After serving their country, many veterans return to the civilian life with scars — physical, mental, and emotional. From severe burns to post-traumatic stress to brain injury and lost limbs, they have much to overcome. UCLA is here to help.
The university supports veterans in myriad ways. Among them is the life-changing program Operation Mend, which provides advanced surgical, medical, and psychological care and social support for post-9/11-era warriors and their families.
A Groundbreaking Gift
And a recent $20.1 million contribution from Wounded Warrior Project will enable the program to help more families. The largest donation ever to Operation Mend is part of a $160 million investment to support Warrior Care Network, which provides mental health care for veterans.
The funding will allow the program to more than double the number of mental health patients and caregivers it treats, which, in its first three years at UCLA, showed participants experiencing significant reductions in all symptoms and a program completion rate of 97 percent.
An Empowering Program
“After you get back from war, you are a different person,” says retired U.S. Army Major Yolanda Poullard, who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with crippling PTSD. After trying several programs to help with her depression, she learned about UCLA Operation Mend’s partnership with Wounded Warrior Project and Warrior Care Network and joined the six-week intensive treatment program.
“UCLA Operation Mend picked me up at my lowest moment,” says Poullard. “It gave me lifelong skills and showed me how to connect with resources in my community.”
A Continuing Commitment
Wounded Warrior Project continues to help veterans overcome physical injuries, too, which affect them and their families. Most recently, the project provided $2 million to support Operation Mend’s surgical program.
UCLA salutes veterans and, with the help of philanthropy, will continue to serve them.
Published September 2019