Who We Are
The Mindful Veterans Project was founded in 2008 by Richard Vandemark and Dr. Teri Davis to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction classes to veterans, active duty, reserves, national guard, and their immediate families.
In 2008, Teri told Richard she wanted to start a program for veterans through Purple Mountain Institute. Richard, a Marine Viet Nam Veteran, said “Teach MBSR. It’s the only thing that ever helped me.”
Richard then made a donation to PMI to support Dr. Davis to train with Drs. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santarelli, and the staff at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where MBSR was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and MBSR teachers are trained. Until his death in 2013 from an Agent Orange-related illness, Richard paid all the expenses for Dr. Davis to become trained to teach MBSR to veterans, and then the Continuing Medical Education to support her training.
Richard joined the Marines at 17. He was in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines – “First of The First”. (USMC 1964-67; RVN 1965-66, “C”, 1/1.)
Dr. Teri Davis is a Naturopathic Physician (ND), licensed in Arizona since 1978. She practices Integrative Medicine, Women’s Health, Stress Management, Clinical Nutrition, and Energy Medicine. These days she does all of that in her capacity as Executive Director of PMI and Director and MBSR Instructor for the Mindful Veterans Project.
Because of Richard’s great suffering and even greater generosity when he found peace of mind, he worked with Dr. Davis to create a program to bring the same opportunities for inner peace to veterans and service members, their partners and families.
We began with half a dozen veterans per class, with classes offered four times a year. We now teach about 15 classes a year with up to 30 veterans in a class. We get referrals from the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Healthcare System (SAVAHCS), the Tucson Vet Center, Davis Monthan Air Force Base, private providers, word-of-mouth, and our own direct outreach.
In addition to offering MBSR classes to veterans and civilians, we also teach meditation to VA hospital staff, and The City of Tucson’s Veteran’s Court.
All of our MBSR classes and meditation classes are offered at NO COST to veterans, service members, and their partners and families.
Your donations allow us to continue teaching these classes.