Jonithan Phillips spent five years serving in the U.S. Navy as a medic for the Marines. Upon leaving the service, he faced a struggle thousands of men and women face each year: returning to civilian life.
“Transitioning back to civilian life was a little bit of a curveball that I didn’t quite understand until I was quite there,” Jonithan said. “You know, you wake up every day and you’re told what to do, what’s going to be done. Once you’re out, you want that freedom. But, it’s not really the same.”
Jonithan’s story is far from unique. Veterans transitioning back to civilian lives face a number of challenges affecting their lives and those of their loved ones. In the worst cases, veterans decide that ending their life is the only option. On average, 22 veterans a day find themselves arriving to this conclusion.
The Foxhole Foundation, a Detroit-area nonprofit organization, is doing its part to help.
The organization helps veterans find an easier way to reintegrate into civilian society by introducing martial arts, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Sambo, Muay Thai and MMA, to veterans so they can channel their attention into a positive and healthy outlet.
This environment builds a familiar camaraderie, one that establishes personal accountability to one another, with the hope being that it is similar to what they may have experienced while in the military. In this team-like atmosphere, veterans will ask each other about the day to day challenges they face and encourage open dialogue with others who may have had similar issues.
“We hope that by providing an engaging atmosphere, they may find a solution or a resource that can help,” said Jon Bombetto. “Ultimately, each veteran will see that they have a team, friends, choices, and that they are not alone.”
Foxhole USA will host its first fundraiser from 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, at Slidecar Slider Bar, 280 E. Merrill St., in Birmingham, Michigan. The event will include a raffle, and attendees will have the chance to win a LiftMaster 87504-267 garage door opener ($1,500 retail value), courtesy of A1 Garage Door Service and our A1 Cares charitable giving program.
If you’re in the Detroit area, please come out and support The Foxhole Foundation at this great event.
“To work for a company that supports veteran causes holds a special place in my heart,” Jonithan said. “I come from a long line of military men, and I understand how hard it is getting out of the military and trying to find that home. The fact that not only have they taken care of me while I’m here but that they reach out beyond their employees is really rare.”