The RED FLAG Initiative, for those in need of a helping hand…
It is no secret that there are significant issues with mental health in the Veteran and First Responder communities. When this issue hits home and effects those we care about most, we’re often left asking ourselves “What could I have done? Why didn’t they ask anyone for help? Why did they feel so alone?” High Caliber Community began as a way to bring like-minded people together, but quickly adapted into a tool for Veterans and First Responders to not only find others like them in their communities, but also to have another resource at their fingertips for those trying times.
A Soldier in my Battalion in the Texas Army National Guard took his life this week. That’s one less Soldier, one less leader, one less paratrooper, brother, son and friend walking this glorious earth. I did not know that Soldier or his personal situation, but I do know what it feels like to think you’re alone, and to come out of it. I know what it feels like to talk to a mother after her son has taken his life. I know what it feels like to go to a funeral for one of my brothers who decided he wasn’t going to carry on anymore. I know what it looks like to see children grow up without their parent.
The High Caliber Community app was built for a REAL purpose. A REAL mission. It’s easy to get down as an entrepreneur when the thing you built hasn’t reaped the desired rewards, after so much effort, dedication and sacrifice. But it is here and it has a purpose. No, it’s not shiny and fancy. Yes, it has its glitches and needs work. It’s an app, what piece of technology doesn’t have growing pains!? But it WORKS. The app is FREE. It was built with Veterans and First Responders in mind. You can connect with and message your brothers and sisters nearby and chat in the group forums.
On each profile, there is a RED FLAG that can be activated at ANY TIME by ANY USER. When the red flag is activated, an anonymous alert is sent out to ALL OTHER APP USERS within 200 MILES saying that someone near you is in need. The other users can connect with that person and help them out. We can be there for our brothers and sisters; offer a helping hand in those dark hours. Meanwhile, the person who activated the red flag is directed to either wait for someone to reach out, call 911 or use the push to call button on the screen which gets that user directly to the Veteran Crisis Hotline.
The issues around Veteran mental health are astronomical.
We may not make a huge difference in the lives of many, but my God if we help save one life with this tool – just one – all the time, effort and money that went into this was worth it.
This app was built for HIGH CALIBER people. To bring them together, in the good times and the bad. To support one another. To maintain camaraderie in civilian life. Check up on your brothers and sisters. It’s too easy to pick up the phone and call. If you’re in a moment of need, reach out. We’re here for you.