For U.S. military personnel, the scars of war continue long after the battle is over. That’s the inspiration behind the Lone Survivor Foundation (LSF) in Crystal Beach, Texas.
The facility is the first of its kind and was built with the idea of creating a neutral space, where veterans can come and relax with their families while also being treated for PTSD, brain injuries and pain management. Among the services offered at LSF is computers that monitor and image the patient’s brain as they work through the challenges of PTSD.
But facilities like this don’t build themselves, and that’s where custom electronics industry played a part in the project. Integrator Luke Dixon of Imagine That in Dallas worked on outfitting the facility with no outside installation help. He spent endless hours calling manufacturers one by one asking for support in the form of hardware and anything else they could provide. Dixon travelled to Crystal Beach seven times, driving six hours each way and staying there for a few days at a time to get this project designed and installed.
But the story doesn’t end there. At the same time, Hagai Feiner, founder and CEO of Access Networks, was seeking ways his company could give back to the community. That’s when he found LSF and eventually met Dixon and the builder, and soon was involved in the project.
“I offered our help with networking and also anything else I can do as a CEDIA board member. There was a need for many parts and pieces, and with the amazing people we have in our industry, many jumped on the opportunity to help. From integrators and reps to manufacturers and one distributor, all project needs have been met,” says Feiner.
Photos: Inside the Veterans Retreat
The next thing you know, the true heart of the custom electronics industry was blossoming. Among the amenities included in the facility are a phone system where a staff member is a single button-press away, to outdoor music and automation controls, to in-room temperature controls (and staff’s ability monitor these controls), iPod/iPhone docs for white noise that will allow patients to fall asleep (some cannot sleep without it) all the way to the new possibility of outdoor treatments using the brain imaging and retraining system with Wi-Fi connection.
According to Denise Grant, program manager at LSF, “It matters. Everything you do for us matters and makes a difference. The technological advancements of this facility will allow our guests to have a better experience and more effective treatment while they are here.”
Participating manufacturers include:
- Digital Projection: Michael Bridwell arranged for a projector
- SnapAV: Screen, outdoor speakers and amplifiers
- Kaleidescape: Video server and players
- Middle Atlantic: Jay Franetovich arranged for racks and UPS systems
- RTI: donated the control system
- Access Networks: donated the network
- Venstar: donated 6 thermostats
- AudioQuest: HDMI cables at cost
- Laser Shot: donated a marksman simulator
Also, distributor WAVE Electronics donated HDMI cables and keystone wall plates, manufacturer rep Par Products provided security cameras, and rep Lucas Sales donated Denon receivers.
In addition to Dixon at Imagine That, Pat Johnson at Ultramedia assisted with the installation and Kim Michaels of EENY in Manhattan donated three flat panel TVs and two Apple TVs.
Most notably, Paul Ostrin, owner of Unlimited Integration in Houston, volunteered to help finish the project installation and even be the contact point for all ongoing service needs. This connection gives LSF a local point of contact in Houston for service needs. Unlimited Integration also did some of the cable installation and termination.
Denise helps veterans retrain their brain to deal with physical pain, Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and the emotional challenges of acclimating to civil life after serving in the armed forces. LSF has computers that monitor and image the patient’s brain as they work through the challenges. It’s amazing to watch a demonstration of this program, which is one of many treatments LSF provides.
Denise’s message to integrators: “Tell them it matters,” she said. “Everything you do for us matters and makes a difference. The technological advancements of this facility will allow our guests to have a better experience and more effective treatment while they are here.”