Our founder & President/Chairman of the Board of Directors has a very diverse and substantial amount of experience with the issues faced by veterans and first responders. He served four years as a U.S. Marine, three years as a municipal police officer, 18 years as a Navy SEAL, as well as being an EMT, deputy sheriff, and SWAT advisor for a local area law enforcement tactical team. With eleven combat deployments under his belt, he witnessed as a firsthand participant, the psychological, psychiatric, emotional, and mental/cognitive damage that unresolved mental and emotional trauma causes. After a complete and total mental health breakdown, he admitted himself to a secure mental healthcare facility where he finally received the professional care he needed to begin to win the battle with his demons, and successfully keep them at bay. After all of his combat tours of duty in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, he never expected his most difficult, and most dangerous battle was going to be inside his own mind.
Upon his recovery (which is an ongoing/never ending process ), and his eventual release from the secure mental health facility, he took the information and knowledge he gained and began to turn to a variety of treatment experiences, programs, activities, and events to continue to improve his mental health, while also educating himself on his conditions, so he may communicate and share this knowledge with others. The combination of his experiences eventually led to the formation of Giving Back, LLC in 2018, and ultimately has turned into what is now Giving Back, so that no other veteran or first responder has to endure the agony of mentally and emotionally suffering in silence, battling their demons alone, or have to know the pain of watching helplessly while their reality comes crashing down around them.
Having lost numerous friends, teammates, and colleagues to suicide and the war inside their head, he takes a very personal interest in ensuring no one fights their demons alone. This includes our heroes’ families, as they suffer too. And in many cases, it is more difficult for the family to find the resources THEY need!
We lose, on average, 22 Veterans each day to suicide. Since 2010, more veterans have died by their own hand than were killed during the entire Vietnam War. (That is more than 58,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines). Police Officers/Deputies, EMS personnel, and Firefighters are more likely to die from suicide than any of the hazards they face in the line of duty.
Repeated exposure to trauma changes the very core of who we are. Emotionally, psychologically, and physiologically. Unchecked and untreated, these changes can lead to chemical and hormonal changes and imbalances inside the body/brain, sleep disorders, major depression, social isolation, substance abuse, and other self-destructive behaviors. At Giving Back, we use our experiences, successes, and failures to bridge the gap, and bring these people who risk and sacrifice so much on our behalf, back from the Hell they’ve experienced and endured, and help them to reunite with their families in a meaningful and sustainable way, reconnect with the world around them, and provide continued peer and resource support and liaison services so they don’t become the next preventable suicide.
We ensure that every penny is used to its fullest potential, and goes directly to our programs and events designed to prevent another needless tragedy, and restore a life with meaning and purpose, or repairs a marriage that appeared destined to fail because the warrior within was still engaged in a secret war inside his, or her mind. What is not said, and the conversations our Veterans and First Responders don’t have are killing them each and every day. It is time for us to do whatever it takes to put a stop to it.