Mentoring for Veterans
style="font-size: 30px; line-height: 30px; text-align: left;">Many Veterans Struggle To Feel Understood
When veterans return from duty to their families and communities, they often feel lost and confused. They may also be struggling with lingering pain from physical and emotional injuries sustained during their deployment. The trauma, sadness, anxiety and lack of direction they live with may lead them to develop harmful addictions or drive a wedge between them and their loved ones. Disconnected from the supportive people in their lives and/or battling their dependencies on substances may eventually cause them to become homeless – deepening their pain and making it even more difficult for them to reemerge into a productive role in society. Some veterans may attempt to reach out to the VA, friends and family or other avenues of support, but still feel misunderstood and alone in their struggle to move forward.
You may have recently learned about the growing issues of homelessness, substance abuse and reintegration difficulties among fellow veterans. Perhaps you also struggled with similar issues when you returned from service. Or maybe, you had a loved one or friend in the military who spiraled down a troubling path when he or she returned home. With your military experience and current sense of stability and wellbeing, you may wonder whether you could offer veterans in need your support and friendship. If you had traumatic experiences in the military, overcame an addiction or struggled to work toward a fulfilling life at home, you may have unique knowledge, skills and guidance that could help other veterans build a hopeful future. Or, perhaps your military experience was primarily positive for you, but you know that many veterans face challenges, and you want to offer help in any way possible.
The good news is that with your mentorship, veterans can receive the support they need and strengthen their ties to the community. Throughout the veteran mentoring program, the Bodhi Battalion will be by your side as you build a partnership and lead your fellow veteran toward a joyful and rewarding life.
Offer Your Guidance And Support Fellow Veterans Through Our Veteran Mentoring Program
When veterans volunteer to mentor other veterans in need, the results are often profound. The Bodhi Battalion’s mentorship program gives you the opportunity to provide the unique, individualized guidance veterans need as they navigate challenging moments in their lives.
By becoming one of our veteran mentors, you will work one-on-one with one or more veterans who may be struggling with homelessness, substance abuse or finding their place in society. Your veteran may wish to open up to you about his or her experiences, or he or she may simply want to spend time with you as a friend.
In many cases, you may know what your veteran is going through more than anyone else at the Bodhi Battalion. If you share similar experiences, you may choose to talk about your past struggles and how you found success and joy in life. For example, you may have learned certain strategies that worked best for you as you overcame trauma, found sobriety or transitioned into your community.
In addition to offering your guidance and compassion to the veteran you mentor, you will also act as an ambassador to your community. Whether you and your veteran decide to get lunch or attend a neighborhood event together, you can set a positive example of how to explore your community in a positive and healthy way.
The trust you will build with your veteran will be an integral component to his or her healing process. As a veteran mentor, you can provide the emotional support he or she needs – ensuring conscientious care throughout every step on the journey toward recovery, relief and fulfillment.
Guidelines For The Veteran Mentoring Program
- You will be prescreened to determine if you will be a good fit for our mentorship program. For example, if you are recovering from an addiction, we ask that you have maintained sobriety for at least a year before mentoring.
- You will take the time to be trained by one of the Bodhi Battalion’s other mentors or professional service providers. This will ensure you will know how to handle difficult situations if they arise when you and your veteran are together.
- When you and your veteran spend time together, you will engage in sober living and healthy community activities. Remember that you will be setting a positive example for your veteran.
- You will commit to spending a predetermined number of hours with your veteran each week.
- You will follow up with your mentor coordinator to report your veteran’s status and progress.
Common Concerns About Veteran Mentoring
How much of a time commitment does volunteering for veterans require?
Mentoring veterans requires a little bit more of a time commitment than some of our other flexible volunteer positions. We ask that you commit to at least one weekly activity with each veteran you choose to mentor. You might decide to go fishing, walk in a park, watch a movie, attend a sporting event or participate in any healthy, safe and engaging community-oriented activity.
Are there any dangers involved with this veteran mentoring program?
Safety is always our top priority. The Bodhi Battalion will assess the potential risks of working with the veterans you may be paired up with. If we determine any potential dangers, we will inform you before you start working with him or her. And if you feel uncomfortable working with a veteran who struggles with substance abuse or anger issues, we can reassign him or her to another mentor.
In addition, we will not provide your veteran with your personal information. Once you meet with a veteran and determine the two of you will be a good fit, you may decide to give him or her your phone number or email to coordinate your meetings – but this is not required.
What if I don’t get along with the person I am mentoring?
It’s possible that the first few meetings with your veteran may feel tense or unproductive. If you are concerned that maybe the two of you are not a good fit, we can work together to come up with a few strategies to reach out to him or her in different ways. If you still cannot connect with your veteran, then we are open to reassigning him or her to another mentor.
Volunteer As A Veteran To Help Fellow Service Members
If you are ready to make a powerful difference in the life of a fellow veteran in need, please contact us. We are happy to discuss the many ways you can provide guidance and support for one or more of our veterans.