LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Pete Naschak is a former Navy SEAL and patient at the Orthohealing Center in Los Angeles where veterans can receive free medical treatment to heal their lingering pain from combat.
After serving 21 years in the Navy, Naschak is now the founder and president of Performance Activation, a company that works with Olympic coaches and athletes to help them perform at a higher level.
But like many veterans, Naschak had a lot of pain.
"I'm out there working hard and pushing them, so I'm pushing myself. I have to be able to operate at a high level," said Naschak.
Naschak is a patient of Dr. Steven Sampson, the founder of the Orthohealing Center. Sampson does procedures using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as well as stem-cell therapy, which uses a patient's own cells.
Sampson helped elite athletes, and now through an organization called "Warrior2Warrior," he is helping veterans like Naschak for free.
"Some of our warrior athletes have a very high pain threshold, but due to the rigors of being in the military they wear heavy packs, they jump from helicopters, they're falling, there's blast trauma. Individuals like Pete can develop advanced arthritis," said Sampson.
Sampson recently went to Congress representing The Arthritis Foundation and proposed a $20 million grant due to arthritis in the military, something they call the "silent enemy."
"There's such a culture we call the 'silent enemy' where military won't speak up of their pain and they're afraid to address it. So we actually have a shortage of patients to treat in the military because we don't have access to them," said Sampson.
But Naschak said he's glad he found out about the treatment.
"After getting the PRP and the MC work I ended up completely almost losing all that pain," he said.
Sampson says helping these veterans is the least he can do to give back.
"The government invests millions of dollars into these warrior heroes and anything we can do to try to help them transition from their military to civilian lives is rewarding for us," he said.
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