“A nation is judged on how they treat their Warriors once they return from the field of battle. Despite our best intentions and efforts as a society, we are failing those who sacrificed for us in exchange for the unspoken promise that we, as a nation, would have their back when the fighting was done.”
– Dan Caddy, Founder of Battle In Distress, Inc.
Battle In Distress, Inc was born of a serious flaw in our national thinking towards assisting veterans. As a nation, we have many resources available to veterans returning home. Organizations are in place to assist with mental health, housing, financial concerns, physical health, job training, and dozens of other categories. The common theme of these organizations is the requirement for the veteran to navigate a web of forms, requirements, procedures, and automated phone systems in order to receive help. How can we expect those that sacrificed and fought for our country to return home and take up another battle to receive the benefits and services they need and have earned?
Battle in Distress, Inc was launched on January 15, 2013 to serve as a strong support system to those brave men and women who answered the call, stood up, and served our nation. As we see it, our duty is to ensure that all service members, whether active or retired, know that no matter what they may face in their daily lives, they’re never alone. All a battle needs to do is reach out to our organization. We will take the fight from there and provide a three-tiered response system to provide resources suited to the veteran’s needs.
The problem was identified in late 2012 by our founder, Dan Caddy. Through a Facebook group he started to swap humorous stories with fellow soldiers about their experiences with Drill Sergeants, Dan found himself in a unique position to help soldiers in need.
On Wednesday night in November 2012, Dan decided to spend a few minutes on his Facebook page before going to sleep. During the short window he was logged in, he received a message from a National Guardsmen looking for help. He wrote that a friend and fellow soldier was making serious threats to commit suicide and he needed assistance. Dan immediately notified the ASMDSS page that it was time to get to work. He posted information about the suicidal soldier and placed a call for assistance to any fans near the soldier’s home. Five hours passed in a flurry of activity as public and private messages poured in offering support, prayers, and action. Four thousand people came together as one and took steps to locate and support their fellow soldier. Everyone operated under the common mindset of supporting a family member. All knew that even one life lost to suicide is too many. That those helping had never, and in most cases, would never meet the troubled soldier was never a factor. They rose to the challenge and supported one of their own. The hard work of locating and helping the soldier paid off. He accepted the help offered and is taking steps to ensure his mental and physical health will continue to improve. To read more about the incident, visit Michael Yon Online.
After a similar incident a few days later, Dan was thrilled with the success of the team efforts. “We shouldn’t have been able to do that. If we’re able to save lives with no planning, no preparation, no formal organization, and 70,000 fans, what could we do with a plan, organization, and millions of fans?” He set to work assembling a team of highly trained, highly motivated people with a desire to effect change in our world.
Dan recognized the problem within our existing system in treating veterans with PTSD and suicidal thoughts. He clearly saw that suicide is not the problem. Suicide is a result of the problems stacking up in a veteran’s life until they become too difficult to face. There are plenty of resources available for veterans contemplating suicide. It is our belief that if we are waiting for our veterans to consider taking their own lives, we have failed. The problem should be confronted long before suicide enters the picture. There is no excuse for denying a veteran the assistance they require until they are so desperate that they consider hurting themselves.
The solution to the problem does not lie within expensive government programs. Military service members hold the solution within themselves. Battle In Distress, Inc. will focus on rallying the brotherhood of service members to its full might in confronting the seemingly minor issues in our veteran’s lives that, if left unchecked, grow into the big problems which result in suicide or other harmful actions.
This is a chance for troops to stand up and stand together to take care of their own. It is time for our troops to strengthen their bonds and secure the future of anybody who bravely answered the call to serve our nation, the United States of America.