We envision a world where our veterans have access to the most advanced healthcare options to heal from the mental and physical wounds of war.
We believe that actions speak louder than words. We lead by example and do not compromise our integrity.
We persevere through challenges. We know we have what it takes to overcome obstacles both external and internal.
We commit to those actions with the greatest potential for change, because we know that lives are at stake.
We dedicate our work to saving lives, with gratitude and generosity for those who support us along the way.
We understand what it’s like to struggle with the mental and physical effects of trauma, because we’ve been through it too.
We share a mutual sense of character, strength, and commitment with the veterans we serve.
When he was medically retired after 13 years. and multiple combat deployments as a U.S. Navy SEAL, Marcus Capone and his wife, Amber, thought that life would return to normal. Instead, their struggle had just begun. Marcus was experiencing an escalating myriad of challenges, including depression, isolation, cognitive impairment, excessive alcohol use, headaches, insomnia, and impulsivity. Marcus was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but, instinctively, Amber felt there was more to be discovered. After learning about the effects of blast waves, concussive, and subconcussive brain injuries, everything started to become clear. Marcus’ military career as an explosives expert, combined with his prior years of contact sports, had left him with the invisible wounds of traumatic brain injury (TBI), a condition that has significant overlap with PTSD, and is often not properly diagnosed.
When all hope seemed lost, Amber learned about ibogaine, a plant-based psychedelic used traditionally in West African ceremonial settings that has been studied as a potential treatment for opioid addiction and other mental health conditions. Marcus traveled to a reputable independent clinic outside of the U.S. to receive treatment with Ibogaine, as well as 5-MeO-DMT, another naturally occurring psychedelic compound. Immediately after the sessions, Marcus felt a massive weight had been lifted, his cognitive functioning returned, he had no desire for alcohol, and he stopped taking all prescription medications.
Marcus and Amber dedicated themselves to finding out if psychedelic therapy could also help his fellow teammates, many of whom were also experiencing the combined challenges of PTSD and TBI.Get Involved
Since 2019, the non-profit Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions (VETS) has provided grants for hundreds of U.S. Special Forces veterans to receive psychedelic-assisted therapy treatment outside the U.S., as well as preparation and integration coaching. VETS believes that psychedelic therapy can lay the foundation for further healing. This “foundational healing” enables continued progress across a range of therapeutic modalities, and is supported by a robust coaching program, providing a holistic treatment solution for veterans.About Our HEaling Grants
Amber has a history of fixing, building, and tenaciously seeking solutions to complex challenges. In 2019, she chose to walk away from a successful career as a top-producing real estate agent in order to pursue her most critical work yet, serving as Co-Founder and Executive Director of VETS. As her own personal and professional life began to unravel upon Marcus’s separation from the military, she became determined not to become a victim, but to pursue victory for her own family, as well as countless others who are suffering. Amber possesses a heart for serving others, and a steadfast determination to make a difference.
Cynthia Rajcic has her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, is a Certified Psychedelic Integration Coach through Being True to You, and founder of Cynthia Jane Psychedelic Integration Coaching. She and her team have been supporting VETS and their recipients since its inception in January 2020. Prior to her work with VETS, Cynthia served as a Retreat facilitator for Crossroads Ibogaine Treatment Center in Baja, Mexico, and a Lead Therapist for The Mission Within. In addition to her work as a coach, Cynthia is a licensed, practicing Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, California, where she conducts ketamine-assisted therapy for local clinics, and works with individuals to reduce harm and integrate their own work with plant medicine or altered states of consciousness. With over 13 years of clinical experience in trauma, developmental, and transpersonal psychology, Cynthia has discovered a passion for treating psychological, spiritual, emotional and relationship challenges through the development of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and recognition of the healing power we each inherently hold inside of us. She has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Integration (PHRI), and ketamine-assisted therapy, and has completed Parts A and B of Naropa University’s MDMA-Assisted Therapy Certificate offered in conjunction with MAPS. In her free time, Cynthia enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Brad earned his B.A. in Communication and Psychology from Stanford University in 2005 and his M.A. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego in 2009. He directed communications for the non-profit MAPS from 2009 to 2020, helping it scale from a small advocacy organization to a global leader in psychedelic pharmaceutical development. Brad Burge is also the founder of Integration Communications, which provides industry-leading PR, media relations, and education services in psychedelic science, therapy, health, and wellness. Brad is a certified Wilderness First Responder, and when he’s not plugged in, you’ll find him in the mountains, carrying a backpack, somewhere down a long trail.
