Ensure every Hero has access to the medical, emotional, occupational and housing resources they need in the time and place they are needed.
"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." Joseph Campbell
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
No matter where we are in our Hero journey, we all need a support system. Even the most veteran Heroes among us still have times when they experience doubt over some aspect of their lives. The key is knowing who to turn to and trusting they have your best interest at heart. Unfortunately, many of the social tools we turn to are not built with us in mind. At best they are difficult to navigate, at worst they are run by greed driven corporations that don't take active steps to protect us from stolen valor or other hateful actions.
Purpose Driven Occupational Guidance
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 helps you 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. -- Adam C. - Marine Veteran (See Adam's story here.)
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. -- J.B.- Marine Veteran (See JB's story here.)
First and foremost, if you’re planning on departing from whichever branch you’re with, make sure it’s what YOU want. That was my mistake, listening to family and friends when I was happy with where I was at and what I did.
Second, if you go through with departing....find something that you’re passionate about whether it’s a dream or an actual pathway you want to follow, be passionate about it regardless if you’ll make a lot of money or not.
Be open with family, friends and in your relationships about what you have experienced whether good or bad. It’s a part of what’s made you who you are today and that you can never change.
Lastly, understand that you’re not the only one who’s experienced traumatic events. Don’t be afraid to seek counseling or whatever you think will help you. Just don’t go down the dark pathway that has no return. I served during the stigmatic time that whatever you experienced, it was part of the job....suck it up and bury deep. And that works.....for awhile, then you find it slowly creeping back up on you. Please please please.....talk to someone if you find yourself heading in that direction. 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.
Not just a saying.....but a way of life
Lorne M. - Marine Veteran
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. - Anthony C. - Army Veteran