Combat Boots to the Boardroom holds annual gala to raise awareness for veterans with PTSD

Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 9:58 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2023 at 11:18 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Saturday night, a local veteran-founded non-profit celebrated its fourth annual gala.

The event was all about raising awareness for veterans with PTSD.

Around 200 people came together to support the work done by Combat Boots to the Boardroom, a Richmond Hill non-profit that started five years ago.

Combat Boots to the Boardroom is an organization that helps veterans and their families as they transition to life after the military.

As a veteran himself, the co-founder says he understands how important this extra help is.

“In the military, the days are structured, pretty much you know what you’re going to do from day to day, but in the civilian world everything changes,” said James Smith, the co-founder of Combat Boots to the Boardroom.

He says for veterans that suffer from PTSD, the transition can be tough.

“It’s one of those things where it’s even more difficult because, now all of the sudden, you’re dealing with one trauma, now you have to deal with another trauma as well, trying to find jobs, trying to figure out, ok, what do I do know,” said Smith.

Which is exactly why Smith and his wife decided to begin this non-profit.

“We can actually tell them our story, say this is how we handle certain things, and they can take it as truth because we lived it,” said Smith.

Smith’s wife says this event was all about bringing together everyone who has helped the non-profit.

”It is our ‘United We Stand,’ fundraiser. This year we had seven business and community leaders in the community to raise resources for our new program called prosper that touches eight different industries,” said Lynnetta Smith, the executive director of Combat Boots to the Boardroom.

And with all of those resources, she says it will allow veterans to try out different jobs before deciding what works best for them.

This event also helped to raise money so veterans can participate in the non-profit’s programs for free.

“That way, they didn’t use cost as a deterrent for them to not be able to join this program.”

The Smith’s say some of the money raised from Saturday’s event will also go to get veterans headshots for sites like LinkedIn and Indeed so their applications can look clean and professional.