Veterans Rehab Program in San Antonio, TX

military rehab

Veterans Rehab Program in San Antonio, TX

Personal and genuine understanding of complex trauma serves as the basis for Blue Heron Recovery’s proprietary curriculum.

Our Founder/Owner Colonel Paul T. Mayer, MD has built more than a routine veterans’ and first responder track at Blue Heron Recovery. His personal experience throughout innumerable military assignments around the globe, combined with his leadership as the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Delegate for the National Registry of Emergency Technicians in defining operational and medical support for our nation’s civilian fire, EMS, and police departments, prove a genuine first-responder and veterans’ acumen like no other. His decades of experience as a Board-Certified Emergency Medicine physician fellowship trained in Disaster Management, have given Colonel Mayer an extraordinary perception of the world that only our nation’s veterans and first responders can truly understand. The intense camaraderie and compassion for brotherhood/sisterhood found among this exceptional community of heroes is inexorably part of the Blue Heron Program through and through.


Colonel Mayer, MD served more than 26 years honorable active-duty in the US Army. During his tenure, Colonel Mayer earned the Parachutists Badge, Air Assault Badge, Flight Surgeon Badge, and Expert Field Medicine Badge. He completed numerous overseas deployments, routinely managed the chaos of traumatic mass casualty battlefield and hospital incidents, endured horrific bomb blasts, lived through devastating mortar and rocket attacks, survived a helicopter crash, and received many awards for exemplary service. Through countless experiences as both soldier and medical expert, he developed first-hand understanding of the sacrifices and the experiences our military servicemembers and first responders face in tactical and combat situations. 

During a year-long deployment to the Middle East and Africa, he served as the Battalion Flight Surgeon for the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai, Egypt, was a rotary-wing pilot, supported the Special Operations Dive Detachment demining the Red Sea. While there, he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for a daring helicopter rescue of a critically injured civilian amidst an active minefield. His tour culminated in being awarded the Multinational Force and Observers Medal and Joint Service Commendation Medal for exceptional service. 

In following years, he deployed to Yugoslavia as the Officer in Charge of the Emergency Medical Treatment (EMT) section of the 67th Combat Support Hospital (CSH) where they established the first Combat Support Hospital in Kosovo. Colonel Mayer was also awarded the Kosovo Campaign medal with Bronze Service Star, and the first of two Army Commendation Medals. 

Upon redeployment, he was the Chief of the Emergency Department of the CSH in Wuerzburg, Germany. He had additional deployments to Kosovo, Macedonia, and Bosnia and was appointed Task Force Surgeon for Operation Victory Strike, the first ever joint live-fire exercise with the new NATO partner, Poland for which he was awarded a second Army Commendation Medal. 

Chief of the Emergency Department/ EMS Medical Director at Evans Army Hospital and EMS Medical Director and Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic (MAST) Mission, he was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal. He completed Command and General Staff College in residence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, while earning an Executive Masters in Business Administration. After that, he was selected for a Fellowship in Emergency Medical Services to lead medical, operational, and administrative aspects of EMS medicine as practiced in the prehospital arena in both urban and rural/suburban systems. 

While the United States was involved in two simultaneous wars overseas, Colonel Mayer became the Director of the Department of Combat Medic Training for the US Army.  There, he created and implemented Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3) medical training for the 8,000 medics in the 68W program, and integrated the program into the tri-service Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) for which he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. 

He then deployed to Camp Bucca, Iraq, where he served as the Deputy Commander for Clinical Services (DCCS) for the 31st Combat Support Hospital providing medical support to regional tactical units and detainee medical care for the largest (20,000 patient) detention facility in theater. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, and Army Expeditionary Force Medal. He was then appointed to Medical Director for the U.S. Army EMS Program Management where he served as EMS Medical Director for all 36,000 68W Combat Medics in the U.S. Army.  

Colonel Mayer envisioned, resourced, and supervised the creation of the Center for Prehospital Medicine at the Army Medical Department Center and School and served as its first Director. This department, now known as the Department of Operational Medicine, consolidated the subject matter expertise for operational medical care and training programs for all medical personnel in the US Army.  His military career culminated in being awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit Award for outstanding service to his country. 

“After years of developing this unique skill set, I felt an imperative to develop training programs to pass along this unique expertise in combat trauma by developing new programs and systems, thereby teaching other people how to save lives on and off the battlefield.” – Col Paul T. Mayer, MD

He continues to train deploying medical personnel in a simulated combat environment, serves as teaching faculty training resident physicians at a Level 1 Trauma Center, and treats patients at our local community hospitals. This wealth of unique experience and deep personal understanding is integrated into our treatment curriculum at Blue Heron Recovery. 

Not only has Colonel Mayer personally experienced physical, emotional, and psychological trauma in combat, but he has also spent an entire career treating trauma patients. For more than 30 years, he has treated others, both military and civilian, who are left for dead, beaten, shot, homeless, overdosed. Working in military, governmental, and civilian emergency rooms on a day-to-day basis he sees the consequences of substance use, trauma, and psychological pathology. 

“For several decades, I have experienced and treated the devastating effects substances wreak on society.  I see the horrific effects of substance use disorders on my patients and their families.  Can we prevent shootings, spouse abuse, child neglect, and other tragedies through deep, comprehensive treatment with well-trained professionals?” 

At Blue Heron Recovery 

Each week, Colonel Mayer, MD is on campus, personally engaging our clients. He shares his commitment to recovery by conducting face-to-face classes and offering our Blue Heron Recovery clients his individual attention. Colonel Mayer established Blue Heron Recovery to tackle the challenging mission of advocating for the treatment and shedding the stigma of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders from within the military, veteran, and civilian populations. If you are part of the exceptional community of heroes who served our nation as first responder, active-duty military, or veteran, you will feel the genuine support, intense camaraderie, and compassion that has been built for and personally delivered by one of your very own. Great things are happening here. 

Can You Recover Without Professional Help?

While there are several self-help techniques available to overcome addiction, such as support groups and mindfulness practices, it is essential to recognize the importance of seeking professional help. Addiction is a complex mental health issue that often requires specialized care and support from trained professionals.

Professional help includes evidence-based therapy approaches, personalized medication management, and medical supervision during the detoxification process. These comprehensive resources and interventions not only increase the chances of long-term recovery but also provide individuals with the necessary tools and guidance to navigate their journey toward sobriety.

By addressing the underlying factors contributing to addiction and receiving professional support, individuals can better understand their triggers, develop coping strategies, and ultimately reduce the likelihood of relapse.

Get Help With Rehab Today at Blue Heron Recovery

If you or someone you know requires professional help to overcome addiction, contact Blue Heron Recovery today at 888.403.6608. Our veteran rehab program offers an evidence-based, individualized treatment plan that can help you achieve lasting recovery. At Blue Heron Recovery, we strive to provide the support and resources necessary to help men get back to living the life they deserve.