46-year-old Marine Corps veteran Mike Damon of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, served first in the Philippines where he survived the deadly eruption of the Pinatubo Volcano and later, he took two tours of Iraq.
This included the Abu Graib Prison in Baghdad after the scandal there that rocked the US Military. He found friends and a life experience, but lost a buddy to suicide, and lost his way and his wife to PTSD.
Then he met Bill Moore, a 57-year-old man from Leicester, Massachusetts, who is a disabled Air Force veteran and founder of Project New Hope.
Project New Hope has touched hundreds of vets- men and women- since 2011, including this weekend at the 101st engineer battalion of the Massachusetts Army National Guard. They've done 10 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in 12 years. And when home, they dug out the town of Hull, Massachusetts, when it was buried during last winter's brutal storms.
For one weekend at Grotonwood in Groton, Massachusetts, Project New Hope comes to life a camp owned by the American Baptist Church. The soldiers talk, connect, and literally get back to nature. And they find a willing ear in other vets like Carolyn Jette, a disabled Navy veteran and a Massachusetts Veterans service officer with a service dog named Troy.
As the new Champions in Action, Project New Hope will receive a $35,000 grant. For more information on Project New Hope, visit their website.