Operation Warrior Wellness A David Lynch Foundation National Initiative Tweeter Facebook Sign Up for Email Updates

WWII veteran Jerry
Yellin and Vietnam
veteran Ed Schloeman
met on the sands of
Iwo Jima in 2010 and
Operation Warrior
Wellness was born.

“It wasn’t until
he learned
the Transcendental
Meditation technique
in the mid-70’s
that Jerry was able
to find relief.”

A Warriors’ Encounter

In March of 2010, two veterans from two different wars met on the sands of Iwo Jima to commemorate the great battle that was fought 65 years before. Jerry Yellin, a distinguished P-51 fighter pilot from World War II, and Ed Schloeman, a Marine Vietnam veteran, immediately took a liking to each other. In a subsequent visit to Jerry’s home in Florida, Ed discovered that along with being an enthusiastic golfer and talented writer, Jerry pursued one more extraordinary passion: He was an avid practitioner of Transcendental Meditation.

Jerry’s Road to Overcoming PTS

Struggling with the effects of traumatic stress in the aftermath of World War II, Jerry found himself unable to enjoy life: “I couldn’t find any contentment, any reason to succeed, any connection to anyone that had meaning or value.” It wasn’t until he learned the Transcendental Meditation technique in the mid-70’s that Jerry was able to find relief. He described the impact of the technique on his life: “My anger and restlessness began to dissipate, and a calmness that I never knew became apparent.”

Birth of the Initiative

Inspired by his new friend’s experience with TM, Ed soon learned the technique and was amazed by the effect it had on his life. Both men realized that if this technique could so deeply impact their lives, they must try to share it with their fellow veterans and active duty military—many of whom were also suffering from the destructive effects of traumatic stress. Operation Warrior Wellness was born out of their collective inspiration—a David Lynch Foundation-sponsored outreach to bring Transcendental Meditation to veterans, military personnel and their families.