Bodhi Battalion 501c(3)
The Bodhi Battalion (pronounced Bo-dee, meaning “awakening”) was established in Colorado to extend a helping hand to military veterans who struggle to reintegrate into civilian society, live with mental or physical health issues, recover from addictions to substances and/or find safe, consistent housing.
Imagine serving your country, immersing yourself in military culture, witnessing or partaking in combat and returning home, only to find yourself estranged to the civilian world years later. In need of assistance, you might look to some of the large-scale organizations helping veterans such as yourself. Unfortunately, the wait time for assistance could be weeks or even months. You may be confused as to where to find community support, housing or mental health resources. If you struggle with substance abuse, you may also find that you have been disqualified from veterans’ services and benefits. Homelessness, legal trouble and unemployment may lead you to feel abandoned, alone and
What makes us unique as a nonprofit is that we look at each veteran as a whole person in order to effectively address the reasons for his or her current challenges. By gaining a deeper understanding of why our veterans face issues, we can work with them step-by-step to foster and maintain the components of a meaningful life.
Helping Veterans Is Our Duty
With a long line of military service in her family, JoAnna McTevia, the founder of the Bodhi Battalion, has a profound appreciation for the sacrifices of our country’s veterans. Through her work as a professional therapist, she also learned the extent to which many of our veterans struggle to reintegrate into civilian life.
After extensive work with veterans and their families, JoAnna witnessed the prevalence of homelessness and displacement as a result of PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), substance abuse and a lack of community support or resources. It became evident that the impact these issues have on the veteran, his or her family and the community they live in is beyond the scope of common understanding.
The Bodhi Battalion embodies the spirit of our veterans’ honorable service and seeks to offer multifaceted help to members of the military community who have fallen on difficult times. As a community, it is important to recognize that we should never abandon our veterans when they need us most. They did their duty of serving our country. Now, it’s our duty to ensure they receive the assistance they need to live full and fulfilling lives.
Bodhi Battalion’s Staff
Growing up in Colorado with a family in law enforcement, Ericka knew the tradition of service was one that she wanted to continue. While serving in the US Army for over ten years as a military police officer, who deployed multiple times in support of the War on Terrorism, Ericka became a seasoned leader and received the distinguished Audie Murphy Award.
When her time in the military came to a close, Ericka continued her dedicated service in her community as a police officer, a tactical specialist in the SWAT division, and a patrol supervisor, where her leadership continued to flourish in this new environment. With her experiences in the military and what she was witnessing in the community, it became most prevalent that the help needed for veterans battling PTSD was overwhelming and growing. As a result, Ericka joined the Bodhi Battalion team through demonstrations of her service dog public knowledge enrichment and, in 2022, was selected as the newest Executive Director of the organization.
Her immense leadership skills, task-oriented organization, and dedicated service to her fellow veterans are a rare combination, and we are thrilled to welcome her!
Founder / Director of Operations:
JoAnna is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Addictions Counselor (LAC) in the state of Colorado. Her family has a long line of military service that includes service in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. Two of her uncles were a POWs in WWII, one, survived the Bataan Death March, Davao Penal Colony and was ultimately killed while aboard the Japanese Hell Ship, Shinyo Maru.
Her personal history incited a passion for serving veterans. After seeing veterans in her private practice, she recognized she needed to do more. In 2015 she founded the Bodhi Battalion to address the critical deficits in the mental health care and ongoing support of veterans returning from war. As the need for services grew, she also recognized the power of the canine bond. She utilized her dogs in her work with veterans, which ultimately led to service dog training and placement as part of the Bodhi Battalion services. After working with dogs for several years and completing formal training, she received her service and therapy dog training certification (CTSDT) and passed the exam to be a certified professional dog trainer (CCPDT-KA).
As a native of Colorado, JoAnna is honored to serve veterans in her community. In 2021, Major League Soccer (MLS) selected JoAnna as the Colorado Rapids Community MVP. This honor not only extended the recognition of giving and compassion that JoAnna provides to our veterans but brought national attention to Bodhi Battalion. Through the years, JoAnna has remained dedicated to our mission of service.