Helping Severely Wounded 

Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

& Their Families

   Rebuild Hope Quarterly Newsletter  

August 2011     



 Good News (And  Bad)


As our country's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down and the number of reported new combat casualties decline, I often think about how the end of our current war efforts might impact our veterans, their families and Rebuild Hope.   I know that veterans with severe service-connected physical injuries will continue to receive excellent medical care as long as they need it. And they will enjoy additional government benefits. However, veterans with deep psychological wounds face a far less promising future. Today the majority of veterans (and soldiers) who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) remain either undiagnosed or untreated. And while our government struggles with this huge humanitarian problem the lives of thousands of veterans and their families continue to be torn apart. Abuse, divorce, addiction and suicide are just a few of the common consequences. This month I offer two troubling perspectives on PTSD to highlight the nature of this illness and the problems we Americans must overcome to honor our commitment to our veteran community. How well we respond will be a test of our moral character.  


Meanwhile, I expect that Rebuild Hope will be assisting veterans who suffer from moderate to severe PTSD expect for many more years.  I appreciate everyone who graciously supports our work and welcome your ideas and insights on how we might do even more.


Warmest regards,


Dana Hendrickson

President & Founder 


Meet The Huges Family 


Hughes Family

Former Army Seargent Derek suffers from severe chronic headaches, severe PTSD, and poor hearing.

"I am Derek Hughes, a 100% permanently disabled veteran of the war in Iraq. After joining the Army in 1999 I served in the invasion of Iraq 2003. As a light machine gunner and part of a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) and Force Protection (FP) on the MSR's (Main Supply Route) and ASR's (Alternate Supply Route) I escorted 5,000 gallon fuel tankers and some civilian supply convoys. Like my friends who served in Iraq all of us seem to have come back with a list of similar mental and physical problems.

I am thankful to have a great wife and two wonderful daughters that make even the worst of days better. My spouse is studying to become a probation officer and is receiving assistance through the GI Bill. Financially, our family had been doing well, but then we were hit with a few problems. A direct family member of ours was hospitalized and we needed to travel a good distance to help. And the IRS made a mistake on our tax return so our refund has been delayed. These are short term problems for us, and with the help of Rebuild Hope they will not overwhelm my family."


Rebuild Hope is helping the Hughes family pay for basic living expenses. Learn more about this family.



Help Rebuild Hope Families On September 17, 2011  



 pro fondo


Here is another opportunity to raise awareness of the needs of our current era wounded veterans and generate funds to help them deal with urgent financial problems. Cyclists, runners and walkers join us in the Palo Alto, CA Pro Fondo on September 17, 2011. Test your fitness, enjoy great food, win prizes and help Rebuild Hope help even more wounded veterans and their families. Learn more about this unique, fun-filled event and sign-up for our team now by clicking here.



PTSD: The Silent Killer

clay Hunt

Handsome and friendly, Clay Hunt so epitomized a vibrant Iraq veteran that he was chosen for a public service announcement reminding veterans that they aren't alone. His "surprising" decision to take his own life has shaken many veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those who knew him wonder why someone who seemed to be doing all the right things to deal with combat-related issues is now dead.


Learn about this amazing individual and his silent , unsuccessful struggle with combat stress and depression.


Meet The Raulerson Family



Matthew had completed 6 years of active duty and just started inactive duty  when activated and deployed in Iraq for a year. He was a driver and gunner providing convoy security in Mosul Iraq, involved in a number of fire fights, and injured when his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device (IED) in an ambush. Matthew was awarded a Combat Infantryman Badge and The Army Commendation Medal for his service overseas. He was honorably discharged in January 2011, has been diagnosed with PTSD and is experiencing hearing, sleeping & knee problems. Mathew is now being evaluated for traumatic brain injury.


Mathew, his wife and young son are now waiting for the Veterans Administration to start his merited service-connected disability income. Rebuild Hope is helping them in the interim. Learn more about them. 

Amazing iPhotos of The Afghanistan War

iphoto of soldier 


Photographer Balazs Gardi is an acclaimed photo journalist who has been in Afghanistan documenting the war with his iPhone. Recently, some of his photos were released as a photo essay in Foreign Policy Magazine. These amazing shots vividly remind us of how their daily lives differ from our own.  (You can view the original online photo essay  at the Foreign Policy website.)



   Victory For Veterans (?)  


 wounded soldiers


The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered an overhaul of mental health care for veterans, who are killing themselves by the thousands each year because of what the court called the "unchecked incompetence" of the Department of Veterans Affairs.


In a scathing 2-to-1 ruling on May 10, the judges said delays in treating post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related mental injuries violated veterans' constitutional rights. The delays are getting worse as more troops return from Afghanistan and Iraq, the judges said. About 18 veterans commit suicide on an average day. Read Story




Give 100%. Our Vets Did.   
       * Rebuild Hope, 365 Ambar Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025

 What's Unique About Rebuild Hope

While there are hundreds of traditional non-profits helping military families and veterans in various ways, only Rebuild Hope aims to fully leverage the power of the personal connection made possible by the Internet to deliver financial assistance and related services.


The Rebuild Hope relies on a "one-of-a-kind" service model to help veterans with service-connected disability ratings of at least 50%.


Rebuild Hope families...

  • share their stories,
  • receive modest financial grants and no-interest loans,
  • benefit from financial coaching and counseling,
  • referred to specialists in legal aid, VA benefits, heath-care, financial services and employment,
  • and are publicly recognized for their sacrifices.  

Donors ...

  • know who is receiving help from Rebuild Hope,
  • can elect to decide who receives their donations,
  • know 100% of their gifts are used as advised.

The Rebuild Hope Team...

  • consists entirely of volunteers
  • who are passionate about helping veterans. 

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