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South Carolina Non-profit, Hidden Wounds, Reports Successful First Year

COLUMBIA, SC – Hidden Wounds successfully completed its first year of operations on Jan 1. Under the direction of Anna Bigham, founder and executive director and Chris Younts, co-founder and chief financial officer, and through the efforts of a core group of volunteers, Hidden Wounds was able to
assist 68 veterans, more than one per week.

“The greatest weapon we have is the ability to help each other and our first year has been a time of hard work and significant growth,” said Anna Bigham, founder and CEO.

This growth was only possible through a critical partnership with Give an Hour and donations from 414 private donors totaling $45,727. Hidden Wounds was also able to assist with the benefits counseling of approximately 50 veterans at the Midlands Transitional Retreat Center in Lexington.

“It is a privilege to honor the many who have served our nation,” said Anna. “We were truly blessed to have tremendous support from the community during our first year. It is our hope that this support continues to grow as we strive to serve more veterans in the coming year.”

Hidden Wounds has established a well-rounded Board of Directors to help guide their mission in the coming year and distant future. Board of Directors members are as follows: Anna Bigham, Chris Younts, Dylan W. Goff, Barbara Livingston, Capt. Charlie Hall, Kim Milano, Thad Viers, Roxanne Wilson, Col. Steven Shugart and Bill Dukes.

According to the latest numbers available from the Veteran’s Administration (2008), there are over 408,000 veterans in South Carolina. Of the 1,049,540 service members currently serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom, 18,000 are from South Carolina. Hidden Wounds
successes in its first year are just the beginning of an on-going critical mission.


Hidden Wounds is a non-profit 501(c)(3),founded in January 2010 by Anna Bigham. The organization’s mission is to help heroes battle the invisible war at home through providing immediate and emergency psychological treatment for veterans and military personnel suffering from PTSD, TBI, and other psychological post war challenges.(


  1. I hope you realize that a Companion, Therapy, and Emotional Support Animals are not Service Dogs. All of these kinds of pets aren’t aloweld public access under the ADA and the Rehab Act (Veterans).. We’re having a problem nationwide that Veterans are having their doctors signing them off a dog to help w/ their PTSD, etc.. In fact if the dog dosen’t have 2 yrs of extensive training then its not a Service Dog. My Service Dog has been attacked a couple times w/ so call ESA, Companion Dogs at the VA Hospital.. All of them stated that its their companion who makes me feel good.I hope that this VA Hospital understands that none of these dogs will be aloweld public access We have to stop these free companions for Vets before it gets out of hand.This is the newest from the ADA Mar 15,2011How “Service Animal” Is DefinedService animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office.

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