23rd Veteran

Happier Veterans. Healthier Communities.

Duluth, MN   |  23rdveteran.org

Mission

Provide happier, healthier lives for veterans living with trauma.

Ruling year info

2015

Executive Director

Mike Waldron

Main address

PO Box 161483

Duluth, MN 55816 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-3420231

NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

PROBLEM 1 - MILITARY TRAUMA • Since 9/11 an estimated 3,321,125 veterans have been in this position, planning or attempting their own suicide. • Our Founder, Mike Waldron, served in the initial invasion of Iraq in the Marine Corps Infantry. Five years after combat he began experiencing severe symptoms of PTSD, which lasted for years to come. During that time life became very difficult to live, the only thing he looked forward to was going to sleep. • During this time, the VA published a study stating 22 veterans killed themselves every day. Mike felt like he nearly became one of those 22 veterans. 23rd Veteran now describes a veteran who has felt death was a viable option, but they are still here and helping other veterans. PROBLEM 2 - TRANSITION FROM MILITARY TO CIVILIAN LIFE • 65% of veterans leave their first job within two years

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?

23V Recon

23V Recon is a fun and challenging life-changing experience for veterans. It begins with a team of local veterans on a trip to an outdoor adventure in a distant state. Here we begin to build the strong camaraderie we often miss after leaving the military.
With our new team, we participate in instructor-led workouts three times each week. We get our heart rate up so that our brain releases Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). With BDNF available, we participate in our brain-retraining program for 30 minutes following each workout. Doing so builds strong positive memories, influences happiness through positive psychology, and most importantly leaves us with a strong team of veterans and civilians within our community!

Four weeks into this program civilians are introduced and become fully participating members of the team, following all the same rules as the veterans.

Dedication and commitment is a requirement to take advantage of this free program! We have strict rules and solid leadership. Happiness is not an entitlement, you have to earn it!

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Veterans
Health

Our bladesmithing program is designed to capture the attention of working-class veterans who aren’t seeing the value of art-therapy. With the motivating end-result of possessing a usable piece of sharp-art created themselves through sweat, fire, and focus, our veterans are more likely to join the group setting and get to know other veterans and members of the community. After completing our 5-week course, the veterans are invited to join our partnering nonprofit Forging Community where they can continue the historic craft at their leisure.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Veterans
Health

Clarity is not found in your average post-trauma seminar. 23rd Veteran breaks the mold of trauma education with material that a teenager can easily understand. Our engagement and education allows those living with trauma and their loved ones to truly understand why they may be experiencing the thoughts, emotions, anxiety and depression in their life, and what they can do about it. Our unique 5-minute cartoon explaining the evolution of trauma has been shown at mental health seminars, military units, and universities nation-wide. While focusing on pre-deployment and post-deployment seminars, this engagement encompasses employers, universities, television, radio, and community groups all looking to create a successful environment for our veterans.

Population(s) Served
Health
Veterans
Military personnel

Where we work

Awards

Best Venture Impacting Veterans 2018

IVMF Syracuse

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 participants attending course/session/workshop

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

Veterans, Health

Related Program

23V Recon

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

14-week course: week #1 Outdoor Wellness Adventure builds camaraderie; weeks #2-14 physical fitness & positive psychology + community events. Includes civilians who join week #5.

Number of clients who show a measurable decrease in PTSD symptoms

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

Health, Veterans

Related Program

23V Recon

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

VETERAN GRADUATES ONLY survey comments with the following pertinent data: change in quality of life; change in trusting others; change in getting along with others; and change in level of happiness.

Total dollars received in contributions

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

Health, Veterans

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2021 is a projection

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.

MISSION:
• Provide happier, healthier lives for veterans living with trauma.

VISION:
• Give U.S. veterans a future of hope, opportunity, community, and inner peace.

OBJECTIVES:
• 23V Recon: A 14-week holistic program (camaraderie, physical fitness, and positive psychology) to help our veterans transition from military to civilian life.
• Bladesmithing - A sharp art therapy program that motivates veterans to get out of their homes and build relationships in the community while creating a functional piece of art
• Community Engagement: Provide education on post-traumatic stress, why it's common in the military culture, and how to create an environment more conducive for veterans. Host Nearly Naked Ruck Marches in cities where we run our 23V Recon program in order to connect the community with our programs and recruit veterans.

23V RECON (RECONDITIONING PROGRAM):
23V Recon is our primary objective. It's our "brain reconditioning" program providing a profound impact for veterans and civilians. We utilize brain science, combined with camaraderie, physical fitness, and positive psychology to retrain our negative triggers from combat stress to relate to new positive events, establishing a mindset that is far more successful in the civilian world. This is a groundbreaking approach to serving veterans with traumatic experiences and early results have shown it to be extremely successful.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT:
23rd Veteran provides engagement seminars on combat stress. We teach why our brains are supposed to change during traumatic situations, why we carry that with us, and what the community can do to create a friendlier environment for veterans. This education is provided to corporations, universities, community groups, U.S. Congress, and government organizations. We also specialize in providing this very useful and destigmatizing education to military units before they deploy.

RECONDITIONING CAPABILITIES:
We've published the "23V Recon Playbook", which acts as a manual for coaches and veterans in the program. The book allows for easy expansion and execution of the program by laying out the foundation for:
• The rules
• The workouts
• The positive psychology sessions
• The memory retraining portions of the program
The "Playbook" has been used and refined through 28 weeks of execution. The 4th Version of the playbook has been used in expansion to 4 cities in 2022.

COMBAT STRESS SEMINARS CAPABILITIES:
Our Executive Director has been speaking around the country for military units, corporations, community clubs, mental health conferences, universities, and U.S. Congress. The seminars are continuing to be improved and refined for education, entertainment, and significance. The feedback received is amazingly positive and used to improve future seminars.

Performed nine 23V Recon groups:
• 80 graduates
• 97% report living a happier, higher quality of life
(as of Dec 2021)
• Running in 3 major US cities - Duluth, MN; Minneapolis, MN; Philadelphia, PA

Performed 306 Combat Stress Seminars:
• Educating 18,597 audience members
• Provided pre-deployment training to 1,113 military members
• Provided seminar to members of Congress in Washington D.C.

Received National Awards:
• 2nd place in Veteran Business Growth Challenge with 102 competitors nation-wide
• Named the nation's "Best Venture Impacting Veterans" by IVMF Syracuse at the Veteran Edge Conference in 2018

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?

    23rd Veteran serves any military veteran who has experienced trauma during their time in the military. Some examples include, but are not limited to, physical injury, mental strain due to combat, sexual abuse, death of comrade, etc.

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

    Paper surveys,

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

    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,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

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

    We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

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

Financials

23rd Veteran
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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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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.

23rd Veteran

Board of directors
as of 2/15/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Nathan Helder

ALLETE

Term: 2021 -

Nathan Helder

ALLETE

Mike Waldron

23rd Veteran

Doug Bowser

CertaPro Painters of Akron

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 04/30/2021

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data