civilian society you swore and oath to protect and serve, to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. There is a reason YOU are now the problem. There is a reason YOU are feared as a wolf at the gate, when you were the sheepdog for so many years. It's no longer about who you think you are, or who you WERE. Now it's about what you look like to other people. It took me a very long time to come to my own consciousness. The self- destructive behaviors I used kept me isolated and kept everyone else out of my life. I did it subconsciously, but very intentionally. And I could have healed a lot quicker, a lot better had I not gone down that road. Self-analysis is a big part of "looking in the mirror" and taking responsibility for our actions. Conscious living is the only way to really, truly come back to life and not only prosper, but fully engage. We owe it to those who come behind us to reach back and lend that helping hand. Tier One was founded by Veterans, for Veterans. Welcome Home.
NOTE: Every Veteran who reads these books SHOULD UNDERLINE IN INK those words that resonate with you. Bring the books to the Program and be prepared to talk about what is underlined in INK. It's a HUGE part of consciousness and meditation.
When watching the videos or movies, take notes. Write down the feelings these documentaries stir within your soul. Keep track of what your BODY is telling you: Sweating, increased or decrease in heart rate and respiration rate, flashbacks, anger, RAGE....you keep the notes and be HONEST about it. Tears are OK. We'll talk about crying and neurochemicals later in the program.
BE BRUTALLY HONEST WITH YOURSELF when taking these notes.
Close to Home
By: Britta Reque-Dragicevic
The Gift of Second: Healing from the impact of SUICIDE!
By: Brandy Lidbeck
War and the Soul.
By: Edward Tick, Ph.D.
What it's like to go to War.
By: Karl Marlantes
Adult Children of Alcoholics
By: Janet Geringer Woititz, Ed. D.
The Body Keeps the Score
By: Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.
By: Sebatian Junger
Into the Magic Shop
By: James R. Doty, MD.
Note: I don't endorse any specific company to purchase these videos from, but you can buy it or rent it on-line. Every attempt has been made to provide FREE access. Do your homework please!
Sebastian Junger TED Talk on Youtube: "Why Veterans miss War...."
The Last Patrol
On Killing: Season One