VET Mission Statement:
We are a federally-recognized 501.C3 nonprofit organization.
We, the veterans of these United States, hereby dedicate this group as a tribute to the inter-disciplinary efforts of those who have and still are dedicating their lives to the healing and betterment of all veterans, both past and present, and remembering those who fell both abroad and at home that cannot be here today. Furthermore, we as the recipients of various pathologies directly linked to service, are also active subscribers to the notion of "self-help", embodying and implementing the disciplines and values that were bestowed upon us by our specific branches of service, and turning them inward as we learn to transition back into our culture to become fully-functional members of a society that we believed in when we signed up. Through this group, we feel it necessary to recognize and address deeper areas of the human condition that can often times be overlooked by conventional 19th century models of Psychoanalysis. Among these notions include the proliferation of suffering specifically from those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, by bridging the gap between various new alternative clinical practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and the medicinal application of healing entheogens while integrating at its very foundation, the statement of "safe set and setting". By which, might, just might lead to the extrication of stigma that underlies the open discussion as it pertains to these plants.
Ryan LeCompte, B.A. , M.A. Candidate, USMC 0311 (Founder/President)
Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Psychotherapist, Naropa University
Ryan LeCompte is a former United States Marine Infantryman (MOS 0311) who served on active-duty from 2007-2011. He has served out of Camp Lejeune, Quantico and White House operations in Washington, D.C.
While still on active duty, he served with his fellow combat Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD, yet observed that they risked being labeled “failure to adapt” and/or discharged if they talked about their problems. The heart-ache became more personal when he found one of his brothers, a fellow infantryman Sgt. Jorge Leon-Alcivar in his barracks room the morning after he took his own life. Sgt. Leon had just returned from deployment to Iraq with 3rd Marines 2nd Battalion and was clearly struggling with PTSD. Shortly thereafter, Ryan decided to retire from the military in order to help his brothers and sisters from outside the confines of military structure. He began by volunteering hours in the waiting rooms of VA clinics talking to and assisting vets awaiting treatment. He started collecting data for his undergraduate on the prescription medications being given to veterans diagnosed with PTSD, and found the same kind of cocktails being prescribed to almost every one of them. (Anti-depression, sedating anxiolitics, and heavy barbiturates for sleeping.
"These drugs seem to shut out experiences associated with trauma by numbing them.", Ryan states, "and this came across to me to be not only exacerbating the symptoms, but also creating new ones. It went against the values and virtues that we as veterans came to embody while on active duty, a few of them being courage and commitment."
Shortly thereafter, he began his search for alternative treatment options not being used by the VA. Recently, Ryan has organized a trip to the jungles of Peru with a group of vets suffering from PTSD to experience an ayahuasca ceremony and plans future excursions for healing.
Ryan is also collecting scientific data using rigorous tools of measurement including the CAPS scale, to measure the effect of ayahuasca on PTSD. He is currently a graduate student completing an M.A. in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at Naropa University in Boulder, Co. and will be working through his graduate institution to submit his findings for peer-review, and hopefully publication. He hopes to bridge the connection between psychedelics and the human experience in order to ground psychedelics into therapy. He is developing frameworks centered around psychedelics and transpersonal psychotherapy, including harm reduction and various forms of mindfulness-based practices.