Chris Bellesia is System Administrator for VETS, Inc. where he oversees the development of back-end systems for the organization. Since 2015, Chris has helped psychedelic medicine centers with program development and project management. Most recently, he served as project manager for The Mission Within, a veteran-focused treatment center. Previously, he worked with an addiction treatment center focused on the clinical application of Ibogaine, and he has also served as operations manager for a retreat center focused on the ceremonial use of iboga.
Chris is deeply inspired by the healing he’s witnessed amongst the veteran community and is honored to contribute to this profound work. He believes a new paradigm of healthcare is possible, and he’s working towards a graduate degree to become a Physician Assistant. Chris received a B.S. in Supply Chain Management and a B.A. in Sustainability from Arizona State University. He is based in San Diego, California.
Emily Rajcic earned her B.A. in Philosophy from University of California Los Angeles. Emily has an extensive background working with individuals, groups, and businesses in rebuilding the physical and mental foundation through which their core values, philosophy, and successes rest on. She believes codes of conduct rooted in intrinsic value are becoming more important for the regulation of society’s future, and that the key to a sustainable one lies in an organization’s ability to streamline company values into all operations and objectives, with the ethical framework a necessary component of a stable and prosperous foundation. She aligns with VETS’ mission and is proud to work alongside an amazing group of individuals committed to research, resource, and advocacy for veterans and within the psychedelic community at large.
Roxanne Hallisey is an honors psychology graduate of Austin Peay State University where she studied military and veteran perceptions of psychedelics to better understand how these substances can be utilized through best practices. A community creator, her focus is creating equitable access to psychedelic-assisted therapy and education to underserved and veteran groups while facilitating reciprocity and honor to the Indigenous communities who have bestowed plant medicine traditions on the rest of the world. The partner of an Army Explosives Ordinance Disposal veteran, Roxanne’s work in military mental health advocacy and assisting VETS with foundational healing and growth through psychedelic medicines is a deeply personal mission. She also serves as the Community and Education Coordinator for Psychedelic.Support, a global provider network and platform for evidence-based psychedelic education. Her work in the space is inspired by the knowledge of our interconnectedness and hopes to inspire healing and understanding through these medicines.
Marcus is an entrepreneur and former Navy SEAL who spent a sizable portion of his 13 year military career deployed to a war zone. After Marcus’s transformational experience with entheogenic medicine, he felt compelled to immediately begin helping friends who were also experiencing the same post-war challenges. Marcus has been involved with several start-up companies since leaving the military, serves on a number of advisory boards, and is the Co-Founder of VETS. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University, a Master’s Degree in Global Leadership from The University of San Diego, and an MBA from USC Marshall Business School.
Nick is a graduate of both the United States Naval Academy and Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/S) Class 247. Upon completion of SEAL training in 2004, Nick assumed progressively higher positions of leadership within Naval Special Warfare, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Originally from Chicago, Nick received his Bachelor in Science from the United States Naval Academy in 2003 and his Masters of Science in Real Estate from The University of San Diego in 2013. Nick is the Co-Founder and CEO of Protekt Products, a wellness company that is committed to positively impacting customer health via both personal care products and nutritional supplements.
Suzanne studied English literature at the University of Richmond, and holds certificates in nonprofit management from Duke University and special education advocacy from The College of William and Mary’s Law School. Suzanne raised 5 children and supported her husband through 11 wartime deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. She was a Naval Special Warfare ombudsman during her husband’s active duty career, serving as a liaison between families and the military command. Suzanne has over 10 years of experience creating and growing successful non-profit organizations to benefit military families. She is honored to serve as secretary on the VETS Board of Directors.
Sara grew up in a military family, traveling the globe and attending over 15 schools before graduating and marrying Navy SEAL, Chad Wilkinson. Sara has been in the fitness industry for over 20 years. As a successful gym owner and tenacious entrepreneur, Sara was recruited by CrossFit LLC to become a course supervisor, and spent the past 8 years engaging in public speaking, training, and instilling cohesiveness and camaraderie within the CrossFit global community. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree within the College of Health and Human Performance from the University of Florida and is a Level 4 CrossFit Coach. Sara’s husband served 21 years as an active duty Navy SEAL with more than 10 deployments before succumbing to the affects of PTSD, TBIs and blast wave injuries leading to his death by suicide on Oct. 29, 2018. The couple have two teenage children. Unable to receive treatments, himself, Sara has seen the positive impact VETS has provided to Chad’s teammates, and hopes to lend her voice and story to change the narrative and numbers surrounding the veteran suicide epidemic.