SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Thousands of members in the military call the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire home.
Many don’t realize the resources available to them, especially when converting to civilian life.
This week, a group of veteran non-profits got together to try and solve this problem.
Roy Brown Jr’s non-profit, “Operations Patriots FOB” sits on over 250 acres of land in Ridgeland, South Carolina.
Veterans are encouraged to come out and connect with the outdoors, as way to help them find a purpose through various recreational activities.
With plenty of land, Roy Brown Jr. decided to invite a few non-profits over to network and bounce new ideas off each other.
“OPFOB is not just a place for what we are doing, OPFOB is a place for nonprofits to come together in partnership,” said Roy Brown Jr. CEO/Founder Operation Patriots FOB.
One of those nonprofits that came by was the Fallen Outdoors, a nationwide group with a strong presence in South Carolina that help to get veterans outdoors.
“As soon as we were able to, we got two veterans down here hunting quickly as we possibly could. It just turned into a team, “Ken Gillette State lead, South Carolina Fallen Warriors.
These nonprofits are also working to get veterans out on the water to heal.
Captain Jimmy Lee Armel is a former Ranger who takes combat veterans with PTSD on fishing trips out of Tybee Island.
Armel knows the importance of having that strong support system while making the transfer to civilian life.
“You can do whatever you want out here with like-minded people that understand what you are going through. As someone who was physically dependent on alcohol and has PTSD, it is huge knowing that people are out there that care. I know when I was down and out, I didn’t feel like there was a whole lot out there,” said Captain Jimmy Lee Armel, American Fishing Charters.
Help for veterans can come from areas outside of the woods and the water, it can even come from a parking lot.
That’s one veteran goal Enrique Murillo shared during this meetup.
His group creates parking signs that commemorate the memory of fallen veterans and first responders.
“Our saying is a person dies twice. Once physically and a second time when we fail to remember them. Every time you scan that QR code on that sign you are keeping that person’s memory alive. Not only for them but for their family members,” Enrique Murillo, Founder.
These groups also were able to network with the Fight the War Within Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission of connecting those fighting internal wars to mental health resources.
Founder Miranda Briggs hopes that meetings like this one in Ridgeland will help veteran nonprofits work together in the future.
“That’s a big thing about the nonprofit world that we are learning, that’s it’s dog eat dog, and it should not be that way with nonprofits. If we all have a common goal, a common mission to help feed people that are fighting internal wars, then we need to work together, “Miranda Briggs,” Founder of Fight The War Within Foundation.
To reach out to these nonprofits click on the links below: