by Dennis Dalman
There’s no doubt Sartell residents will do instant double takes, turning their heads when they see some of the Sartell Police Department’s new squad cars.
The stunning cars are gussied up with an eye-catching abstract camouflage design with several emblems, an American flag and the Sartell police badge logo. On the side of the vehicle it states, “NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE.”
The vehicles were designed to honor military veterans in the Sartell area and beyond, including those who are current and/or future members of the Sartell Police Department who will be driving the cars.
Sartell Police Chief Brandon Silgjord said the vehicles are meant to bring wider attention and awareness to local organizations that serve veterans and first responders who may be struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder or other kinds of difficulties.
Three of those organizations are represented by emblems emblazoned on the cars: Invisible Wounds Project, Soldier’s 6, and 23rd Veteran.
“They (those organizations) have partnered with us to help build awareness of the resources available to the men and women who serve our country and our communities,” said Silgjord, adding he hopes the vehicles become a symbol and a reminder that “No one fights alone.”
Police officers who have served in the Armed Forces have first-hand knowledge of why recognition is so important for veterans who are living under stress. That fact, Silgjord added, are why police officers who are also veterans are more than willing to share their personal stories and experiences while on patrol.
The following are brief summaries of the three organizations that are represented as emblems on the police vehicles.
The Invisible Wounds Project provides access to quality therapy services, wellness activities, social connection and other support services to Minnesota’s military, first responders, frontline medical staff, correctional officers, dispatch personnel and their families related to mental health, PTSD and suicide issues. Services are offered without judgment and with total confidentiality. People can reach out for help via email at [email protected] or by calling 1-855-HELP-IWP (453-7497).
This is a non-profit, Minnesota-based organization that helps veterans, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, correctional officers and 911 dispatchers. The help comes in the form of specially trained K-9s. The dogs become those people’s “battle buddies” during their struggles with PTSD or other stresses in their daily lives. To learn more, visit online Soldiers6.com and click on the “Contact” button on the top right.
This program was created by personal trainers, psychologists and military personnel who formed what’s called a “23V Recon Playbook.” It is a 14-week full-exposure, holistic approach to removing the effects of trauma. It is widely known as one of the most effective programs for veterans who have experienced forms of trauma. The program emphasizes gratitude, compassion and authenticity in action.
Virtually every participant has reported the program led them to a happier and more productive quality of life.
To learn more, visit online 23rdveteran.org.