WHY ARE WE BUILDING THIS?
We started with a mission of preventing veteran suicides.
In 2016, I returned home from Afghanistan. It was a stressful two years, but I felt I adjusted pretty well to life overseas and didn't expect any feelings of post-traumatic stress when I returned home. It wasn't my first deployment.
I didn't realize it at the time, but I was on a path to self-destruction. I came back a bit different. I was angry - I snapped at people. I acted differently: it was fight or flight responses in normal day-to-day situations. I was used to that behavior because I felt like I needed to survive, to get this done quickly, and act with a sense of urgency. 'Hypervigilance.' That's what keeps you alive at war.
The transition process is an isolating experience. I didn't feel safe - who was I to trust? They haven't seen what I've seen. They don't have a security clearance with untold secrets. We saw the destructive capabilities of human beings and terrorist organizations and their needless abandon for human life. I couldn't find anyone like me. Who could I talk to?
And war - did I do the right thing? Did I make the right choices? Was my time spent overseas fighting a war meaningless in the grand scheme of things? Who can I talk to about this questions? How do people deal with these questions? Why do I feel helpless in my attempts to protect my friends, family, people I loved?
Do I belong here? Who understands me? Why are they unfamiliar? Should I go back overseas? Where do I belong? Who can accept me? I don't belong here, or there, or-
...My cofounder Bill & I believe there is a silent majority of those who served in the military feeling disconnected from their communities and choose to self-isolate after transition out of military service. We believe veterans just want to feel normal, and feel understood, and don't have to experience isolation like I did.
We’re building a product that connects veterans to other veterans and public events already taking place in their area. Our invention is designed to prevent social isolation by connecting people and resources privately, without perceived social stigmas. Studies have showed that being connected to a supportive suicide-aware community that reduces the rates of suicide.
We believe having a wingman prevent suicides. An angel charged with your care, connected through the technology we're building, we believe anyone can be a battlebuddy.
If you believe in this mission as much as we do, or are even remotely interested in solving these problems, then please, sign-up for our updates. It really helps us.
Thank you for reading.
...Maybe I don't belong anywhere.
Lito - Founder