Team Red, White, and Blue is a non-profit organization designed to help Veterans transition back into civilian life. They do this by guiding Veterans through mental and physical activities. Members get an opportunity to go out with other Veterans to work on common goals, build camaraderie, and lead a healthy lifestyle.
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What Team Red, White, and Blue Does for Vets
Team Red, White, and Blue prides itself on enriching Veterans’ lives by helping them build a healthier lifestyle. With over 200,000 members and 230,636 national event engagements, it is safe to say that this non-profit has helped many Veterans. Members share an “Eagle Ethos,” meaning they forge their way with passion, people, positivity, commitment, camaraderie, and community.
Not only can Veterans get involved and build camaraderie at events, but they can also download the Team RWB mobile app. Members can get social by engaging with posted content, discovering and participating in virtual workout challenges, and setting up events that are compatible with their location and interests.
Loneliness in Older U.S. Military Veterans
Through Team Red, White, and Blue, members stay connected, work together, and influence each other to be the best version of themselves. That sense of belongingness that only Veterans can genuinely understand is essential because it allows them to be with others who have similar lived experiences and can relate to them on a level unlike anyone else.
Many Veterans feel a sense of loneliness, which can be detrimental to physical and mental health. This connection, fostered through Team Red, White, and Blue, can help combat that.
According to a study on the national health and resilience of Veterans, “Loneliness is highly prevalent in U.S. military Veterans, with more than half endorsing feeling lonely sometimes or often, and 1-of-5 reporting feeling lonely often.” Not only can Team Red, White, and Blue help Veterans build a sense of community, but it can also help them manage any post-traumatic stress they may be experiencing.
Laura Briggs, a military spouse and VeteranLife contributing author, has personal experience with Veterans and PTSD. In a recent piece, she noted, “Finding a support group, either online or in person, is one of the best ways to cope with a new PTSD diagnosis. These early periods are hard to navigate, and most Veterans want to know what to expect or to have their experience validated.”
Team RWB is doing just that by providing Veterans a positive outlet to build connections and kinship. Fellowship among Veterans is crucial because over half of older Veterans say they feel lonely.
Why is this so important? The reality is that loneliness is independently associated with a broad range of mental and physical health problems, including suicidal ideation. Having a place where Veterans can build friendships and bonds is crucial, which is why non-profits like Team Red, White, and Blue are so important.
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Some Veterans experience trouble acclimating to living a normal and healthy lifestyle after leaving the service, as was the case for Army Veteran and Team RWB advocate Duane France. Having served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Africa, Duane found trouble after noticing a steep decline in his health and fitness after retiring. It wasn’t until he became a member of Team RWB that he started feeling a change take over.
According to Duane, “The combination of a like-minded Veteran community and a like-minded running community was encouraging. It was fun in a way that only Veterans and runners would understand, in a ‘this sucks so good’ kind of way… This time last year, I thought my running days were over. Now, I’m reconnected to what I enjoyed so much before, and I had a group to share it with – my fellow Eagles – who could understand the roller coaster ride.”
Duane, along with many other Vets, have had their lives positively impacted by the contributions of Team RWB to the Veteran community.
National & Local Events Through Team Red, White, and Blue
Team RWB holds thousands of national events for Vets to get together. Through these events, they get closer to their goal of encouraging Veterans to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
Examples include the Old Glory Relay, a national movement illustrating American Veterans’ strength, grit, and commitment. It will host thousands of supporters, and the event will travel over 3,000 miles through 15 states. Another event, known as the 1776 Challenge, involves an 18-day exercise regiment.
Local events are endless! Through the RWB App, members can chat with local Vets in their area and set up events or activities. Virtual events are also available and give Veterans endless opportunities to challenge themselves all across the nation.
It’s clear that Team Red, White, and Blue offers a lot to our Veterans. They have made thousands of goals possible by forging a path that involves passion, people, positivity, commitment, camaraderie, and community.
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