The Independence Fund’s OperationResiliency was born out of grief and quickly accelerated toward innovation and hope. CEO Sarah Verardo was attending a funeral for one of her husband’s battle buddies who died by suicide in September 2018. As the group of reunited brothers departed, one said wryly, “See you at the next one.” The sobering statement resonated with Sarah, but as ever, she channeled her emotion into action.
Operation Resiliency is an out-of-the-box solution to a problem that is plaguing the Veteran community. The connectivity and peer-to-peer support assists in reforming the bond of brotherhood that was forged in war, promoting connectedness, coping skills, and accountability.
Operation Resiliencyreunites post-9/11 military units who survived traumatic experiences together during their deployment and have been impacted by Veteran suicide once home. Relying on the trust and brotherhood forged in combat, military units gather to address their next, and most vital, mission on the home front: Preventing Veteran suicide. Together, Veterans engage in peer-to-peer support, physical activity, and social connectedness to build resiliency skills. Since 2019, we have been proud to include the unit’s combat interpreter(s) in the reunions, as they served alongside our Veterans and are now engaged in the same fight alongside them on the home front.
Operation Resiliency attendees participate in a NO COST four-day retreat and leave with tools and resources to use when the load gets too heavy. Our peer support model focuses on admitting that, “It’s OK not to be OK.”
LOOKING TO NOMINATE A UNIT?
Resiliency retreats will be focused on company-sized units that deployed and conducted combat operations in support of our nation. Retreats are held over a four-day period. Each nomination will be carefully vetted. Please submit a request form to nominate an individual unit. Each nomination package MUST include a letter from the company leadership (Company Commander or Senior Enlisted Leadership), stating the timeframe the unit was deployed and a general overview of the combat operations they experienced.
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