Uninterrupted – Hub City Times
Local Veteran Helps Others at Choose 2 Live
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD – Stephen T. Garvin has been a retired Army Command Sergeant Major for 30 years. In 2018, he and his wife, Nicole, also in the military, moved to Marshfield with their children.
Garvin is now a seasoned advocate / mentor and partner for “Helping Heroes” and “Team Unbroken”. As a lawyer, he works for veterans, the military, first responders and their families across the country on a range of issues – work he says has been widely rewarded.
“I now feel that I have a goal after the army; I know this can be anything, something that I love to do, something that could save someone else’s life like mine, and something that I have done most of my 30 years of active service, defending, taking care of those who take care of us, and above all to coach, teach and supervise, ”he explained.
“If it hadn’t been for the ‘Are you okay?’ – a small but powerful question – from a VA nurse (and) a phone call from CJ Goldman, who is also a veteran, a man with a vision, asking if I would help him organize a team as a coach and mentor who would facilitate a healthy way for Warriors to cope with and heal their mental health issues. Heal through something they love – sports – so they have something to look forward to rather than feeling hopeless or killing themselves. “
And that’s how Team Unbroken was formed.
“CJ wanted Team Unbroken to be made up of veterans, first responders, and active duty members who are faced with or diagnosed with mental health issues, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other conditions. A few are permanently disabled because of their military service, ”Garvin explained.
“A few months later Ryan Sattelberg, a great friend, a retired sergeant major and the program director called me and said he had ‘seen that I was on a softball team’ , and I talked to him about it a bit. he remembers.
Sattelberg said he is launching a new campaign for an organization he works with and that he has similar goals and vision.
“The vision to stop the stigma of mental health and healing through sport,” he explained, “this organization is“ Helping Heroes ”and together we will help advance the # ICHOOSE2LIVE campaign.
“I was the intermediary between two wonderful people; Ryan didn’t know CJ and CJ didn’t know Ryan. When these two connected with my guidance and mentorship, a partnership was established.
“This unique partnership is an essential part of the journey these men take in their post-military lives and serves as a reminder to the thousands of veterans who suffer from PTSD and other conditions that their brothers and sisters in arms support them. , you’re not alone.”
Today, the men work together to help educate and connect veterans and first responders with resources, providing help, comfort and material support, and their families.
“Team Unbroken wants to change the mental health narrative; each member pledged to be “better than yesterday,” to find strength in struggle, to seek growth through pain and, most importantly, to live, ”Garvin added.
“Suicide due to mental health problems is the second leading cause of death among military personnel and the leading cause of death among veterans. It’s all about raising awareness, encouraging open discussions about mental health, which is often a condition poorly understood by those without first-hand experience.
Helping Heroes was created to raise funds and educate the public for the relief of serving military personnel in distress or underprivileged conditions, military veterans, first responders and their families. They also support the POW-MIA awareness campaign.
The United Veterans Coalition of Colorado serves as the umbrella organization for Helping Heroes and over 800 different veterans service organizations in the state.
Helping Heroes also meets with lawmakers on veterans and first responders issues.
“Together we are stronger and can never be broken. Creating our own support system of loved ones and friends and the credibility of the source and dissemination of information makes a big difference, ”Garvin said.
For more information, visit www.helpingheroes.org or call 919-747-3238.