Pontiac VFW post commander draws attention to veteran martial arts program – The Oakland Press
Navy veteran and commanding officer of the Pontiac VFW 1370 Mo De La O wants to spread the word about what’s happening in the city, county, and possibly the state of Michigan with the Foxhole Post nonprofit, which is dedicated to helping veterans through transitioning challenges.
“Fundamentally, our mission statement is to introduce martial arts to veterans as a healthy outlet for overcoming the many challenges we face when leaving the military and trying to transition into the civilian world.” These challenges vary, from something like just needing help with GI Bill benefits to trying to deter the challenges of PTSD as best we can and ultimately suicide,” De La O said.
De La O saw challenges for his fellow vets, including substance abuse and other self-harming behaviors. The post lost four veterans to suicide and he said, “We have to do something, something has to be done.”
His personal experience turned positive when he tried Jiu-Jitsu, although he said every veteran’s experience as to what works for them may be different.
“I had a chip on my shoulder that goes back to the transition from the military world to the civilian world and how to relate to it. It was incredibly frustrating,” De La O said. “The martial art I tried blew all the negative stuff out of me and before you know it I felt better, and he finally leaked. from the gym and started spreading in my personal life and relationships got better and things got better. I felt that if it could help me, it could help other veterans.
Practicing the martial art with other veterans helped develop the necessary camaraderie, and they started talking. Some just want to learn how to protect themselves, and some have service-related disabilities.
Some training takes place at the station, but the home gym is Victorious MMA in Troy. He encourages veterans to come and see it, to come and try it. If it’s not for them, at least they tried it, met local vets, and made contact.
The post sponsors vets, one vet per month and covers all of their participation costs.
“I just want to help my fellow veterans. I found something that works for me and many others, which may lead to help with other resources, such as equine therapy, dogs, and music. We just want to make sure that vets find anything that will help them.
Veterans are free to go to the Victorious MMA gym and try it out on Sundays at 1 p.m. Victorious MMA is located at 444 W. Maple Road, Ste A, Troy.
The Post sent a three-person Foxhole team to Uzbekistan this year that placed third at the world championships.
VFW Post 1370 shares its post with AMVETS/101, at 800 Cesar E. Chavez Avenue. For more information, email De La O at [email protected] or call 248-821-9203, visit www.facebook.com/FoxholeUSA and www.foxholeusa.org.
Events to come
• Royal Oak American Legion Post 253 will host Music Trivia/Name That Tune at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 19 at 1505 N. Main St. For more information, call 248-546-0490.
• Oxford American Legion Post 108 will host the Grilled Chicken Buffet from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, Euchre from 12-3 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, and Fish Dinners from 12-8 p.m. on Friday, July 22 at 130 E. Drahner Road, Oxford. The cost of the buffet is $8 to $8.50. Fish and chicken variety dinners cost between $9 and $11.50. For more information, call 248-628-9081.
• Clarkston American Legion Post 63 will host Dueling Pianos on Saturday, July 23 at 8047 Ortonville Road. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Entertainment at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 with food. Open to the public. For tickets and more information, call 248-625-9912.
• The Lake Point Community Church Veterans Ministry will host the 14th Annual Barbecue and Family Picnic from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday, July 30 at 1550 W. Drahner Road, Oxford. This free event welcomes all veterans and their families and friends and features 2XL Live Band, music from DJ Greg, a vintage car show, bring your classic, games, prizes and line dancing. For more information, email [email protected] or call 248-417-2451.
• The National Veteran Business Development Council will host an annual NVBDC Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Connect virtual conference on August 9. The conference will include presentations and panel discussions to provide the veteran business community with access and opportunities through leading companies to build business relationships. . The NVBDC is based in Detroit. Register on www.nvbdc.org/nvbdcconnect-2022.
The Oakland Press covers all veteran events in Oakland County. Please send the information in the body of an email with the subject “Veterans Affairs” to Sharon Longman at [email protected] Allow two weeks notice for scheduled events and include a phone number readers can call for more information.