U.S. Marine Corps veteran Luigino Lobello returned from Iraq feeling he had lost a sense of community. The corps had represented a safe sacred social space where individuals came together to be a part of something bigger than themselves. The sense of mission and tight-knit bonds provided resilience in the face of an enemy; but loosing this community upon return to civilian-life can make fighting the battle of returning home more difficult than combat.
Ten years after his return, Luigino found an answer to the problem he and many others face. He created a corps community called ‘Squadbay’ – a non-profit group that deploys to assist in humanitarian relief missions. Squadbay’s website states:
“For the veteran volunteers suffering from PTSD, Moral Injury or TBI, Squadbay provides a much needed mission, so the vets feel as though they are once again part of something bigger than themselves.”
The group has recently commenced their first deployment to provide disaster relief in the Philippines, and it has proven to be a great success. Squadbay offers veterans a new mission where they can “bring life, instead of taking it,” and “carry a hammer and shovel instead of a rifle and ammo.”