AURORA, Colo. -- Veterans who have fought in wars since 9/11 will soon get new mental health care through the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
"Sometimes you almost feel like you wish you would have gone too. I feel like sometimes taking myself out of the equation would have been easier for everybody," retired Army Staff Sgt. Spencer Milo said.
He suffered two traumatic injuries during combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A $38 million gift and a new $9.8 million partnership will transform mental health care for military veterans and their families throughout Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.
The Marcus Foundation, an Atlanta-based philanthropic organization created by retired co-founder of The Home Depot Bernard Marcus, has committed the money over five years to establish the Marcus Institute for Brain Health at CU Anschutz.
"Our current health care system is not set up to solve problems it's there to fix symptoms," said decorated retired Navy SEAL Pete Scobell.
"I'm a firm believer that if we fix the veterans in this country, we fix the country and there's a lot to be said for veteran care right now and the lack (there) of."
The institute will open this summer as a unique civilian sector program dedicated to serving military veterans with traumatic brain injury and related psychological health issues.
"The Marcus Institute is uniquely designed to address these combined neurological and psychological conditions," said Dr. Jim Kelly, director of MIBH.
Milo has been named director of veteran programs at the MIBH.
“As a military veteran who sustained injuries in Afghanistan, I am a huge advocate for the Marcus Institute for Brian Health,” he said. “Treatment like the traumatic brain injury therapies now offered here saved my life, and I know I’m not alone.”
“This partnership opens up a whole new world of treatment opportunity for those who have selflessly served our country,” Kelly said.