EpVets ensures that veterans are not alone.
After 9/11, traumatic brain injury has become known as the signature wound for a plethora of soldiers, sailors and airmen. They have suffered lifelong consequences such as epilepsy and other seizure conditions. Executive Director of EpVets, Andrew Epstein, felt that the Veteran Affairs were “unable to meet the demands” of many selfless individuals who have served our country.
Epstein recently received his Masters of Science in Global Affairs, Transnational Security from New York University. His capstone thesis involved creating an individual business plan. Epstein’s thesis then became more than just “an idea,” since Epstein thought “it must happen.”
EpVets is a non-profit organization that aims to fill in the gaps of care. The organization’s title encompasses two words: epilepsy and veterans. It best highlights their mission to provide a helping hand to veterans when it may seem hope no longer exists.
“EpVets is the first of its kind. We specialize in addressing the issue of seizure conditions in veterans and offer support to ease the burdens of their transition to civilian life,” said Epstein.
Although it may seem uncommon, many face depression, anxiety and an extreme loss of confidence. Many other individuals, even veterans, feel the same and may stumble across substance abuse or worse. Most veterans can probably relate that not even the VA could provide or meet the demands that these people were feeling.
“I believe that the reason why so many veterans are committing suicide is because veteran care needs to be redesigned to meet the needs of every veteran individually. EpVets is here to do exactly that,” said Epstein.
EpVets offers a program providing top tier, privatized medical support to veterans living with a seizure condition. Most importantly, it will be at no cost to the veteran. The program will be mentored by highly qualified staff to create a customized support plan, encompassing all aspects of a veteran‘s transition. These include, but are not limited to, service dogs, diet plans and financial counseling.
“At EpVets, the veterans come first, so talk to veterans and tell them we are here to help them. If you know a veteran who may need some support, let us know and we will reach out to them. Either way, it’s all our responsibility to serve the people who served us,” said Epstein.
There are numerous ways to support veterans. Donating to veteran non-profits and support groups is one way. Currently, EpVets is seeking donations to get themselves off the ground and to begin helping our warriors. Until the website is launched, the organization is collection donations via PayPal.
With over 1,000 diagnoses and 16 VA facilities geared towards veterans who suffer from epilepsy, EpVets has made their mailing address based out of California to reach the most effected veterans. “We want the VA as a partner,” said Epstein.
When asked why this non-profit is essentially important, Epstein’s response was utterly humble and inspiring. “Nobody understands the struggle that veterans face greater than me. I am a veteran and I was diagnosed with epilepsy, ultimately resulting in my retirement from the military. It’s hard for me to convey in words the sort of emotions that a veteran may feel after leaving the service, but I think the words ‘abandonment,’ ‘uncertainty’ and ‘insecurity’ can give you an idea,” said Epstein.
“Think less as a victim, more as an advocate or instrument of change,” said Epstein.
EpVets is still under maintenance; a website, hotline and detailed service information will be available very soon. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about EpVets, please contact Andrew Epstein through the following forms of contact: 548 Market Street, Suite 9847 in San Francisco, Calif., firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-334-6945.