“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”Joseph Campbell
Ensure every Hero has access to the medical, emotional, occupational and housing resources they need in the time and place they are needed.
Note from creative co-founder Dawn Keegan: Hero Harbor was founded as a direct result of my experiences and unique understanding of the Hero demographic. Our stories might be different, but we have many things in common. Too many of us are suffering needlessly at the hands of individuals and organizations lacking the knowledge, skills or empathy needed to connect with this very special and crucial community.
Lean on us so they can lean on you
No amount of separations classes or exit interviews can prepare most of us for taking off that uniform. Regardless of your job or how long you served, it takes time to feel comfortable again once you walk away from your Hero post for the last time.
At Hero Harbor we know how independent and self-sufficient you are. We understand that you want to find a new normal where you pursue your dreams, provide for your family and find a way to pay it forward without giving up your sense of autonomy.
The women and men who succeed in Hero occupations are a different breed. They tend to be driven, goal oriented and have a gift for problem solving. While they are independent enough to stand on their own, they are also team players. Very often they put the needs of others before their own.
While in uniform, they are easily recognizable to us, each other and to themselves. However, when the uniform comes off it can be an extreme shock to all involved. It takes time to find balance between appearing like everyone else yet continuing to think and operate like a Hero on the inside. The more dynamic and challenging your service was, the more importance must be placed on finding exactly the right path back.
Therefore, a couple things are necessary to make the transition as smooth as possible. As Hero supporters, we must be willing to accept them into their new roles, whether personal or professional, without expecting them to be like everyone else. They probably aren’t even like the people we knew before service.
Many of the traits that can seem challenging, are the very traits that make our Heroes most valuable to us as employees and social peers. As transitioning Heroes, we must also be patient with ourselves. There is an important place waiting for you, it’s a matter of figuring out what that is. That’s where Hero Harbor and your fellow Heroes can help.
You Weren’t Alone Then; You Aren’t Alone Now
The turning point in most Hero journeys, where the days become more meaningful and the nights less terrifying, is when we find our way to give back.
That’s why HH doesn’t just focus on helping Heroes find work that pays the bills.
We look beyond that to help you find a purpose driven passion project that allows you to wake up excited about the day and gives you a reason to push through those inevitable dark moments.
Whether helping to build the communities that Hero Harbor members will occupy or testing other forms of service until you find the one meaningful to you, HH is beside you on that path.
Hero Harbor Transitional Housing Communities
How many of us either stay in the area where we separate from service or return to the area from which our journey began?
The difficulty is that so often we are kind of on our own in these places. Even if we have friends and family, few of them are equipped to understand and support us during this next phase. You can end up feeling isolated and alone in the time when you most need support.
In the Hero Harbor communities you are surrounded by men and women like you who can point you in the right direction or just be there when needed.
21st Century Whole Health Care
Making use of all available resources just makes sense. But some of the care most readily available to us is antiquated and overburdened.
By using providers with the newest technology and less tax to their resources, Hero Harbor community members get the best of both worlds.
Advice from fellow Heroes
Create meaning in your life that’s greater than yourself, find a tribe of like-minded individuals, pursue a passion based on impact, get your education, read books, move around more and eat less shit. Build a relationship with yourself and a higher power, learn to tell your story, learn to own your vulnerabilities, ask for help, and continue to serve your community and others.
Don’t be afraid to rely on others. Don’t let pride get in the way of life during this time because you are more vulnerable now than ever and pride can take you down the wrong path. There is nothing wrong with being afraid and asking for help.
Don’t worry about finding the perfect job. This is the time for new beginnings and to pursue your passion.
If a Hero wants to set themselves up for a successful transition, backwards plan 12 months and use the Transition Assistance Program. Do not postpone…waiting until 6 months or less increases your odds of struggling upon transition. There is so much info out there and available to our Brothers and Sisters in Arms that goes undiscovered due to not enough time.
First and foremost, if you’re planning on departing from whichever branch you’re with, make sure it’s what YOU want.
Second, if you go through with departing….find something that you’re passionate about regardless if you’ll make a lot of money or not.
Get involved with Veteran organizations, make connections with people who understand exactly what it is you feel. And if all possible, live life as if today would be your last day on this earth. Remember……more than just your immediate family and friends have love and respect for you.