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  • John Mayer and a dozen Bay Area student Veterans raised the American flag at the National Center for Service and Innovative Leadership, located at Fort Scott in San Francisco’s historic Presidio.

  • Led by recreation therapist Chris Geronimo and trainer Mary Justiniani, the group began the day with a demonstration of the Veterans Group Exercise (VGX), a new effort to alleviate symptoms of service-related stress through rigorous exercise and integrative medicine. The scientific rationale and biological measures used in VGX – a collaboration between NCIRE scientists and the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine – was presented by Margaret Chesney, PhD.

  • A ‘Women Warriors’ lunch provided a private forum for discussion of the unique strengths and challenges facing women who serve in combat. NCIRE scientists Sabra Inslicht, PhD, and Shira Maguen, PhD, discussed research in gender differences in the response to traumatic stress and new projects aimed at meeting the needs of women warriors. A diverse group of female service members discussed their experiences during and after military service.

  • After a brief discussion with local media, Thomas Neylan, MD, presented new developments in the science of PTSD, sleep disturbances, brain imaging and therapies to John Mayer and the assembled Veterans. The biological underpinnings of issues such as sleep disturbances, anxiety and recovery were further connected to the Veteran experience by Keith Armstrong, LCSW, who reviewed both challenges and innovations in connecting Veterans to self-care activities.

  • The final program, a military culture workshop lead by Shannon McCaslin, PhD, included a robust discussion of the relationship between the civilian community and military service members. Experts in the field of military acculturation discussed ways that civilians can engage more comfortably and fluently with military Veterans.

On Friday May 3, 2013, musician John Mayer attended a full day preview of the Veterans Health and Integration Program – a collaboration between John, his fans, NCIRE scientists and Veterans. The program aims to research, develop and disseminate effective and accessible treatments for Veterans. Using rigorous scientific research to develop durable support resources for Veterans of the Armed Forces, the program aims to harness and direct the power of scientific research work for the development of accessible, community-based resources into the everyday lives of post-9/11 Veterans and their families.