Public, Society Benefit

The Heroes Journey

Find Your Voice, Tell Your Story

RIVERVIEW, FL

Mission

Every year, 200,000 veterans transition from military service into civilian life. It’s a challenging time that often results in loss of identity and changes so significant it seems like the veteran is changing planets. For our warriors to live the life of prosperity they deserve they must re-discover their voice and tell their story. That is our Mission at The Heroes Journey.

Ruling Year

2011

Principal Officer

Scott Mann

Main Address

10127 ALBYAR AVE

RIVERVIEW, FL 33578 USA

Keywords

veterans, military, storytelling

EIN

36-4701518

 Number

7796700504

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

War comes with many costs, some more obvious than others. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of military veterans and family members for whom the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and even Korea and Vietnam are still being waged at home. Their stories are seldom told and rarely understood. Every year, 200,000 veterans transition from military service into civilian life. It’s a challenging time that often results in loss of identity and changes so significant it seems like the veteran is changing planets. For our warriors to live the life they deserve, they must re-discover their voices and tell their stories. Nearly 1 in 5 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans admit to suffering from major depression or post-traumatic stress (PTS). Twenty veterans die each day by suicide, the VA reports. Therapies have been developed, and medicines tweaked to alleviate symptoms. But the fact remains that many soldiers are forced to live out their lives as POWs of their own brain.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Heroes Journey Virtual Course: Storytelling Toolkit for Warriors in Transition

The Heroes Journey Free Storytelling Workshop

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The Heroes Journey helps veterans, first responders, and their families find their voice and tell their story as they transition home from service. The goal of The Heroes Journey is to provide resources that help keep transitioning veterans and their families healthy so they, in turn, can serve and sustain their fellow warriors who are suffering and in need. That is our motivation, our passion and our duty. Symptoms of PTS(D) as listed by the VA include experiencing flashbacks of the original trauma, avoiding any situation that reminds the sufferer of the trauma, having a heightened sense of danger, and constantly feeling on alert. Scientists believe this is a problem in the brain’s relay system. In other words, the trauma gets stuck in the part of the brain that believes the trauma is still happening. At The Heroes Journey, we believe that one avenue to unclogging this bottleneck is the simple act of telling one’s story. According to mental health practitioners, when an individual with Post Traumatic Stress tells his or her story the brain begins to make new connections to that memory. They are not only attaching words to their experience, but they are attaching the feelings and sensory impressions that were felt at the time. And in doing so, the stuck part of the brain can finally stand down. It will realize that the danger is not happening. It can stop firing as if there’s an immediate danger. The Heroes Journey helps military veterans, first responders, and their family members find their voice and tell their story in their transition from military to civilian life. Our services include therapeutic storytelling workshops, online learning courses, and books on the transition from military to civilian life for veterans, first responders, and their spouses and children. The most notable project The Heroes Journey took on the past year was producing the national tour of the play Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret.

The Heroes Journey helps Warriors find their voice and tell their story in their transition, giving them essential skills for reconnecting with their new lives and purpose beyond the military. As long as war, crisis, or trauma have existed, people have lived with the full brunt of the effects of experiencing horrific events. While many therapies, techniques, and tools are beneficial and necessary, they are designed only to treat, manage, or eliminate the symptoms. No techniques claim to bring total healing or complete restoration. For the PTS sufferer, storytelling does more than treat, manage, or eliminate the symptoms. Storytelling can literally rewire the sufferer’s brain. However, in order for people to tell their stories, they must be in a place of acceptance and moving forward despite the trauma that lies in the past and perhaps still surrounds them. Heroes Journey Storytelling Workshops are two- or three-day submersion programs that help participants cultivate their greatest assets as a warrior; their VOICE and their STORY. Workshops offer a safe community that allows the use of the vehicle of storytelling to help sufferers experience deeper healing. We use a focused 3-step approach in our workshops. Armed with the tools learned in a Heroes Journey Storytelling Workshop, veterans will be leading with their story in job interviews and business meetings, leading at their jobs and in their communities. More importantly, they will be healing the wounds of war, and free themselves to connect more deeply with loved ones. The ability to tell their story helps warriors start bridging their connection gaps. Workshops bring together warriors who share a common bond. They all proudly served their country during a time of war and are dealing with Post Traumatic Stress. During a workshop, the warriors participate in exercises to help them uncover their stories and recognize stressful situations. A mental health professional is part of the program staff and is there to discuss issues participants may be facing in recovery from PTS. Warriors quickly discover they are not alone, and there are other warriors with similar struggles. The play Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret tells the story of our warriors and their families. The family is central in this narrative and is not a consolation prize for making it home. Veterans, the children of veterans, and their grandchildren are all seeing themselves in this story. Last Out is the story of those who have deployed so many times they’ve lost track of which side of the ocean they’re on and whose lives have become a blur. Stories, even the painful ones, heal the heart, our brains, communities, and our nation. Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret will be touring in 2020-2021. The Heroes Journey offers three written resources, Mission America, Mommy Keeps Us Free, and Daddy Keeps Us Free, that are offered to servicemen and women, veterans, and their families to ease stress in their transition.

