The Heroes Journey

Find Your Voice, Tell Your Story

RIVERVIEW, FL   |  www.theheroesjourney.org

Mission

The Heroes Journey helps warriors and military family members find their voice and tell their story in the transition from military mission to civilian life.

Ruling year info

2011

Co-founder and President

Scott Mann

Co-founder and Vice President

Monty Mann

Main address

10127 ALBYAR AVE

RIVERVIEW, FL 33578 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-4701518

NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

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

We have a very focused 3-step approach at The Heroes Journey that is designed to help you cultivate your two greatest assets as a Warrior: your VOICE and your STORY. Soon you’ll be leading with your story in job interviews, starting your business, leading at your job, healing your wounds of war, and even connecting with your loved ones. Take this wonderful asset and start bridging the connection gaps.

Find your voice by reading Mission America: Straight Talk About Military Transition. A copy will be sent to you at no cost after submitting the registration form.

Craft your story with our free virtual storytelling course. You will immediately be sent exclusive access information once you submit the registration form. No wait – you can jump in and get to work right away.

Utilize our private Facebook Team Room to begin telling your story to fellow veterans on the same transition journey. An invitation to join the Team Room will be sent to the email you submit in the registration form.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Military personnel

This is the must-attend workshop for all transitioning veterans. This workshop is essential for anyone leaving the military and moving into civilian life. This workshop is essential to reconnecting with your new life and purpose beyond the military.
Warriors will learn from the best storytellers and narrative coaches in America. They will begin healing their trauma and tell the stories that most powerfully communicate their potential contributions to family, employers, investors, and community leaders.

Led by Lt. Col (Ret.) Scott Mann, this workshop is designed for veterans or veteran's family members that are looking for a way to connect, communicate, and heal. Scott will teach you how to find your voice outside of the military about your time inside the military. He teaches veterans the same timeless communication strategies he still teaches to Green Berets and high level executives.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Military personnel

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of favorable critic reviews/awards of art produced given by media or peers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel, Veterans, Artists and performers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Last Out was produced as a film in 2021 and entered in a number of film and script festivals. As of April 2022, the script is a finalist in two film festivals and the film is a finalist in two more.

Number of entities served by expertise

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Artists and performers, Military personnel, Veterans

Related Program

Better Ground Digital Storytelling Course

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2021 we completely rewrote and refilmed our digital course called Better Ground. The course will go live again at the end of 2022.

Number of books distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Artists and performers, Military personnel, Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Distributed copies of The Heroes Journey's publications Mommy/Daddy Keeps Us Free and Mission America to military service members and military children.

Total number of performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Artists and performers, Military personnel, Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

COVID kept Last Out, the play, off the road in 2020. We pivoted to turn the play into a film which was an immense lift for our small staff. Our efforts in 2021 were almost 100% spent on that task.

Total number of counseling sessions performed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Metric was not measurable in 2021 as our interaction was almost exclusively virtual.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

The Heroes Journey helps veterans and military family members find their voice and tell their story to gain an edge 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 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 a full length film about the cost of the 20-year war in Afghanistan called 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 film 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. Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret will begin steaming on digital platforms in May 22.

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.

Zeke Vanderpool
TRAUMATIC STRESS INTERVENTIONIST, RTM COUNSELOR
Zeke Vanderpool has dedicated his life to serving and protecting others. After serving 23 years with Army Special Forces, Zeke went on to work as a deputy sheriff, a federal police officer, a federal agent, a federal intelligence operations specialist, and a law enforcement liaison officer.
As a co-founder of the non-profit organization, Operation Angel Wing, and a member of the Transition Support Team for The Heroes Journey, Zeke continues to serve our nation’s warriors by providing Question/Persuade/Refer (QPR) training for suicide prevention, Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM) protocol, and PTS intervention services. He is a talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and he uses music as a vehicle for story to bridge the gap for transitioning veterans and first responders.
As a public speaker, warrior storyteller, and coach with Rooftop Leadership, Zeke shares his scars and lessons learne

2021
Through a constant stream of media that included short stories and videos, direct-to-camera hits, television, podcast, and radio interviews, content on our social media platforms reached almost 4 million people, including 248,000 as we approached the 20-year anniversary of 9-11.

21,000 people viewed our videos as, in the weeks following the withdrawal from Afghanistan, our Heroes Journey warrior storytellers created content to inform civilians on the cost of war and to honor and validate the service of the 800,000 veterans of the Afghan War and their Afghan allies, as well as those from all other conflicts.

We used, and will continue to use, Last Out as a strategic communication tool to help heal veterans who have been traumatized by the withdrawal from Afghanistan and to inform civilians on what “Honor the Promise” really means.

In 2021, Last Out has been viewed by over 60,000 people.

With the chaos of the August 2021 withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, we diverted our resources to fundraising for other nonprofits that were helping evacuate our Afghan partners and U.S citizens trapped in Afghanistan, as well as responding to our veterans who were experiencing immense trauma during this event and feeling like their service was meaningless. Several Heroes Journey staff were involved in the safe passage and resettlement of our Afghan allies.
 
As we move into 2022, The Heroes Journey will open the Better Ground Veterans Performing Arts Center to help warriors each find their voice and tell their own story as they transition from military mission and become more relevant and relatable at work and in their communities and home.

We have leased space in Stage Works, a local theatre, and have held four storytelling workshops in Q1 of 2022.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Military service members, veterans, military family members, civilians

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

The Heroes Journey
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Heroes Journey

Board of directors
as of 05/11/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Scott Mann

Rooftop Leadership

Term: 2050 - 2011


Board co-chair

Monty Mann

Rooftop Leadership

Term: 2011 - 2050

Greg Parsons

David Martin

Jerry Lujan

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/11/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.