The Zoom Life – Justin Bond, part 2
After successfully completing two self-assigned missions to help his fellow veterans, Justin relapsed into a familiar self-destructive pattern. “I fell into the trap of sitting on the couch and self-medicating. I was miserable for quite a while and then after my 11th friend committed suicide, I learned that we had to do more.”
This became the motivating force behind his new mission, “not just making sure that vets don’t commit suicide, but not letting them get to that point… though we have taken the guns out of quite a few mouths as well.”
Justin dedicated himself to the nonprofit he had started, Our Heroes’ Dreams (OHD), in order to meet the needs of veterans. He believes one the most effective ways to help veterans is to provide them with a new mission. A post-combat objective that can provide purpose, motivation and integration into civilian society.
In addition to helping them discover their new purpose, OHD takes a holistic approach to meeting the needs of veterans and their families. This can include providing counseling for the veteran and family members, assisting with home or car repair, job placement, team building exercises and retreats. OHD also knows the importance of helping veterans feel alive again! “We take them skydiving, scuba diving, sailing, swimming with sharks… whatever it takes to let them know… hey, you can have an adrenaline rush after combat!”, Justin explained.
Justin will soon be embarking on a new mission of his own. Mission 22 is all about reducing the number of veteran suicides that occur each day. Currently, that number is 22. OHD is in the process of developing a full time ranch, Camp Freedom, that could help approximately 1,000 veterans per year.
“Camp Freedom will be a place for veterans of all generations and their families to come out for counseling of all types and we can evaluate their needs… Figure out what is keeping them on the couch, what’s hindering them from taking on their new mission. Our counselors are Vietnam and WWII vets that have 40 years experience with PTSD… We can’t make them fix themselves, but we can give them the best opportunity that we can to get into a new mission.”
To raise money for the land and operational expenses, Justin is leading the Mission 22 West Coast Ride. This endeavor will involve 2 veterans and 2 dogs riding 2 Zooms 2,200 miles from Canada to Mexico in hopes of saving 1 of the 22 a day.
Shortly after the Zoom was introduced here in the US, Justin was brought on board as an Ambassador. In that capacity, he has helped to deliver a number of Zooms on the West Coast. He hopes that this ride will not only help raise awareness for veteran suicides, but for Zoomability as well. “We want to raise awareness for the Zoom, because a lot of people can benefit from it,” Justin said.
The Mission 22 West Coast Ride will begin on September 11, 2016. Zoomability will be checking in with Justin and fellow Zoom recipient, John Cook, during their 2,200 mile trip and posting updates on our Facebook page.
Dedicated to the preservation of freedom, Justin exemplifies A FREE MIND IN MOTION!