A new organization is arriving on the Lehigh Valley scene, called Flatline Fighters. No, it is not a martial arts group, but instead the brainchild of its founder, Anthony Droz, a current war, ex-Marine (if there is such a thing), who believes an Outward Bound-like approach can often help combat veterans and others who have experienced deep, traumatic events.
It is still in its infancy, not fully formed or developed, but Droz has the potential of succeeding and will speak to the Council on 16 April (see our homepage) on what he plans and where he will need assistance. Those who have a similar interest or need ought consider attending. Our community has tremendous capabilities and heart. It’s awareness of the real needs and how to help is what is lacking, most of it unsensational.
In other times, the program might have been called Lehigh Valley Veterans Recreational Therapy, Inc. or something equally unexciting, but it is not a bowling group and it is certainly not about “dodgeballing” one’s own responsibility to get well, either. Rather, the Fighters organization seems to be about a common sense approach in attending to one key aspect of well-being often overlooked: the benefits of social relationships in helping one find his or her way. The approach involves using bonds developed through informal common experiences — in this case, challenging outdoor events. A sense of isolation, of being alone, of feeling ‘others’ do not understand (real or perceived) are inimical when most vulnerable to unhealthy alternatives.
In communities such as ours, where large populations or densities of military and military veterans do not exist, organizations such as Flatline Fighters take on added significance. Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, operated locally by Trout Unlimited – Hokendauqua, a member organization, has already proved the value of such efforts. Maybe the Project is not so good for the fish, but it has definitely been good for the veterans who attend, now more and more of the current war generation.
For more information about the organization, go to its recently created website.
As of 9 April 2014