Commander's Project 2017

My Commander’s Project will be in support of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). They are the leading organization advocating for the 1.6 million Americans suffering from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD).  Their mission is to find a cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of those affected by these diseases, including our Veterans.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the large intestine. The difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease is  that Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract, but ulcerative colitis affects only the colon. The prevalence of Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) increased twofold to threefold among VA users between 1998 and 2009.

IBD is associated with service in the Persian Gulf and the prevalence of IBD is increasing among veterans. A 2015 study found that Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD were more likely to have autoimmune disorders such as IBD. Flare-ups of the disease may occur during times of emotional or physical stress. Crohn’s patients with PTSD were more than 13 times likelier to experience worsening symptoms than those without PTSD.

Almost three-fourths of Crohn’s disease patients will have a relapsing-and-remitting disease course throughout their lifetime. Flare-ups of disease may occur during times of emotional or physical stress. Only 10 percent achieve long-term remission.

There is no known cause or cure for IBD, but fortunately there are many effective treatments to help control it. However, if medications fail to control the symptoms of IBD, or if certain complications occur, surgery may be required.

Since more research is needed as well as providing supportive services to help people cope with these chronic intestinal diseases I invite everyone to join my effort. Your participation can and will make a difference.

For additional information or to make a donation please contact Sons of AMVETS National Headquarters at 301-683-4099.

Respectfully yours in service,


Mark Serpis


National Sons of AMVETS


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