GallantFew: Vets Guiding Vets

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GallantFew
Vets Guiding Vets

GallantFew’s mission is to prevent veteran isolation by connecting new veterans with hometown veteran mentors, thereby facilitating a peaceful, successful transition from military service to a civilian life filled with hope and purpose.

We believe this will prevent veteran unemployment, homelessness and suicide.

We know that, in many cases, the trust level between a veteran and non-veterans can be low or nil. Another veteran can sometimes offer the only assurance that a veteran can have – the only trust, the only stability.

We’ve all been there when we were needed, when that call came. Now we know that we can trust one another to get some things done right – because that’s how veterans get the important things done – with a plan, with high standards and with a commitment to one another.

What we do, aka #azimuthcheck

Have you ever done night land navigation? Old school, it was done using a compass with glowing dots and a pace cord where one bead indicated 100 meters traveled. Walking through dense woods at night, unable to see anything other than the glowing dots on the compass, we focused on keeping on azimuth and on pace. When a tree stood in our path, we went around it to the left, the next one to the right. Done correctly, keeping on azimuth in virtual blackness isn’t easy but it is possible.

Stray from that azimuth a degree or two at a hundred meters and it’s still easy to find your objective. Stray for ten thousand meters and you’re in a different grid square.

Military transition is a lot like that.

Your transition plan is your azimuth. Stray a couple degrees (ineffective networking, self-medicating, etc.) for a few months and a GallantFew Guide can pop you back on azimuth.

Stray a couple degrees for five, or ten years, and the result can be broken relationships, ruined finances, crushed dreams, no purpose and no hope. The longer off-azimuth, the harder it may be to get back on azimuth – but it’s never impossible.

Whether your ETS is tomorrow or was ten years ago:

The core focus of GallantFew is one-on-one mentoring by a veteran with a veteran. We share lessons learned on active duty, but traditional transition doesn’t share transition lessons learned. We want to change that, and we want to prevent veterans from becoming isolated and frustrated. You may feel that your thoughts, feelings and emotions are unique to you, but they aren’t.

We call the mentor “Guide” and the veteran being mentored, a “Future Guide.”

Ideally both veterans:

  • live in the same hometown
  • were in the same branch of the service
  • had the same Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)
  • had the same units of assignment
  • were deployed in the same combat theaters
  • have similar injuries

Bottom line: we want our guides and veterans to have as many things in common as possible because this generates a much quicker and stronger bond.

We have created some specific programs for specific veteran populations: U.S. Army Rangers have The Darby Project, and Marine Corps Raiders and combat Infantryman have The Raider Project. Soon coming online is a program specific to the U.S. Air Force, called Wings Level. We envision many more of these veteran community silos in the future, and we want you to help us build them.

Ready to get started? Good! First look through our legal stuff, and remember we verify all veterans unless one of us stood in formation next to you.

Realize that we will ask you some personal questions such as any criminal background, suspended license, DUI’s, type discharge, etc. When GallantFew formed, we originally only accepted veterans with honorable discharges. We rapidly realized that veterans with Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharges needed help the most, but were denied the services they need, so we changed that. We now help any veteran to the best of our abilities. We ask these questions so we can understand your unique qualifications and challenges, and when we connect you with another veteran we want each of you to be aware of and comfortable with the background of the other veteran.

Our mission’s goal is to help you achieve a civilian life full of purpose and hope. We can’t create it for you. YOU have to own it. We’ll do everything we can to help you along the way.

Only one person is responsible for your happiness or success – you.

GallantFew.org is rated Guidestar.org Gold

For this holiday week, The Cipher Brief is giving this space to individuals and nonprofits that support the national security community, and inviting our readers to learn about and support them. This is a preview of a future weekly feature to highlight charities in this space, with preference given to those with a Guidestar.org rating of gold and above. To those giving back, we say happy holidays and thank you for what you do.

— Suzanne Kelly, CEO & Publisher, Brad Christian, COO, & Kimberly Dozier, Executive Editor

 

The Author is GallantFew

GallantFew’s mission is to prevent veteran isolation by connecting new veterans with hometown veteran mentors, thereby facilitating a peaceful, successful transition from military service to a civilian life filled with hope and purpose.

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