Many veterans say that transition to civilian life is the biggest obstacle they’ve ever faced, with emotional, relational, and financial challenges they could never have imagined. The Heroes Journey written materials, workshops, and the Last Out productions are no B.S. looks at the realities of military transition and an eye-opening perspective to help soldiers transition to civilian life with success and honor, in a manner befitting their sacrifice and service. Behind dynamic and capable leadership, The Heroes Journey holds programs that strive to meet the needs of every program participant individually. Scott Mann, Co-founder of The Heroes Journey Together with his wife, Scott founded The Heroes Journey, to help veterans tell their stories in transition. Mann spent 23 years in the United States Army, 18 of those as a Green Beret, where he specialized in unconventional, high-impact missions all over the world. As a Green Beret, he forged bonds and solved problems using values and leadership skills that moved people around the world to stand up for themselves and was able to restore trust and create human connections in places where that didn’t seem possible. In the same way, he empowered local tribes in Iraq and Afghanistan to make transformative decisions, using very few resources, Scott now teaches the relationship-building techniques that drove so many of his successful combat operations. Scott has written all THJ materials as well as the play Last Out—Elegy of a Green Beret. Last Out tells the story of Army Green Beret Danny Patton’s battles that range from tribal Afghanistan to his own living room. Last Out is based on true stories of modern war. With a cast made up entirely of veterans and their family members, Last Out is a theatrical experience intended to help civilians better understand the cost of combat to our veterans and their families, and to help warriors utilize the power of story to let go of their pain, healing the wounds of war. Dr. Diego Hernandez, Psychologist for The Heroes Journey programs Dr. Hernandez is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with a focus on health, wellness, and human performance. Dr. Diego is the Clinical Director of Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) Research at the University of South Florida. With 20 years of mental health experience and a combat trauma expert, Dr. Diego works privately and on retreats with active duty military and Veterans. His practice emphasis is with Combat Veterans as well as active-duty military with emphasis on Special Forces. He currently is a retreat Behavioral Consultant with Warrior Mission at Ease. He is on the medical advisory boards of the Camaraderie Foundation and H.O.O.A.H. and has provided consultation with Mission America, Wounded Warrior Project, and the Lone Survivor Foundation.

Throughout history, societies have used storytelling to help warriors integrate back into society, and The Heroes Journey programs and written materials follow in that tradition. The Heroes Journey results will be measured or evaluated as follows: Goals Help warriors find their voice and tell their story in transition. Reconnect warriors and civilians at a community level for a better America. Outcomes: The Heroes Journey Storytelling Education Distribute 2000 copies of 'Mission America' and 'Mommy/Daddy Keep Us Free' to veterans and military-children. Engage 200 veterans, active-duty, and military family members through Heroes Journey virtual storytelling programs Engage 125 veterans in real-time through Heroes Journey Storytelling Workshops Outcomes: Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret Perform in 12 cities across the country Perform 30 shows Honor 25 Gold Star families Perform 150 Post Traumatic Stress interventions Impact 4000 lives through performances of Last Out

2019 at a glance The Heroes Journey is reconnecting warriors and civilians at a community level for a better America. 6000 Books Printed and Distributed Copies of ‘Mission America’ and ‘Mommy/Daddy Keeps Us Free’ printed and distributed to veterans and military children 104 Virtual Students Number of veterans, active-duty, and military family members registered in The Heroes Journey virtual storytelling courses 5 National Media Hits The Heroes Journey as been featured by Tom Brokow, CBS This Morning, Military Makeover, the Huckabee Show, and FOX Nation 200 Veterans Trained Veterans trained in The Heroes Journey storytelling workshops 3 Adaptive Athletes Veteran Athletes sponsored by The Heroes Journey as they reconnect to a new purpose and story post-military In 2020-21, we're going to take Last Out into the next year even stronger, getting it in front of as many Americans as possible. We are adding The Heroes Journey storytelling workshops to Last Out production stops across the country. We are distributing written material to veterans and their families, all at no cost. If ever there was a time for us to step up and lead, it is now. And that is exactly what we are doing.

External Reviews

Financials

The Heroes Journey

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable