Vireo Health Recognizes Veterans and Active Duty Service Members on Memorial Day and Every Day
While Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer festivities, its true meaning is far more important. On Memorial Day we remember all of the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms and liberties and take the time to appreciate our veterans and active duty service members who continue to keep our nation safe. At Vireo Health, we’re incredibly proud to employ many veterans and provide life improving medicine and compassionate discounts for patients who have served and continue to serve, as well as their families.
Memorial Day is also a time to reflect on our company’s beginnings and a reminder of why we continue to strive to provide high quality products and care for our patients. Our founder and CEO Dr. Kyle Kingsley was inspired to start Vireo Health after meeting a Gulf War veteran in an emergency room who found relief through medical cannabis. This veteran had suffered a gunshot wound in combat resulting in a spinal cord injury. From that point on, he experienced debilitating pain and muscle spasms in his legs, which made it difficult to go about his daily life. After being prescribed large amounts of opiates with numerous adverse side effects, he decided to self-medicate with cannabis. Soon after the switch to cannabis, he was provided with significant relief from his symptoms with little to no side effects. Since then, he’s been able to return to his normal everyday life. This is just one of countless stories that inspire us to continue innovating and helping tens of thousands of patients each day across the U.S.
We’re proud that several veterans are members of our Vireo team. Today, we want to show our appreciation for two of our Vireo veterans, Tim Blum and Santino Reynolds!
Tim is the Human Resources Manager at Vireo Health. During his time in the U.S. Marine Corps, Tim saw firsthand the physical and mental impact of serving in the military. Tim was drawn to Vireo and the cannabis industry because of his desire to help others and Vireo’s focus on patients. When military service ends in injury or disability, Tim believes we owe it to our vets to provide them with all treatment options available. Unfortunately, as cannabis remains a controlled substance the doctors at Veterans Affairs are not able to direct veterans to medical cannabis as an option. Tim hopes that through education about the benefits of medical cannabis this will soon change.
At Vireo, Santino serves as a security officer in Minneapolis. He was drawn to Vireo and the cannabis industry because of cannabis’s medicinal properties in helping him maintain a healthy lifestyle while suffering from PTSD. Before coming to Vireo, Santino served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. There he learned to be adaptable and how to be comfortable even in high stress or unfamiliar situations.
In addition, Vireo supports year-round compassionate discounts for veterans, active duty service members and their families.
Cannabis is medicine and we’ve seen firsthand how medical cannabis can support veterans suffering from PTSD, chronic pain and other ailments as a result of injuries suffered in the line of duty, including our patients, Tony L. and Amy W.
Tony L. joined the U.S. Marine Corps in November 2003. While overseas, Tony saw combat firsthand and many members of his unit were injured by IEDs and land mine blasts. When he returned home, he was diagnosed with PTSD. At the time, there was a major stigma associated with PTSD within both the armed forces and in the general public. Tony’s PTSD caused anxiety, and he found it harder and harder to put his mind at ease. As a result, he would lie awake for hours. He tried several different sleeping pills, but the pills made him feel loopy and hungover, and he afraid of becoming addicted or overdosing on the medication. Finally, Tony tried medical cannabis and immediately felt a calming relief without any of the side effects. While Tony fought against the stigma surrounding PTSD, he continues to fight the stigma around medical cannabis.
“When used responsibly, like any other medication, [medical cannabis] can be very effective to help out our vets and fellow Americans in our communities,” said Tony.
One in ten veterans in the United States lives with severe chronic pain, including Amy W. In the 14 years since her chronic pain first developed, she has spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars trying different treatments. Her diagnosis came with numerous prescriptions for opioids, but she refused to take them. For Amy, using medical cannabis with other complementary medicine treatments has brought relief and made her feel better than she has in a long time.
Thank you to all the members of our team and our patients who have served and continue to serve, as well as their families who support them. Vireo is proud to stand by our armed forces and we remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on this Memorial Day and every day of the year.